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Assessing and Treating Itch

Speciality Classification
Nurses and Midwives
Location
Online
Delivery
Online
Duration
3 minutes
Provider
Ausmed
Across clinical settings, pruritus (or itch) challenges care outcomes, can be hard to treat, and impacts on quality of life, mental health and mortality.

Pruritus can be defined as an unpleasant sensation that evokes the feeling of wanting to scratch. The reason we itch is to protect the skin against noxious stimuli, as scratching or rubbing disrupts the irritant (Chen & Sun 2020).

However, too much scratching can inflame the skin and sometimes, the cause of pruritus is not an external stimulus at all.

Accompanying many dermatologic conditions due to peripheral stimuli, pruritus also arises from systemic disease (renal, hepatic, endocrine), malignancy and medicines – all of which may present as skin disorders, but actually originate in the central nervous system (Oakley 2016; Chan 2014). Pruritus without obvious primary skin lesions should be investigated for an underlying cause.

Whatever the origins of pruritus, scratching further inflames the skin and stimulates nerve fibres, initiating the itch-scratch cycle (Fresh Air 2014). As the patient scratches, they damage their skin, leading to the release of inflammatory chemicals that increase the itchy sensation. The itch-scratch cycle alters the structure of the skin by compromising the barrier effect, may can then result in prurigo nodularis or lichenification (Yosipovitch & Hundley 2004). As such, assessing and treating itch as early as possible is an important facet of effective patient care.

Delivery
Title
Assessing and Treating Itch
Speciality Classification
Interest Areas / Topics Covered
Skin cancer detection/mole scan/total skin check
Location
Provider Type
Education Provider
Duration
3 minutes
Start Date
13-Dec-2020
End Date
13-Dec-2023
CPD Points
3 minutes of CPD
Price
Free
Price Details
Subscription Needed
Location
Online
Price:
Free
Subscription Needed
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