General Medicine: Open Access

ISSN - 2327-5146


Phototherapy as a Treatment for Uremic Pruritus - A Review

Amrit Thakur, Soham Chaudhari, Prakash Chaudhari, Magendra Thakur

Generalized Pruritus (GP) is chronic itch that occurs without any associated diagnosable skin diseases or primary skin lesions. Uremic pruritus (UP), also known as Chronic Kidney Disease-associated pruritus (CKD-aP), is the most common cause of GP and is a debilitating symptom in patients with end-stage renal disease. Topical therapy is often inadequate; thus, providing additional therapeutic options becomes essential for the successful primary care physician. Phototherapy is a proven method for the management of many pruritic disorders, including uremic pruritus (UP).

Objective: This review aims to give an update on the use of phototherapy for managing UP to establish it within the spectrum of therapeutic options. The pathogenesis of UP and the mechanism of action of phototherapy in treating UP were also reviewed.

Methods: A thorough literature search of the PubMed database was conducted to identify studies that examined a variety of phototherapy methods in UP.

Results: UP causes a microinflammatory state with changes in cutaneous nociceptive endings. A circulating substance responsible for pruritus is annihilated through the apoptotic actions of phototherapy. BB-UVB is the preferred modality to decrease UP.

Conclusion: Phototherapy is a safe and beneficial option when other measures fail to control UP.