Prurigo simplex acuta – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Prurigo simplex acuta

The skin, as a very complex and, under certain conditions, extremely sensitive organ, can become ill even in children, resulting in what is known as prurigo simplex acuta . Prurigo simplex acuta occurs predominantly in children from the age of 2 to 10 years.

What is acute prurigo simplex?

Prurigo simplex acuta is a skin disease that has very different causes. In contrast to other skin diseases , prurigo simplex acuta does not cause any general symptoms.

The prurigo simplex acuta runs in phases, during which both the complexion and the condition of the affected children deteriorate. In medicine, prurigo simplex acuta is also classified under the synonym Strophulus infantum and is primarily based on an exanthema .


The determination of the cause of prurigo simplex acuta has not progressed too far, so that the actual triggers for prurigo simplex acuta have not yet been clearly clarified.It is assumed in connection with the development of prurigo simplex acuta that external factors are responsible. In the case of the skin disease Prurigo simplex acuta, these are based on flower pollen or dust particles or are possible as a defense reaction of the body against insect bites.

In this regard, a so-called atypical disposition of the sick child is present in prurigo simplex acute. Not only children, but also adults who already suffer from an asthmatic or eczematous disease often have a tendency to prurigo simplex acute.

Other possible causes of prurigo simplex acute are psychological overload, various metabolic diseases, chronic lymphatic leukemia , Hodgkin’s disease or other previous illnesses. Pregnant women can also be affected by prurigo simplex acuta.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Prurigo simplex acuta is a form of prurigo that only affects children, usually from the age of two to years. It is characterized by the sudden formation of papules on the skin, which causes unbearable itching . General symptoms are not observed. The skin changes usually appear in summer and autumn and usually heal within a few days or weeks without scarring .

However, recurrences can often occur. Allergic reactions associated with parasite infestation, skin infections or digestive disorders are suspected to be the cause . Therefore, prurigo simplex acuta can also occur together with intestinal problems.

The papules develop particularly on the sides of the trunk and extensor extremities. The extreme itching causes children to scratch open the papules. Bleeding is everywhere. However, this will stop the extreme itching. The actual disease is harmless and heals on its own. But due to scratching of the skin lesions, secondary infections with staphylococci can occur.

This results in numerous pustules that are covered with yellow bark. Despite this, there is no tendency to form eczema in prurigo simplex acuta . The skin changes heal without leaving any traces or scarring. But there is always the danger of another attack. However, the older the children get, the milder the flare-ups are. From the age of eight, the skin eruptions then stop completely.

Diagnosis & History

In the course of prurigo simplex acuta , it is assumed that the symptoms that occur are very similar to an allergy . With prurigo simplex acuta, patients complain of skin irritations, which primarily occur on the upper and lower extremities as well as on the trunk and back.

Typical skin changes in acute prurigo simplex are extensive reddening, papules and either overpigmentation or “discoloration” of the affected areas, as well as an almost unbearable itching. If scratching causes the nodules present in prurigo simplex acuta to open, the itching stops. In acute prurigo simplex, a scab forms on the bloody papules. A consequence of prurigo simplex acuta is a patchy appearance of the skin.


Because of acute prurigo simplex, patients suffer from various skin complaints and diseases. These usually appear in early childhood. It is not uncommon for patients to suffer from bullying and teasing, which can lead to the development of an inferiority complex or reduced self-esteem.The permanent complaints on the skin make those affected feel unwell, and they are often ashamed. As a rule, a prurigo simplex acuta on the skin leads to significant reddening and the formation of papules. A rash can also develop, which is often associated with itching.

Small blisters also appear on the skin. Constant scratching injures the skin, which can also lead to the formation of scars. The quality of life of those affected is significantly reduced and limited by the prurigo simplex acuta. As a rule, treatment can be carried out with the help of medication.

There are no complications. However, in many cases those affected also need psychological treatment. Life expectancy is usually not reduced by prurigo simplex acuta.

When should you go to the doctor?

Acute prurigo simplex should always be examined and treated by a doctor. Otherwise, serious complications can occur that can significantly reduce the quality of life of those affected. Early diagnosis and treatment always have a positive effect on the further course of the disease. The doctor should be consulted if the patient suffers from the formation of papules with severe itching that appear without any particular reason. Indigestion can also occur.

