by Amy Scholten, MPH
Prurigo nodularis is a condition where very itchy bumps form on the skin. Scratching causes the skin to open. Treatment may help ease symptoms.
The exact cause of prurigo nodularis is not clear. The bumps are more likely form where skin has been scratched or irritated. Nerve problems may play a role.
Prurigo nodularis is most common in adults between 20 to 60 years old. Things that may raise the risk are:
Symptoms of prurigo nodularis are skin lumps that:
Itching may come and go or be constant. Scratching makes symptoms worse. Over time, there may also be some scarring.
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. The diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and a skin exam.
Tests may be done to check for other conditions. They may include:
It may take some time to find the right treatment. The goal is to ease itching and prevent scratching.
Prurigo nodularis may be treated with:
If these treatments do not work, other options may be tried such as:
The condition can be stressful. Counseling may help.
There are no guidelines to prevent this condition. It may help to not scratch skin conditions and bug bites.
American Academy of Dermatology
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Dermatology Association
The Eczema Society of Canada
Prurigo nodularis. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aocd.org/page/prurigonodularis. Accessed August 4, 2021.
Pruritis (Generalized). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/pruritus-generalized. Accessed August 4, 2021.
Williams KA, Huang AH, et al. Prurigo nodularis: Pathogenesis and management. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020;83(6):1567-1575.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Dan Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 8/4/2021