The treatment of Kyrle's disease: a systematic review

M. Forouzandeh, S. Stratman, G. Yosipovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Kyrle's disease (KD) is a cutaneous disease that develops in individuals with underlying systemic disease, particularly chronic renal failure and diabetes mellitus (DM), and is associated with a high burden of disease linked to itch. The intensely pruritic, hyperkeratotic papulonodular rash seen in KD dramatically impairs patients’ quality of life and increases their risk of mortality. Unfortunately, no guidelines or evidence-based regimens have been specifically developed for KD, making the treatment of this disease particularly challenging for physicians. This article aims to provide the first comprehensive, up-to-date overview and analysis of treatment options employed for KD. A search of the PubMed/MEDLINE and Scopus databases was performed for articles regarding the treatment of KD, published in English between 1990 and 2019. Seventy-three articles were identified, of which eighteen met the inclusion criteria. We discovered that a wide variety of treatment regimens for KD have been reported in the literature, including oral antibiotics, immunosuppressants, phototherapy, topical/systemic retinoids, topical keratolytics and various combination therapies, which include some of the aforementioned treatments, in conjunction with oral/topical/injectable steroids, emollients and/or antihistamines. The use of a combination regimen is the most commonly practiced therapeutic approach to KD. Topical corticosteroids and depot corticosteroid injections repeatedly appeared in many of the regimens encountered during our search. While no definitive recommendations can be made based on existing literature, this article provides physicians with a summative outline that can help guide management and be referenced when other treatment efforts fail. The increasing prevalence of renal disease, DM and other chronic diseases will inevitably lead to rising rates of KD in the upcoming years. While randomized controlled trials are greatly needed, novel antipruritic immunomodulatory drugs targeting specific interleukin receptors (IL-4/13/31) and intracellular signalling (e.g. Janus kinase) pathways may have a potential role in the treatment of this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1457-1463
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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