Journal Mobile

LA Capaldi, JD Bernhard
Journal Issue: 
Volume 38: Issue 1: 2008




The  evaluation  of  the  pruritic  patient  can  appear  daunting  at  first glance. Itching can be a manifestation of an underlying disease, making a systematic approach to the itchy patient necessary. A general history and physical, along with key laboratory tests as guided by the history and physical, can yield clues to the diagnosis.  Hepatobiliary,  renal,  endocrine  and  lymphoproliferative  diseases  are some of the most common underlying systemic causes of itch. Treatment should be guided by the diagnosis, and may include topical steroids, oral antihistamines, opioid antagonists and phototherapy. In this review we outline the steps to take when evaluating a patient with pruritus. In addition, we highlight some of the more common systemic causes of itch and discuss treatment options.