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A multisensory approach to itch

People Involved

Dr Fiona Cowdell

Dr Henning Holle

Dr Henning Holle
Reader in Psychology / Leader of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience group ( )

Project Description

Many skin diseases are accompanied by chronic and sometimes intractable itch. As those suffering from it can testify, chronic itch impairs sleep, quality of life and mood, but treatment options are limited and often have unwanted side effects. From a clinical perspective, it would be ideal if research could identify some simple behavioural techniques that patients can implement to achieve effective itch relief without having to rely on expensive technical equipment or potentially harmful drugs. The research proposed here will identify such behavioural antipruritic techniques, by studying whether itch can be reduced through targeted cross-modal stimulation. In four sub-projects, we will clarify (i) whether itch can be reduced by manipulating the sound of scratching or rubbing, (ii) whether it itches less when looking at a body part, (iii) whether it itches less when a body part feels disembodied, and (iv) whether changes in skin temperature can reduce itch. Results will be disseminated via publication in international peer-reviewed journals, but also using existing contacts with local health professionals, patient groups and skin health charities.

Type of Project Project
Status Project Complete
Funder(s) British Skin Foundation
Value £81,000.00
Project Dates Sep 1, 2015 - Aug 31, 2018

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