In some cases, the disease can also lead to the formation of pustules. The symptoms of the disease can appear in phases and disappear again on their own. However, even after the symptoms have completely disappeared, a visit to a doctor is very useful. First and foremost, prurigo simplex acuta can be diagnosed and treated by a general practitioner or a pediatrician

Treatment & Therapy

Based on the visual assessment of those affected and their description, an overview diagnosis can initially be made in the case of prurigo simplex acuta . A differential diagnosis should rule out scabies ( scabies ), dermatitis or neurodermatitis .

If the finding of a prurigo simplex acute is clear, a multilateral treatment follows. This is initially based on the therapy of a pre-existing condition that is a possible trigger, which is carried out in combination with psychosomatic support in the case of prurigo simplex acute.

The measures of therapy for prurigo simplex acuta include not only the topical application of ointments and creams with glucocorticoids but also antipruritic drugs against the annoying itching. If these procedures do not achieve any positive effects in acute prurigo simplex, so-called tetracyclines and antimycotics are administered .

In addition, antidepressants (act against depressive episodes) or antihistamines (used for allergies) can be prescribed for the drug treatment of prurigo simplex acuta . Drugs with a neuroleptic effect have also proven effective against prurigo simplex acuta.


Patients who are affected by certain diseases or treatment measures (dialysis) that are the causative triggers for acute prurigo simplex should pay very close attention to the condition of their skin and consult a specialist if they have initial or suspected symptoms of acute prurigo simplex .

Young children should be protected from insect bites to avoid prurigo simplex acuta. If there are signs of hypersensitivity to specific allergenic substances, this should be clarified in order not to unnecessarily expose oneself to the causes of prurigo simplex acuta. Unfortunately, further preventive measures against prurigo simplex acuta are not yet known.


After successful treatment of acute prurigo simplex, good follow-up treatment can be helpful in preventing the skin disease from recurring. The focus should be on existing underlying diseases. In particular, diabetes mellitus, liver and/or hormonal diseases increase the probability of acute prurigo simplex and must therefore be recognized and treated to prevent the disease from breaking out again.

For this purpose, examinations of the liver, sugar and hormone levels in the blood should be carried out by the family doctor, which must be repeated at regular intervals for control purposes if one of the diseases mentioned is present. If the hormone levels are poor, therapy should also be given by an endocrinologist. Depending on the underlying disease, drug therapy may be necessary.

If the liver values ​​are poor, alcohol should be avoided and a liver-healthy diet should be followed. This consists primarily of avoiding products with animal innards such as kidney, liver and black pudding. In the case of diabetes mellitus, a low-sugar diet may be indicated in addition to abstaining from alcohol.

In addition, a particularly meticulous cleaning of the skin areas is recommended after a prurigo simplex acuta. This applies in particular when a bacterial infection of the skin cannot be ruled out as the cause of the skin disease. Daily and thorough showering and regular hand disinfection, especially after using public toilets, are necessary for this.

You can do that yourself

Prurigo simplex acuta is a skin disease with extreme itching. Therefore, scratching the papules brings relief because the itching at the scratched area is immediately relieved. However, this injures the skin and makes the disease worse. Therefore, scratching should be avoided or done in a way that is kind to the skin. This is particularly difficult to do with this disease. Larger skin injuries when scratching are avoidable with short and filed fingernails without sharp edges. Scratch gloves can also help prevent major skin injuries.

The itching can also be relieved by cooling the itchy areas. The main purpose of this is the daily use of the cooling lotions prescribed for this disease. These lotions are part of the normal therapy for prurigo simplex acuta. Moist and cooling compresses are also helpful. Cold showers can also reduce itching. The room temperature should be low. It is also important to wear airy and breathable clothing. This also applies to the bed linen. Sometimes ice and cooling elements placed on the skin also help. However, it is then necessary to protect the skin from frostbite.

Furthermore, the skin should not be washed with hot water. It is also important to avoid skin contact with skin-irritating substances such as solvents, cleaning agents containing alcohol and the use of certain detergents.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.