Itch in Burn Areas After Skin Transplantation: Patient Characteristics, Influencing Factors and Therapy
Hester C. Kuipers, Marco Bremer, Leen Braem, Anne-Sofie Goemanne, Esther Middelkoop, Nancy E.E. van Loey
Pruritus is a frequently encountered symptom following burns. Higher intensity of itching has been associated with depth of the wounds and specific body locations but these differences are not well understood. Our aim was to investigate the intensity of post burn pruritus in grafted and non-grafted burns across anatomic areas and to report on itch-inducing factors and applied treatments. The study included 226 patients prospectively followed for 18 months. Results showed that grafted patients and non-grafted patients reported similar overall itch intensity in-hospital. At 3 months post burn, grafted patients had higher overall itch scores, a difference that was found robust across the study period. Grafted wounds were found to produce higher mean itch intensity at 3 months post burn but this difference disappeared at 12 months post burn. Differences in itch prevalence rates were found across anatomic areas, but only in non-grafted burns. The differences in itch intensity on patient level versus wound level suggest that on the longer run, peripheral mechanism do not explain the higher itch scores in grafted patients.