Pruritus, or itching, is a common symptom of some dermatological, systemic, and psychological disorders, and possibly the most commonly presenting symptom in dermatology. It is even more common still in older people (over 65 years of age). There are several classifications of pruritus, including:
- pruritus with associated underlying dermatosis
- pruritus with no underlying dermatosis
- secondary pruritus due to underlying systemic disorder (secondary pruritus)
- generalised pruritus of unknown origin (GPUO)
- acute (pruritus lasting less than 6 weeks)
- chronic (pruritus lasting more than 6 weeks).
This British Association of Dermatologists guideline focuses on generalised pruritus that does not have underlying dermatosis, including:
- investigation of generalised pruritus without rash and interventions for secondary generalised pruritus
- treatment of GPUO
- management in primary care
- economic considerations
- recommended audit points.