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Topical vegetable oil / itch / pruritis
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:47 am    Post subject: Topical vegetable oil / itch / pruritis Reply with quote

Therapeutic effect of topical gamma-linolenic acid on refractory uremic
Chen YC, Chiu WT, Wu MS
Am J Kidney Dis. 2006 Jul ; 48(1): 69-76

BACKGROUND: Pruritus is a bothersome symptom affecting up to 80% of
dialysis patients. Lymphocyte and cytokine interaction has an important
role in the pathogenesis of uremic pruritus. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
is associated with immune modulation of T lymphocytes and lymphokines.
The aim of this study is to determine whether topical GLA can attenuate
uremic pruritus. METHODS: Seventeen dialysis patients with refractory
uremic pruritus who passed the screening criteria entered a
prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover
study. They stopped all antipruritic therapy at least 2 weeks before
the study and were randomly assigned to treatment with either GLA 2.2%
cream or placebo-based cream applied to the entire body after taking a
bath once a day and to pruritic sites 3 times a day for 2 weeks, and
then the reverse treatment after a 2-week washout period. Severity of
pruritus was evaluated by using a traditional visual analogue scale
(VAS) and a modified questionnaire method (pruritus score [PS]).
Hemogram, aspartate and alanine aminotransferases, bilirubin, albumin,
blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, calcium, phosphate, and intact
parathyroid hormone were measured. RESULTS: Sixteen patients completed
the study; 1 patient was withdrawn because of an allergic skin
reaction. There were no significant differences between groups except
for sex distribution. Median VAS and PS values between groups did not
differ significantly at baseline. There is a greater antipruritic
effect of GLA based on evaluation with both the VAS and PS. There is
persistence of a residual effect into the second treatment period after
GLA treatment. CONCLUSION: GLA-rich cream is better than placebo-based
cream for alleviating uremic pruritus. It is a useful adjuvant in the
management of refractory uremic pruritus.


Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an essential fatty acid (EFA) in the
omega-6 family that is found primarily in plant-based oils. EFAs are
essential to human health but cannot be made in the body. For this
reason, they must be obtained from food.

Efficacy of gamma-linolenic acid in the treatment of patients with
atopic dermatitis.
Andreassi M, Forleo P, Di Lorio A, Masci S, Abate G, Amerio P
J Int Med Res. 1997 Sep-Oct ; 25(5): 266-74

Of 60 patients with atopic dermatitis (30 males and 30 females, 15-30
years old) 30 were treated with gamma-linolenic acid of (C18:3 n-6) at
a dosage of 274 mg twice a day; the other 30 patients were given
placebo. The patients were treated for 12 weeks, during which their
symptoms were assessed on a linear scale both by a dermatologist and by
themselves every 4 weeks. The patients who received gamma-linolenic
acid, showed gradual improvements in pruritus, erythema, vesiculation
and oozing, which were statistically significant compared with the
control group (P < 0.001). Only one patient had presented with scaling
at the beginning of the study and this symptom appeared to be less
influenced by the effects of gamma-linolenic acid. The assessments of
symptoms made by the dermatologist were generally consistent with those
made by the patients themselves. gamma-linolenic acid was found to be
effective and without side-effects for the treatment of atopic

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