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Knismos grece pruritus.


Knismos (is the Greek word for) itch.


Knismos is a transliteration for κνισμός, which is also sometimes written κνησμός. Itch, or pruritus in current medical terminology, is one of the most common symptoms of the skin throughout history. In antiquity, it was described frequently in the context of skin affectations and other diseases, only some of which can be related to clinical entities known today. In the mindset of humoral pathology, pruritus was thought to arise from an imbalance of the humours, thereby providing a diagnostic and prognostic criterion. Remedies were also deduced from this pathogenetic theory. Today, many conditions are known which may cause itch, but its pathogenesis is still not fully understood. A wide variety of symptomatic treatments has been developed throughout the centuries. For a brief overview of the medical history of itch, see Weisshaar et al. (2009).




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