Yeast extract demonstrates rapid itch relief in chronic pruritus

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020 Aug;19(8):2131-2134. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13265. Epub 2020 Jan 10.


Background: Pruritus is the most common complaint encountered in dermatological practice. It is estimated that up to 4% of the world population suffers from chronic itch. Chronic pruritus can be associated with both cutaneous or systemic conditions. While a plethora of treatments attempt to address itch, most carry risk of significant adverse events with chronic use; thus, there exists an unmet need to develop safe treatments for chronic pruritus. A recent study demonstrated that a novel extract from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, that is, Baker's yeast, blocks various histamine receptors as well as inhibits numerous inflammatory cytokines.

Methods: Given the long-term safety profile of Baker's yeast, we set to investigate the efficacy of the novel extract in the treatment of chronic pruritus.

Key results: In our study, we demonstrated that within 30 minutes, the novel extract significantly reduced itch when compared to a placebo lotion (P = .0020).

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating that a novel extract from Saccharomyces cerevisiae can provide rapid and sustained itch relief to chronic pruritus patients.

Keywords: chronic; pruritis; yeast.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Emollients / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Pruritus* / drug therapy
  • Pruritus* / etiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae*
  • Skin


  • Emollients