International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI)
Our mission is to advance itch-related research and education and to promote treatment and clinical efforts to help alleviate this debilitating symptom. Our main goal is to create an active society that will contribute to the study of Itch. IFSI also distributes recent information about pruritus research and developments by newsletters to its members, the international medical community and the public at large through various media. IFSI conducts international meetings every second year (World Congress of Itch, WCI) where researchers present the latest findings in the field. The official Journal of the IFSI is the Itch, an open-access journal. IFSI supports the publication of high quality papers in Itch, which is currently offering waivers of publication fees for submitted articles.
What is IFSI?
The International Society for the Study of Itch (IFSI) is a multidisciplinary international association of clinical practitioners, researchers and scientists dedicated to improving our understanding and treatment of pruritus for the benefit of suffering patients worldwide. The Society is a non-profit professional organization (registered in NC, USA). Membership is open to clinicians, researchers, scientists and other health professionals engaged in the research and treatment of itch.
Chronic itch during the COVID-19 pandemic
Heidelberg (Germany), June 2020 – Chronic itch is a frequent symptom in many skin conditions and can also occur in the setting of chronic kidney failure, cholestatic liver disease or neurological conditions. Itch occurs worldwide. While itch may be most prevalent in infectious skin diseases in many tropical and subtropical countries, chronic diseases frequently often show chronic itch in Western countries. Chronic itch is a very impairing and very burdensome symptom that needs help. Even during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, diagnostics and treatment of patients with chronic itch must not be allowed to take a back seat.
"These patients must not be left alone. They have a right to be treated appropriately. Even in times of a corona pandemic, good drug therapy options are available to those affected", emphasizes Professor Elke Weisshaar, president of IFSI. Patients should consult their dermatologist, who can refer them to an itch expert.
Chronic itch is often difficult to treat, especially because in about 1/3 of the cases the cause remains unclear. Often, different medical disciplines are consulted to find the appropriate treatment for the patient. In addition to drug therapy, patients also receive behavioural tips for dealing with the pruritus as well as – if necessary – psychological support.
The International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI) is a multidisciplinary international association of clinical practitioners, researchers and scientists dedicated to improving our understanding and treatment of itch for the benefit of suffering patients worldwide. The Society is a non-profit charitable organization (501c3 status registered in NC, USA). Membership is open to clinicians, researchers, scientists and other health professionals engaged in the research and treatment of itch.
Prof. Dr. med. Elke Weisshaar
University Hospital Heidelberg
Department of Dermatology