Psoriasis is a common immune-mediated skin disease. Recent psoriasis studies focus on pathophysiology, links to comorbid conditions, and psoriasis response to novel therapies. A symptom that frequently afflicts psoriasis patients is pruritus; however, there are few studies describing the links of pruritus in psoriasis with regards to disease activity, pharmacotherapy or demographics.
A study published in Advances in Dermatology and Venereology in April of 2019 focused on pruritus in psoriasis. The study was led by Jacek Szepietowski, M.D., from the Department of Dermatology in Wroclaw Medical University, Poland. The aim of the study was to describe the prevalence of pruritus in psoriasis as well as to detail the clinical characteristics.
A cross-sectional study was performed. 143 patients (83 males and 60 females) with psoriasis vulgaris were included in the study. The subjects included provided a detailed history, laboratory tests, and physical exams were completed that included PASI, BSA and physician's global assessment.
The study showed that the prevalence of pruritus is psoriasis is 72%. Chronic pruritus was present in both young patients and older patients with psoriasis. Patients with pruritus had high rates of xerosis. In this patient cohort the mean values for PASI was 14.6 ± 9.5 points. The mean value for BSA was 27% ± 21%. The mean value for PGA was 2.1 ± 1.0 points.
There was a correlation between systemic comorbidities and pruritus, specifically anemia was associated with higher itch intensity. Another comorbidity that was associated with increased pruritus was diabetes. Interestingly, aspirin use was also more common in patients with pruritus.
Reszke, Radomir, Rafał Białynicki-Birula, and Jacek C. Szepietowski. "Itch in psoriasis: a new look at well-known subject." Acta dermato-venereologica 99.3 (2019): 429-434.