Causes of chronic pruritus

What can trigger pruritus?
Are there connections with other diseases?

These and many other questions were answered by Prof. Sonja Ständer, Expert for chronic prutitus on the occasion of our lecture series for patients with chronic pruritus.
Chronic itching, i.e. itching that lasts longer than 6 weeks, is one of the most common and most distressing skin symptoms worldwide. Approximately 13 - 17 % of the world's adult population suffer from chronic pruritus - and the trend is rising. Up to 25 % of the population suffer from this chronic condition once in their lifetime.

Chronic pruritus, i.e. itching that lasts longer than 6 weeks, is one of the most common and distressing skin symptoms worldwide. Approximately 13 - 17 % of the world's adult population suffer from chronic pruritus - and the trend is rising. Up to 25 % of the population suffer from this chronic condition once in their lifetime, but only 36% of those affected present to a dermatology practice. Chronic pruritus is a disease whose research is still in its infancy; the search for causes is extensive and involves many factors. Dry skin, especially at an advanced age, or the use of medication can promote itching. However, itching can also be triggered by many diseases: Skin diseases, diseases of the internal organs, diseases of the nerves, mental illnesses or several existing diseases. Sometimes the cause is also unclear.

The consequence of itching is inevitable: we scratch - scratching is difficult to suppress.
Scratching leads to skin injuries and scarring, and in extreme cases, chronic prurigo can develop, which is accompanied by persistent lump formation on the skin. And it does not stop there - those affected suffer greatly due to the intensity of the itching, sleep is disturbed and skin changes are visible. All this reduces the quality of life.

Pruritus occurs at any age, has different causes at any age, but is stressful for those affected at any age. Whether in children, pregnant women or the elderly, the causes are varied and require an intensive assessment of all individual influencing factors, existing illnesses, medication, etc.

Current treatment recommendations are increasingly based on evidence from patient studies. Experts and specialist societies have developed a guideline that defines important milestones for the precise assessment, diagnosis and treatment: From the definition of the disease to the determination of anamnesis questions, basic laboratory chemical and instrumental examinations to a general course of therapy and symptomatic step therapy. You can find the guideline here:

https://register.awmf.org/de/leitlinien/detail/013-048

Here, both sufferers and dermatologists can find out about the diagnosis and treatment options for chronic pruritus.

Many thanks to Prof. Sonja Ständer for the valuable information and the time you took and a big thank you to all participants for your keen interest and questions.
We look forward to the next lecture on February 6, 2024 on the topic of "Relaxation techniques and mindfulness for chronic pruritus: What is important to know?" - For the sake of your skin ❤️

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