- Pruritus is a common dermatological condition and negatively impacts QOL. Persistent pruritus and excessive scratching behavior can lead to the itch–scratch cycle that exacerbates inflammatory skin diseases. Conventional antipruritic drugs, such as antihistamines, corticosteroids, or anticonvulsants, are sometimes insufficient. Recently, however, molecularly targeted drugs, such as IL-31 or IL-4 receptor–targeting antibodies, have become available or are under clinical trials, dramatically changing the clinical situation.
- This review focuses on recent advances in understanding the mechanisms involved in itch signaling in the skin and how these new findings fit into the wider picture of the expression of itch mediators and their receptors in the dermal layer. Because at present studies mostly concentrate on single cellular compartments (e.g., neural alone), we suggest that they may miss important interactions with other compartments. Therefore, to fully appreciate pruritus, we propose that studies should consider (e.g., using transcriptomic information) signal transmission within the entire neuro‒immune‒stromal triad.