• Jacek C. SzepietowskiEmail author
  • Adam Reich


Pruritus is defined as an unpleasant sensation that produces a desire to scratch. By most researchers and physicians, pruritus and itch are considered as synonymous terms. Itching lasting less than 6 weeks is termed as an acute pruritus, while presenting longer than 6 weeks is defined as a chronic one. Pruritus may be limited to a certain area (localized pruritus) or involve the entire body (generalized pruritus). According to the consensus of the International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI), three clinical presentations may be distinguished: (1) pruritus on diseased, inflamed skin; (2) pruritus on normal, non-inflamed skin; and, finally, (3) pruritus with chronic secondary scratch lesions. Successful antipruritic therapy may be introduced, if the underlying disease is identified.


Itching Antihistamines Dermatological pruritus Scratching 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Venereology and AllergologyWroclaw Medical UniversityWrocławPoland

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