Prurigo Nodules - Western SummaryWestern Medicine Summary

Western Medicine

Western Summary

Prurigo nodules are thicked areas of skin that form as a response to repeated itching, rubbing, and scratching. 


A prurigo nodule is a firm bump on the skin that forms in response to repeated injury, most often in the form of scratching, rubbing, or picking.[1] This can appear as a thickened, dark bump, sometimes with an erosion or ulceration on the surface. Prurigo nodularis is a condition in which there are numerous prurigo nodules on the body, often accompanied by intense itching.[1]



Prurigo means itch, and is often the underlying symptom that begins with picking and scratching and eventually leads to this condition. There are many causes to itch that could be responsible. 



  • Steroids: Steroids can reduce the inflammation within the lesion and the itching. 
  • Antihistamines: Reduction of the itching is important and antihistamines can help to break the itch-scratch cycle that can occur throughout the day and especially at night.
  • Injection of steroids: As opposed to topical steroids, injecting a steroid, such as triamcinolone, directly into the lesion allows for it to work more effectively. 
  • Cryotherapy: Prurigo nodules can be treated with liquid nitrogen.[2] 
  • Surgical removal: In some cases, a resistant bump that does not respond to other treatment can be removed by surgical removal by a qualified healthcare professional. 

1.    Fostini AC, Girolomoni G, Tessari G. Prurigo nodularis: an update on etiopathogenesis and therapy. J Dermatolog Treat.2013;24(6):458-462; PMID: 23767411.

2.    Waldinger TP, Wong RC, Taylor WB, et al. Cryotherapy improves prurigo nodularis. Arch Dermatol.1984;120(12):1598-1600; PMID: 6508332.