Pruritus

Pruritus

by Kofi Dwinfour

Pruritus is the medical term for what is colloquially called an itch. Although pruritus is a common symptom of many dermatological conditions, such as radiation dermatitis and atopic dermatitis, it can also be a standalone condition. Pruritus may be localised or generalised and can occur as an acute or chronic condition. Itching lasting more than six weeks is termed chronic pruritus.

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The prevalence of skin disease exceeds that of obesity, hypertension, or cancer. Despite skin being the largest organ of the human body, dermatological research remains one of the most under funded areas of medicine. In a world where society has an increasing preoccupation with image and it’s importance to every aspect of a person’s life, sufferers of skin diseases are feeling and being more marginalised and isolated than ever.

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