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The characteristics and impact of pruritus in adult dermatology patients: A prospective, cross-sectional study - 15/02/21

Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2020.08.035 
Tomasz Hawro, MD a, Katarzyna Przybyłowicz, MD a, Max Spindler, MD a, Marlena Hawro, PsyM a, Michał Steć, MSc b, Sabine Altrichter, MD a, Karsten Weller, MD a, Markus Magerl, MD a, Ulrich Reidel, MD a, Ezzat Alarbeed, MD a, Ola Alraboni, MD a, Marcus Maurer, MD a, , Martin Metz, MD a
a Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany 
b Department of Computer Science, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany 

Correspondence to: Marcus Maurer, MD, Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany.Department of Dermatology and AllergyCharité–Universitätsmedizin BerlinCharitéplatz 1Berlin10117Germany



Pruritus often accompanies chronic skin diseases, exerting considerable burden on many areas of patient functioning; this burden and the features of pruritus remain insufficiently characterized.


To investigate characteristics, including localization patterns, and burden of pruritus in patients with chronic dermatoses.


We recruited 800 patients with active chronic skin diseases. We assessed pruritus intensity, localization, and further characteristics. We used validated questionnaires to assess quality of life, work productivity and activity impairment, anxiety, depression, and sleep quality.


Nine out of every 10 patients had experienced pruritus throughout their disease and 73% in the last 7 days. Pruritus often affected the entire body and was not restricted to skin lesions. Patients with moderate to severe pruritus reported significantly more impairment to their sleep quality and work productivity, and they were more depressed and anxious than control individuals and patients with mild or no pruritus. Suicidal ideations were highly prevalent in patients with chronic pruritus (18.5%) and atopic dermatitis (11.8%).


Pruritus prevalence and intensity are very high across all dermatoses studied; intensity is linked to impairment in many areas of daily functioning. Effective treatment strategies are urgently required to treat pruritus and the underlying skin disease.

Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.

Key words : activity, anxiety, depression, pruritus, quality of life, sleep quality, suicidal ideations, work productivity

Abbreviations used : AD, CIndU, CP, CPG, CSU, CTCL, HADS, HR-QoL, IQR, QoL, VAS


 Funding sources: Supported in part by unrestricted grants from Novartis, Leo Pharma, and the Urticaria Network.
 Disclosure: Dr Hawro has received honoraria as a speaker and/or consultant from Moxie, Galderma, and Roche. Dr Altrichter has received honoraria as a speaker and/or consultant from Allakos, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Moxie, and CSL Behring. Dr Weller has received honoraria as a speaker and/or consultant from CSL Behring, Dr R. Pfleger, Novartis, Moxie, Shire/Takeda, UCB, Uriach, and Viropharma. Dr Magerl has received honoraria as a speaker and/or advisor and/or has received research funding from Biocryst, CSL Behring, Kalvista Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, Moxie, Pharming, and Shire/Takeda. Dr Maurer is or recently was a speaker and/or advisor for and/or has received research funding from Allakos, Alnylam, Aralez, AstraZeneca, Biocryst, Blueprint, CSL Behring, FAES, Genentech, Kalvista Pharmaceuticals, Menarini, Novartis, Leo Pharma, Moxie, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Pharming, Pharvaris, Roche, Sanofi, Shire/Takeda, UCB, and Uriach. Dr Metz has received honoraria as a speaker and/or consultant for Aralez Pharmaceuticals, argenx, Bayer, Beiersdorf, Celgene, Menlo, Moxie, Novartis, Roche, Sanofi, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, and Uriach. Drs Przybyłowicz, Spindler, Hawro, Steć, Reidel, Alarbeed, and Alraboni have no conflicts of interest to declare.
 IRB approval status: The Ethics Committee of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin approved the study (EA1/007/14).
 Reprints not available from the authors.

© 2020  American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.. Publié par Elsevier Masson SAS. Tous droits réservés.
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Vol 84 - N° 3

P. 691-700 - mars 2021 Retour au numéro
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