Prurigo is a term used to denote a group of skin disorders characterised by intensely pruritic, and difficult to treat, papules or nodules. The best known of these conditions is nodular prurigo (syn. Hyde's prurigo), which typically presents with itchy nodules affecting the extremities, and consists histologically of hyperkeratosis and acanthosis, with downward projections of the epidermis. A similar condition, perhaps best-termed papular prurigo (syn. papular dermatitis; chronic prurigo of adults) consists of smaller lesions, and presents mainly in middle-aged women.
Treatment is difficult. Due to the intensity of the itch patients often go from doctor to doctor looking for relief. No one treatment is always effective and several treatments may need to be tried. Initial treatment is often potent prescription steroid creams . If these help, a milder cream can be used for longer-term control. Antihistamine creams (Zonalon, Pramoxine) or pills (Atarax, Periactin) are often added for additional relief. Intralesional steroid injections , anti-depressant pills, and non-prescription capsaicin cream helps many of those not improved with the usual treatment.