OVERVIEW AND PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE
SWU-MHAM-CM Year III Medical Student, 1999
Dr. Reynaldo O. Joson
I. Concept of Pruritus
A. Definition of Pruritus
It is a disagreeable sensation that provokes a desire to scratch. It is a primary sensory impulse carried on unmyelinated C fibers in the spinothalamic tract. It is modulated by central factors, including cortical ones. Not all cases of pruritus are mediated by histamine, though several mediators - bradykinin, neurotensin, secretin, and substance P - release histamine.
The sensation of itch may be elicited by a wide variety of dermatologic disorders and infections or by external stimuli, such as changes in temperature, stroking, or exposure to noxious agents. Itching may also be one manifestation of a systemic disease. Most systemic and cutaneous (delayed-type hypersensitivity) allergic reactions cause pruritus and often present a most challenging diagnostic problem.
B. Effect of Pruritus on the health of the individual, family, and community
Once an individual experiences skin problems such as pruritus, there will be effects and changes that will happen to his life in such a way that these health problems can alter his normal function in his body and not only that, economically, the family where he belongs will also suffer due to the medications that they buy as well as the Doctor's fee too.
However, not only the individual who is affected but also it has an effect on the family in terms of socio-economic prosperity. Moreover, the community is also affected in terms of its socio-economic prosperity for it can hinder its progress in terms of physical health, economic prosperity and social and moral functions.
II. Common types of Pruritus
A. Generalized - this refers to the whole part of the body that becomes pruritic.
B. Localized - this refers to a certain part of the body that becomes pruritic.
III. Common causes of Pruritus
A. Skin Disorders
B. Systemic Disorders
C. Psychogenic Disorders
IV. Magnitude of the Health Problem (Global, National, Local)
There are no clinical records found in the DOH record section regarding the magnitude of this problem based on its types and causes. However, individual entities of the disease associated with pruritus reveals that contact and atopic dermatitis, eczema, scabies and etc are the more common causes of this skin problem.
V. Personal perspective on the possible solutions to the Health Problem
To lessen the magnitude of pruritus and to educate the people on the approach of detecting such problem.
The people must be taught about the prevalence/incidence of pruritus, able to detect and able to understand its occurrence, how to avoid this problem as much as possible, and disseminate all information about pruritus through:
Establish and form or organize a group of people who are willing to volunteer and in upgrading/support the project of DOH in the community concerned such as:
Comments from Facilitator
PBL and Distance Learning on Skin and Soft Tissue Problems