Clinical Aspects of Itch in Adult Atopic Dermatitis Patients
Danuta Chrostowska-Plak, Joanna Salomon, Adam Reich and Jacek C. Szepietowski
Although pruritus is an essential symptom of atopic dermatitis, its complex pathomechanism is not fully understood. The aim of this study was to characterize the clinical pattern of itch in adult subjects with atopic dermatitis. A total of 89 patients (59 females, 30 males) with atopic dermatitis, age range 18–60 years, were included in the study. Each patient completed a questionnaire about clinical features of itch. At the time of examination pruritus was present in 83.1% of patients. The majority of patients experienced itch in the evening (52.8%) and at night (38.2%). In 81% of patients itch caused difficulty in falling asleep. Twenty-five patients (28.1%) experienced itch every day. The main factors exacerbating pruritus were dryness, sweat, physical effort, food and hot baths. The most frequently used management regimes were topical emollients and oral antihistamines, but the long-term effects of these were very limited. There was a positive correlation between intensity of itch and age (r = 0.3, p = 0.004), and between disease duration and intensity of maximal itch (r = 0.22, p = 0.04). Patients with more severe disease reported more intense pruritus.