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.

1.
Heyer GR, Hornstein OP: Recent studies of cutaneous nociception in atopic and non-atopic subjects. J Dermatol 1999;26:77–86.
2.
Tuckett RP: Neurophysiology and neuroanatomy of pruritus; in Bernhard JD (ed): Itch Mechanisms and Management of Pruritus. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1994, pp 1–22.
3.
Lerner EA: Chemical mediators of itching; in Bernhard JD (ed): Itch Mechanisms and Management of Pruritus. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1994, pp 23–35.
4.
Hahn GS: Strontium is a potent and selective inhibitor of sensory irritation. Dermatol Surg 1999;25:689–694.
5.
Zhai H, Hannon W, Hahn GS, Pelosi A, Harper RA, Maibach HI: Strontium nitrate suppresses chemically induced sensory irritation in humans. Contact Dermatitis 2000;42:98–100.
6.
Spilker B: Clinical evaluation of topical antipruritics and antihistamines; in Maibach HI, Lowe NJ (eds): Models in Dermatology. Basel, Karger, 1987, pp 55–61.
7.
Yosipovitch G, Szolar C, Hui XY, Maibach HI: Effect of topically applied menthol on thermal, pain and itch sensations and biophysical properties of the skin. Arch Dermatol Res 1996;288:245–248.
8.
Yosipovitch G, Maibach HI: Effects of topical pramoxine on experimentally induced itch in man. J Am Acad Dermatol 1997;37:278–280.
9.
Yosipovitch G, Szolar C, Hui XY, Maibach HI: High-potency topical corticosteroid rapidly decreases histamine-induced itch but not thermal sensation and pain in human beings. J Am Acad Dermatol 1996;35:118–120.
10.
Yosipovitch G, Ademola J, Lui P, Amin S, Maibach HI: Topically applied aspirin rapidly decreases histamine-induced itch. Acta Derm Venereol 1997;77:46–48.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.