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an unpleasant sensation of the skin, provoking the desire to scratch or rub it; called also itching. adj., adj prurit´ic. It is common in many types of skin disorders, especially allergic inflammation and parasitic infestations. Systemic diseases that may cause pruritus include diabetes mellitus (pruritus vulvae) and liver disorders with jaundice. Hemorrhoids are often accompanied by rectal pruritus. Emotional distress plays an important role in the development and control of this disturbing symptom. Unless pruritus is relieved the patient may become exhausted from lack of sleep. Cleanliness, soothing ointments or lotions, sodium bicarbonate baths, and sometimes tranquilizing drugs are used in the relief of pruritus. Since it is a symptom of some other disorder, complete cure of pruritus depends on control of the primary illness.
pruritus a´ni intense chronic itching in the anal region.
pruritus seni´lis itching in the aged, due to degeneration of the skin.
uremic pruritus generalized itching associated with chronic renal failure and not attributable to other internal or skin disease.
pruritus vul´vae intense itching of the external genitalia in the female.
pru·ri·tus se·ni·lis, senile pruritus
itching associated with dryness of the skin in the aged.
pru·ri·tus se·ni·lis, senile pruritus (prū-rī'tŭs sĕ-nī'lis, sen'il)
Itching associated with dryness of the skin in old people.
Pruritus in the aged with degenerative skin changes sometimes caused by loss of epidermal hydration.
See also: pruritus