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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.
itching of the external female genitalia, caused by a variety of factors, for example, seborrheic dermatitis, allergy to local contactants, senile atrophy of the vulva, and occasionally systemic disease.
pru·ri·tus vul·vae(prū-rī'tŭs vŭl'vē)
Itching of the external female genitalia, caused by seborrheic dermatitis, allergy to local contactants, senile atrophy of the vulva, or systemic disease.