The characteristics and impact of pruritus in adult dermatologic patients: A prospective, cross-sectional study.

Pruritus often accompanies chronic skin diseases, exerting considerable burden on many areas of patients' 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 seven 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 controls, 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.

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