Background: Previous studies have demonstrated that strontium salts have a potent and broad ability to suppress sensory irritation. Objective: To ascertain the possible antipruritic effects of topical strontium salts, we conducted a double-blind randomized study to evaluate the effect of 20% strontium nitrate on itch magnitude (intensity) and duration. Methods: In 8 human subjects, strontium nitrate was applied to the volar forearm and vehicle control to the contralateral volar forearm for 30 min; both substances were reapplied for an additional 5 min. Itch was then experimentally induced by intradermal injection of histamine. Itch magnitude was rated each minute for the first 20 min using a visual analogue scale (VAS). Itch duration in minutes was also recorded. Results: Strontium nitrate, in comparison to its vehicle control, significantly shortened itch duration from 28.1 ± 5.4 min (mean ± SEM) to 18.5 ± 4.2 min (p < 0.01) and reduced itch magnitude at time points 12–20 min and overall (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Strontium nitrate may act as a topical antipruritic agent in reducing histamine-mediated itch.

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