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The mechanisms underlying itch are not fully understood. Physicians usually encounter difficulty controlling itch in generalized pruritus. Since only a small percentage of patients with generalized pruritus respond to antihistamines (H1 receptor antagonists), a variety of itch mediators and mechanisms other than histaminergic signals are considered to be involved in itch for these non-responsive patients. In 2012, we created guidelines for generalized pruritus. Those guidelines have been updated and revised to make some of the definitions, diagnostic terms, and classifications more applicable to daily clinical practice. Cutaneous pruritus as designated in these guidelines is a disease characterized by itch without an observable rash. Generalized pruritus (without skin inflammation) is defined as the presence of itch over a wide area, and not localized to a specific part of the body. This entity includes idiopathic pruritus, pruritus in the elderly, symptomatic pruritus, pregnancy-associated pruritus, drug-induced pruritus, and psychogenic pruritus. Localized pruritus (without skin inflammation) represents fixed itch localized to a specific part of the body, and includes anogenital pruritus, scalp pruritus, notalgia paresthetica, and brachioradial pruritus. These guidelines outline the current concepts and specify the diagnostic methods/treatments for cutaneous pruritus. © 2021 Japanese Dermatological Association.


Takahiro Satoh, Hiroo Yokozeki, Hiroyuki Murota, Yoshiki Tokura, Kenji Kabashima, Kenji Takamori, Tetsuo Shiohara, Eishin Morita, Setsuya Aiba, Yumi Aoyama, Takashi Hashimoto, Ichiro Katayama. 2020 guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of cutaneous pruritus. The Journal of dermatology. 2021 Sep;48(9):e399-e413

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PMID: 34288036

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