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ITCH COMMON DEVASTATING SYMPTOM

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					                                 Press conference – Opening meeting on Psychodermatology
                          STOP STRESS ON SKIN (SOS) – PHARMACOTHERAPY AND BEYOND




                                                   Pruritus And Skin
                                           Pruritus: A Devastating Symptom


        Pruritus is defined as an unpleasant sensation leading to intensive scratching. It is the most common
        symptom in dermatology that may occur with or without visible skin lesions. Mild to severe pruritus
        accompanies numerous skin disorders including, but not limited to atopic dermatitis, eczema,
        psoriasis, lichen planus, mycosis fungoides, Sezary syndrome, dermatitis herpetiformis, prurigo or
        urticaria. Pruritus may also be present in patients with systemic disorders, such as end stage renal
        failure, hyper- or hypothyroidism, diabetes, carcinoid syndrome, haematological malignancies,
        polycytaemia vera, liver problems, infected with HIV and many others. It is obvious that chronic
        pruritus has negative impact on patients’ well-being. Many patients with chronic pruritus considered
        it as the most bothersome symptom of the disease they have. Patients suffering from pruritus were
        found to have low self-image, suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorders and have difficulties in
        coping with aggression. Severe pruritus at night frequently resulted in significant sleeping problems.
        It was also observed, that in many diseases pruritus intensity significantly correlated with degree of
        quality of life impairment, level of stigmatization, presence and severity of depressive symptoms as
        well as with emotional stress. Based on available data it could be concluded that chronic pruritus is a
        devastating symptom impairing all aspects of patients’ life. There is a great necessity of the
        development of new effective anti-pruritic strategies to reduce or alleviate pruritus in different
        medical conditions and thus to improve significantly patients’ quality of life.




                                Jacek C Szepietowski
                                Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology
                                Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland

                                Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy
                                Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland




The initiative is sponsored by an unrestricted educational grant from Galderma International

				
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