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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA
A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,014
Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2002 December;137(6):395-9
Phototherapy in uremic pruritus. A placebo effect?
Verrini A. 1, Cannata G. 2, Turbino L. 1, Guarrera M. 1
1 DISEM Sezione di Dermatologia Università degli studi di Genova, Genova
2 Divisione di Dermatologia Ospedale Civile di Imperia, Imperia
Background. UVB phototherapy is regarded as the most effective way to relieve pruritus in uremic patients. However, the mechanism of action is still unknown. The possibility that such efficacy is due to a placebo effect as well as the number of mast-cells, the skin pH and the skin content in sebum and water after successful UVB phototherapy have been studied.
Methods. Eight patients were treated with UVA and 16 with UVB light. UVA treated patients were treated with UVB after the first 3 sessions for ethical reasons. At the beginning, before the first 3 sessions and at the end of the treatment (10 sessions as an average), pruritus was measured and at the beginning and after the treatment the other cutaneous parameters were measured.
Results. With UVA treatment the pruritus score diminished by 32% and with UVB by 25%. At the end of the treatment the score diminished by 54%. Nor modification of the number of mast-cells, neither significant alteration of skin pH and sebum and water content were registered.
Conclusions. Our results suggest that photoherapy in uremic patients acts through a placebo effect.