Itching for an answer: A review of potential mechanisms of scalp itch in psoriasis

Argentina Leon, Jordan D. Rosen, Takashi Hashimoto, Anna C. Fostini, Ralf Paus, Gil Yosipovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Scalp psoriatic itch is a common complaint and often poses a therapeutic challenge. The pathophysiology of this phenomenon is unclear. The unique anatomy of the scalp contains richly innervated hair follicles, abundant vasculature and perifollicular inflammatory cytokines which may all contribute to this common sensory complaint. The mast cell, in particular, is portrayed as one of the main itch conductors for its ability to trigger neurogenic inflammation, activate the peripheral hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis, process and integrate itch signalling through its interactions with the scalp hair follicles. Herein, we explain and speculate upon potential mechanisms underlying itchy scalp psoriasis, involving interconnections between the neuroimmune, neurovascular and neuroendocrine systems. Many factors may play roles in itchy scalp psoriasis including the scalp hair structure, immune system, endocrine system, nervous system and vascular system. These may warrant further exploration as therapeutic targets that go beyond the application of mere anti-inflammatory agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalExperimental dermatology
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Immune system
Neurology
Pruritus
Scalp
Psoriasis
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Cytokines
Hair Follicle
Neurogenic Inflammation
Neurosecretory Systems
Endocrine System
Mast Cells
Nervous System
Blood Vessels
Immune System
Anatomy
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • hair follicles
  • mast cells
  • neurogenic inflammation
  • scalp psoriatic itch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology

Cite this

Itching for an answer : A review of potential mechanisms of scalp itch in psoriasis. / Leon, Argentina; Rosen, Jordan D.; Hashimoto, Takashi; Fostini, Anna C.; Paus, Ralf; Yosipovitch, Gil.

In: Experimental dermatology, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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abstract = "Scalp psoriatic itch is a common complaint and often poses a therapeutic challenge. The pathophysiology of this phenomenon is unclear. The unique anatomy of the scalp contains richly innervated hair follicles, abundant vasculature and perifollicular inflammatory cytokines which may all contribute to this common sensory complaint. The mast cell, in particular, is portrayed as one of the main itch conductors for its ability to trigger neurogenic inflammation, activate the peripheral hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis, process and integrate itch signalling through its interactions with the scalp hair follicles. Herein, we explain and speculate upon potential mechanisms underlying itchy scalp psoriasis, involving interconnections between the neuroimmune, neurovascular and neuroendocrine systems. Many factors may play roles in itchy scalp psoriasis including the scalp hair structure, immune system, endocrine system, nervous system and vascular system. These may warrant further exploration as therapeutic targets that go beyond the application of mere anti-inflammatory agents.",
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