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Wound pruritus: pathophysiology and management

Authors Paul J

Received 14 March 2015

Accepted for publication 4 June 2015

Published 12 August 2015 Volume 2015:2 Pages 119—127

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CWCMR.S70360

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Romanelli


Julia C Paul

School of Nursing, Oakland University, Rochester, MI, USA

Purpose: The objective of this article is to review literature on wound pruritus, with a focus on summarizing pathophysiology and management.
Method: Literature related to the physiology of itch was reviewed. PubMed, MEDLINE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Embase were searched for all research studies written in English which include “wound” (injury/burn) and “pruritus” (itch) in the title or abstract. Articles were accepted if they involved wounds or acute burns. Literature related to options for management of wound pruritus was reviewed.
Results: While all types of wounds can be the source of associated pruritus, most studies have been done concerning pruritus associated with burns. There are treatment options for pruritus which can be considered for management of wound pruritus.
Conclusion: Further research is indicated to gain insights into the problem of wound pruritus. As more is learned about the physiology of wound pruritus, more effective management strategies can be developed and employed.

Keywords: wound, chronic itch, C-fibers, spinothalamic tract, positron emission tomography, pruritogens

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