Pruritus can be a significant problem for a patient following a major burn. Post-burn pruritus affects a significant percentage of burn survivors.

The pruritus can start soon after the burn and last for years. The frequency and intensity tend to decline over time.


Parnell et al separate early (<= 6 months) from late (> 6 months) periods. A duration > 2 years might be termed prolonged.


Qualities of post-burn pruritus:

(1) itch

(2) crawling sensation

(3) burning

(4) stinging

(5) tickling

(6) stabbing

(7) pinching


The pruritus may affect:

(1) areas with scar formation

(2) area burned

(3) donor sites


The frequency can range from intermittent to continuous.


The intensity may range from mild to unbearable.


The pruritus can:

(1) interfere with the quality of life

(2) interfere with sleep

(3) make it difficult for the patient to sit still

(4) interfere with activities

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