Notalgia Paresthetica

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R20.2 – Paresthesia of skin

277802001 – Notalgia paresthetica


Notalgia paresthetica is the term for a condition of the skin of the upper back where the skin is extremely pruritic in a localized area just below or medial to the scapula. Notalgia paresthetica is felt to be secondary to spinal nerve impingement, causing the persistent itch. Pain, paresthesias, and hyperesthesias may coincide with itch. Hyperpigmented or lichenified skin changes, if present, are due to chronic rubbing and scratching of the affected area.

Notalgia paresthetica can affect people of any age, any race, and either sex. However, it is thought to be most common in middle-aged to older adults. Women seem to develop notalgia paresthetica more frequently than men.

Though the etiology of notalgia paresthetica is not entirely certain, some studies have demonstrated, radiographically, vertebral spine disease correlating to the level of the nerve root affecting the pruritic skin,typically T2-T6.

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