non-infectious pruritic dermatosis

What is Non-infectious Pruritic Dermatosis?

Non-infectious pruritic dermatosis (NPD) is a type of skin disorder characterized by chronic, recurrent and intensely itchy skin. It is estimated to affect up to one in ten people in the United States. It is often chronic in nature and is known to persist for long periods of time before resolving. NPD is not caused by an infection or allergic reaction but is instead thought to be triggered by a combination of environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors.

Common symptoms of NPD include intense itching, sometimes to the point of causing skin damage due to scratching, dryness, redness, rash and flaking of the skin. Symptoms can range from mild and occasional to severe and persistent. The most common forms of NPD are atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and allergic dermatitis, but there are other forms such as seborrhea, rosacea, prurigo and urticaria.

Treatment Options

Typically, treatment for NPD involves the use of topical treatments, such as corticosteroids, as well as oral medications, such as antihistamines. It is important to identify any potential triggers which may cause the onset of symptoms and to avoid these triggers if possible. Allergens may be identified through skin tests or by monitoring symptoms in relation to different activities or environments. Other therapies, such as phototherapy and psychological therapies may also be used to help manage the condition.

Tips for Managing NPD

To help manage NPD, it is important to:

  • Keep skin moisturized
  • Avoid hot baths and showers
  • Wear cool, loose-fitting clothing
  • Take antihistamines as prescribed by your doctor
  • Avoid known triggers, such as allergens or irritants
  • Practice good general hygiene
  • Avoid scratching the affected areas
  • Take breaks from activities which may cause sweating and irritation