What Does Pruritus Mean?


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The term pruritus is a noun that been used to describe severe itching, frequently of undamaged skin. It is often used as a synonym for the term itch, although it is typically refers to a severe itch.

Some related terms include pruritus a´ni, which is an intense chronic itching around the anal region. There is also pruritus hiema´lis or xerotic eczema. Itching in the aged is known as senile pruritus or pruritus seni´lis; possibly a result of the dryness of the skin. A generalized itching which is related to chronic renal failure and which cannot be attributed to any other or skin internal disease is known as uremic pruritus. The term pruritus vul´vae is given to intense itching experienced around the female external genitals.

The word has its roots in the Latin pruritus, coming from a past participle of the term prurire, meaning to itch. The adjective form of the term pruritus is the word pruritic.

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