Psychological interventions in the treatment of chronic itch

Christina Schut, Nicholas K. Mollanazar, Jörg Kupfer, Uwe Gieler, Gil Yosipovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Patients with chronic itch suffer from higher levels of depression and anxiety than their healthy counterparts. Furthermore, psychological factors, such as stress, are known to aggravate itch. The mere act of thinking about itching can induce the sensation. Interventions like habit reversal training and arousal reduction have been shown to have positive effects on itch relief. Yet, there is still limited data on the psychological management to control the itch scratch cycle and a description of methods suitable to address itch. In this review, we describe different psychological interventions shown to be effective in the treatment of chronic itch. We also provide suggestions based on our experience of suitable interventions for patients with different types of itch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
JournalActa dermato-venereologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Arousal reduction
  • Chronic itch
  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Habit reversal training
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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