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Skin Care and Diseases

Prurigo nodularis

07/02/2007

Question:

I have read that this condition may have developed because of an underlying illness or disease so... I have Fibromyalgia could this have been the cause for prurigo nodularis to infect my skin?

Answer:

The cause of this condition is unknown. There are felt to be several factors that contribute to this condition and the combination of factors may vary in each individual.

For an unknown reason, there may be inflammation in the skin that causes itchy bumps. The patient usually has a real amount of itching, or may have a heightened awareness of the bump, or heightened awareness of the itching (beyond normal awareness), that allows him/her to scratch, dig, pick or rub the spot/spots repeatedly, thus creating the bumps or nodules in the skin. Sometimes the patient isn’t aware that they are picking or scratching at the skin and does it mostly at night in their sleep. Prurigo nodularis itself is not a contagious or infectious skin problem.

In my experience, there is a higher prevalence of depression, anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive behavior (such as nail biting, hair playing, habit tics, chain smoking), fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disorder/sleep disturbance, and similar disorders in patients who present with classic prurigo nodularis. There are sometimes rare primary skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, skin infections, blistering problems, etc. that the dermatologist has to think about before confirming prurigo nodularis. Sometimes a biopsy is needed as well. Usually it is a visual diagnosis.

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Response by:

Pranav   Sheth, MD Pranav Sheth, MD
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati