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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
Online ISSN 1827-1820
Sezgi SARIKAYA SOLAK, Ilknur KIVANC ALTUNAY, Eda MERTOGLU CALISKAN
Department of Dermatology, Şişli Etfal Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
BACKGROUND: Although chronic pruritus (CP) is one of the most frequent symptoms seen in dermatology outpatients, the characteristics of CP have not been thoroughly examined. Our aim was to determine the point prevalence of CP in patients attending a dermatology outpatient clinic and to examine its sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.
METHODS: Patients attending our dermatology outpatient clinic were prospectively enrolled in the study. Sociodemographic data and dermatological diagnoses were recorded. A questionnaire providing information about pruritus was answered by patients with CP. Data were evaluated statistically.
RESULTS: The data of 1428 patients (46% male, 54% female, age range 18-94, mean age 40.52±17.4) were evaluated, and the point prevalence of CP was found to be 30.9%. When patients with and without CP were compared, statistically significant results were obtained regarding age, education level, and occupational status (P<0.05). The mean severity measured by VAS was 6.7±2.1. Pruritus severity was not associated with sociodemographic factors. The most affected areas were extremities; 10% of the CP patients had generalized pruritus. Skin diseases were the most frequent cause of CP.
CONCLUSIONS: Nearly one-third of patients admitted to our dermatology outpatient clinic had CP. It seems a significant rate when all dermatology outpatient population is considered. Age, education level, and occupational status were found to be factors affecting the prevalence. Since CP may cause serious discomfort and decrease quality of life, it should be considered as a significant pathology. Therefore, CP and related disorders should be evaluated thoroughly and treated appropriately by clinicians.