Itching for Knowledge About Wound and Scar Pruritus

Wounds. 2018 Jan;30(1):17-36.


Chronic itch continues to be a problem that plagues millions of humans and animals. Pruritus has a negative impact on patient quality of life and many patients experience sleep deprivation, anxiety, and depression, similar to patients with chronic pain. This review provides an overview of clinical pruritus research with special emphasis on itch that wound care providers may see. In addition, the need for using multifactorial questionnaires for better research in pruritus is summarized. Similarities and differences in itch characteristics, triggers, and relievers in various patient populations are discussed. A brief overview of itch receptors and pathways is provided to help the reader better understand the complexity of the resultant itch sensation. Also, some nonpharmacological and pharmacological antipruritic therapies and their mechanisms of action are included.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antipruritics / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cicatrix / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Nociceptors / physiology
  • Peripheral Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Pruritus / physiopathology*
  • Pruritus / psychology
  • Pruritus / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Wound Healing / physiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications
  • Wounds and Injuries / physiopathology*


  • Antipruritics