Notalgia Paresthetica Review: Update on Presentation, Pathophysiology, and Treatment

Robinson C, Downs E, De la Caridad Gomez Y, Nduaguba C, Woolley P, Varrassi G, Gill J, Simopoulos TT, Viswanath O, Yazdi CA.
Notalgia Paresthetica Review: Update on Presentation, Pathophysiology, and Treatment.
Clinics and Practice. 2023; 13(1):315-325.


Purpose of Review: Notalgia paresthetica (NP) is a chronic cutaneous neuropathy primarily characterized by localized pruritus and associated dysesthesias, including sensations of pain, numbness, and tingling. The sensory neuropathy characteristic of NP is thought to result from spinal nerve entrapment caused by degenerative changes in the spine or musculoskeletal compression. This review summarizes the current medical literature with a focus on the past five years regarding NP, its pathophysiology, presentation, and current treatment options.
Recent Findings: Though treatments exist with varying efficacy, to date, there exists no definitive treatment for NP. Treatment options for NP are varied and range from topical and oral agents to interventional procedures and physical therapy. Of the treatments evaluated, topical capsaicin remains the most efficacious treatment for NP.
Conclusions: The lack of established treatment guidelines makes treating NP complicated as it dramatically affects patients’ quality of life. Further research with larger sample sizes is needed to evaluate better the most effective treatment and dosing regimen for patients afflicted with NP.


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