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March 2001

Solar Pruritus: A Symptom, Not a Diagnosis

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Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(3):372. doi:

It was with great interest that I read the article by Sassmannshausen and Lim1 on solar pruritus, which the authors felt perhaps explained the brachioradial pruritus previously described by Walcyk and Elpern.2 However, on this occasion1 itching developed on all the exposed skin within a few minutes of light exposure and resolved within an hour of avoiding light. The condition was also induced by visible light, was shown on biopsy specimens to be associated with mast cell degranulation, and was fully controlled by antihistamines. This is therefore absolutely typical of solar urticaria except for a lack of wealing, and the disorder in the patient described1 should surely be considered almost certainly a mild variant of the condition.

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