Intended for healthcare professionals

Pruritus in the elderly population

The World Health Organization predicts that the global population of people aged greater than 60 years will reach two billion in 20501. As a result, there will be an inevitable increase in the burden of dermatological disease, including pruritus. The latter can be described as an unpleasant sensation that induces a desire to scratch. It is the most common dermatological symptom at the population level and has been identified among the fifty most frequent interdisciplinary symptoms worldwide.2–5 The prevalence of chronic pruritus increases with age, with data suggesting that around 60% of people over 65 years of age suffer from mild to severe episodes of pruritus each week.6

Dermatology in practice 2020; 26(1): 4–10
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