Pruritus in chronic kidney disease

Kidney cartoon 4

 

PRURITUS

Itchy skin is a common and debilitating side-effect of kidney disease, and can affect up to 70% of people with late stage chronic kidney disease.The causes are multifactorial, including calcium and phosphate imbalance, inadequate dialysis, overactive parathyroid gland activity, high levels of magnesium and vitamin A, and nerve changes in the skin

Management:

  • Ensure that there are no other causes for pruritus (e.g. allergies, scabies, inadequaate dialysis, calcium/phosphate)
  • Skin emollients
  • Avoid to use of soap/detergents
  • Topical capsaicin (may not be tolerated because of transient burning feeling on the skin)
  • For persistent pruritus, consider referral to a dermatologist for ultraviolet light B (UVB) therapy

 

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