Several variables were negatively associated with pruritus in psoriasis. For instance emollients were associated with decreased chronic itching. Several comorbid conditions and medications also were negatively associated with pruritus in psoriasis such as the presence of hypertension as well as treatment with psychiatric drugs and allopurinol.
Pruritus was reported mainly in the lower limbs, back, and upper limbs with 66%, 49.5% and 47.6% of the patients reporting chronic itch in these areas, respectively. The vast majority of the subjects (77.7%) complained of pruritus in the pathologically changed skin.
The take home message for dermatologists based on the results of this study are the following:
- The majority of patients with psoriasis vulgaris suffer from chronic pruritus.
- Effective treatment for psoriasis will improve the pruritus in the majority of patients.
- There are other factors such as comorbid conditions and medication that may also contribute to pruritus and should be considered (i.e. diabetes).
The findings of this cross-sectional study suggest that pruritus is a salient feature present in the majority of psoriasis patients. It appears that several comorbid conditions as well as pharmacotherapies contribute to chronic itch both by modulating psoriasis and through independent mechanisms. More research is needed to better understand psoriasis associated pruritus and its relationship with comorbid conditions.
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.