Uremic Pruritus

Uremic Pruritus

Uremic pruritus is a common complication of endstage or advanced kidney (renal) disease. It is a condition that causes an itchy sensation and can range from a mild to an intense, intolerable itch in the body. It is estimated that up to 65% of individuals with endstage renal disease experience this condition.

The cause of uremic pruritus is not entirely understood but is believed to be linked to disorders of phosphorus and calcium metabolism as well as changes in the composition of dialysis fluids used in treatment.

Symptoms of Uremic Pruritus

Uremic pruritus can manifest as generalized or localized itchy sensations throughout the body. It is commonly more intense in areas of the body such as the trunk, sides, flanks, arms, legs, feet, or scalp.

Diagnosis of Uremic Pruritus

Uremic pruritus is primarily diagnosed based on a patient’s medical history and physical examination. In some cases, additional testing may be required to rule out other potential conditions.

Treatment Options for Uremic Pruritus

Treatment for uremic pruritus typically includes lifestyle modifications and/or medical interventions, depending on the underlying cause. Common interventions include:

  • Avoiding potential irritating substances like fragranced lotions and soaps, hot showers, and certain fabrics.
  • Managing the phosphorus and calcium levels in the body.
  • Use of moisturizing lotions and oils.
  • Antihistamines or topical cream medications.
  • Light therapy.
  • Acupuncture.


Uremic pruritus is a common complication of endstage or advanced kidney (renal) disease. It can appear as an itch over the body or a localized itch. Treatment options for uremic pruritus can include lifestyle modifications and/or medical interventions.