Pruritus is a common and significant symptom of acne

Y. L. Lim, Y. H. Chan, G. Yosipovitch, M. W. Greaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Acne is a common condition in both adolescents and adults. Characteristics of acne are well described, but itch is rarely mentioned as a clinical feature. Pruritus could be a significant contributory factor to the burden of disability in patients with acne. Objective: We examine the prevalence of pruritus and its clinical attributes in patients with acne in an outpatient clinic. Study design: Descriptive study over a 15 month period from October 2005 to December 2006. Patients and methods: 120 consecutive patients with acne attending an outpatient clinic at National Skin Centre, Singapore were recruited. Pruritus was evaluated using a validated questionnaire. Severity of acne was determined using FDA Global Acne Grading. Results: 84 patients (70%) reported itch in acne. Patients who experienced itch in acne tended to be slightly older (p = 0.05). Majority of patients (83%) reported itch at noon and most experienced itch on a transient nature. The most common descriptor of itch was tickling (68%). Severity of pruritus in acne was comparable to mosquito-bite and it significantly affected patients' mood (55%). Common aggravating factors for the pruritus were sweat (71%), heat (62%) and stress (31%). A significant proportion of patients with itch (52%) had scratched or rubbed the affected area while 37% would wash the area to find relief. Conclusion: Our results suggest that itch is a common and significant symptom in acne. Acne patients experienced considerable disability due to the associated pruritus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1332-1336
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Pruritus is a common and significant symptom of acne'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this