JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Neuropathic and psychogenic itch

Gil Yosipovitch, Lena S Samuel
Dermatologic Therapy 2008, 21 (1): 32-41
18318883
Neuropathic and psychogenic itch are two entities that have not been well studied. Neuropathic itch is related to pathology located at any point along the afferent pathway of the nervous system. It could be related to damage to the peripheral nervous system, such as in postherpetic neuropathy, brachioradial pruritus, notalgia paresthetica, and in central nervous system damage as a result of spinal cord tumors and demyelinization diseases such as multiple sclerosis. It has many clinical features similar to neuropathic pain. Patients complain of itch, which coincides with burning sensation, aching, and stinging. Psychogenic itch is related to psychologic abnormalities e.g., itch in obsessive compulsive disorders, depression, and delusions of parasitosis. Although no controlled studies have been conducted for treatment of neuropathic and psychogenic itch, medications that are part of the treatment armentarium for neuropathic pain, depression, and anxiety seem to be effective.

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