Pruritus in psoriasis and atopic dermatitis: current treatments and new perspectives

Shirin Kahremany, Lukas Hofmann, Marco Harari, Arie Gruzman, Guy Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (AD) are two common chronic inflammatory skin diseases. Although showing different etiology and clinical manifestations, patients with either disease suffer from low health-related quality of life due to pruritus (dermal itch). Recent studies have revealed that more than 85% of psoriasis patients suffer from pruritus, and it is also the dominating symptom of AD. However, as this is a non-life treating symptom, it was partly neglected for years. In this review, we focus on current findings as well as the impact and potential treatments of pruritus in these two skin diseases. We first distinguish the type of itch based on involved mediators and modulators. This clear delineation between the types of pruritus based on involved receptors and pathways allows for precise treatment. In addition, insights into recent clinical trials aimed to alleviate pruritus by targeting these receptors are presented. We also report about novel advances in combinatorial treatments, dedicated to the type of pruritus linked to a causal disease. Altogether, we suggest that only a focused treatment tailored to the primary disease and the underlying molecular signals will provide fast and sustained relief of pruritus associated with psoriasis or AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-453
Number of pages11
JournalPharmacological Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Maj Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences.


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Itch
  • Mediator
  • Modulator
  • Pruritus
  • Psoriasis
  • Receptors
  • Treatment


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