Itching in the elderly

Causes:

  • Medication SE (even if longstanding meds)
  • Dry skin (asteatotic eczema)
  • Scabies
  • Nummular eczema
  • Malignancy
  • Renal, liver, or endocrine dysfunction
  • If localised – can be sensory neuropathy

Treatments:

  • Conservative measures (including keeping nails short & keeping skin cool – tepid showers help, as do humidifiers in winter/air conditioning in summer)
  • Mirtazapine
  • SSRIs
  • Gabapentin/pregabalin
  • Phototherapy

(Pulse on-line learning module)

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About Dr Sarah

I'm a GP with a husband and two young children.
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