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itchy arms
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itchy arms

I just wanted to say how much I understand what you are all going through.  I have been to every doctor possible. I went to another dermatologist on Monday and he diagnosed me with BRP, Brachialradial Puritis.  There is no real scientific explanation to this yet.  He told me to stay out of the sun and I live in AZ. Mine definietely gets exasberated when I am in heat or sunlight. But, strange that it happens for all of us from around August to November. It is nerve related. So, now I am on Emla (mixture of Lidocaine/prilocaine) and it numbs the area so I can sleep.  I know this isn't the best solution but I NEED some sleep. I am also going to a Spinal Correction Center, esssentially a Chiropractor. I have never been to one and not so sure about it. But, I have been adjusted once and I slept that night. I saw my X-Rays and my neck needs some realignment for sure.  Anyways, I hope this helps someone out there. Look up BRP.


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Hello,

BRP(brachioradial pruritis) is a rare disease, usually restricted to the forearms and is most prevalent in individuals between the ages of 39 and 72 years. BRP usually develops bilaterally and involves the area overlying the brachioradial muscle, although it can spread to the back or chest.3 Patients with BRP report having an itching sensation, usually combined with a burning or painful sensation.

Causes of BRP include exposure to UV rays in susceptible individuals,neuropathy associated with cervical spine degeneration, spondylosis, foraminal narrowing, lowering of disc space, cervical ribs, and peripheral nerve lesions (e.g. radiculopathy or polyneuropathy). Moreover, spinal tumors and hemangiomas have been reported to be associated with BRP.
http://www.nature.com/ncpneuro/journal/v4/n6/full/ncpneuro0807.html
Treatment includes topical local anesthetics, capsaicin cream, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, lamotrigine, NSAIDs and gabapentin.But the main treatment lies in treatment of the cause.Pls discuss with your doctor and get yourself evaluated for the exact cause as treatment will depend on the cause.

Take care and regards.

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I am still Battling my skin problems,the "Hives' and reading others stories which does help me,I think it can go on for years,the strange thing is it has changed somewhat and I am also getting small red spots aswell, also the big flare ups of large spots ,white with a red exterior, I researched and came up as Chronic Urticaria.I have had no help going to any Doctors here,  and after the anti Histimine Hydroxyzine made me have bad stomach ache akin to Gall Bladder Attack.They wanted me to take prednisone ,I said No to that, but they gave me a steroid cream that I have used sparingly.So I am going the Natural Route and asking others how they cope,and what they do.Is there a group just for Hive Sufferers??
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thank you karen.  i have been suffering terribly with what i now understand to be this BRP.

i have already been using ice to numb it out of desperation.  i am hoping the symptoms will be intermittent as this is the first episode that began about three months ago.

i am hoping to get heath insurance soon, and at that time i will have my cervical nerves checked out and stuff.  my arms are a scabbie mess.  it looks awful!



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I am having the same itchy arms nightmare as everyone else on this post. I am a 29 year old male on Florida's gulfcoast. It started in early July I would say and my arms and scalp have been on fire for two months straight. I thought it was from a highly chlorinated swimming pool for about a week and then it never stopped. I have litterally scratched my skin off of the back of my head and top of my right arm below the elbow. I have no known allergies and would consider myself in superb health. What is causing this?????? It is so very disheartening to hear all of these people going through this and there is no real cure. From what I have read (about 30 posts) it seems to be all people living along the east side of the USA. Maybe I haven't read enough yet, but that is wierd that it's along the same coast?
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Every summer for the last few years I’ve had itching on both of my arms, one at a time.  This is the only place on my body that itches.  It is usually a spot near my elbow or wrist, but can be on my forearm or the area between my shoulder and elbow.  It usually happens in the night, or evening, occasionally it happens in the afternoon.  There is no real pattern.
It starts with a strange sensation, then it gets warm, and then itches, and if I touch it, it explodes into a relentless deep itch.  My only relief is ice, or an icy hot patch when it is mild.

I’ve had physicians watch it as it would start to happen.  For a while it would occur at about 3am every night.  (I worked swing shift.)  On those nights it would start with a strange sensation on my arm.  Then the area would turn red as the small area would get hotter and hotter.  The tingling sensation would start, and then the little itch would grow into an intolerable, relentless itch.  If I did scratch it, the area would grow quickly, usually just a few inches in total, but it would feel deep.  While the malady occurs, my blood pressure sky rockets.  

What makes it worse is if I put water on it, or fan to cool the area, or the a/c vent in my car, the moving air feels like fiberglass being rubbed into my arm.  No creams help.
  
When the itch is at its worse the joints in my wrist and elbow closest to the itch swell and hurt as if I had arthritis.  This part doesn’t always occur.  When I use ice to relieve the itch this swelling also goes away.  However, I have an overwhelming sense of irritability in my whole body when it is extremely bad.  

The suggestions from the various physicians that I have seen with have not helped.  I stopped caffeine, this didn’t help at all.  I have tried super cold showers, the sensation of the running water hurts my arm, and the shower doesn’t relieve the pain like an ice pack.

I live in Arizona where it is hot and dry.  This only affects me during the summer months.  Every summer I go to San Diego for a week, as soon as I get to California I notice when the itch occurs it is very mild, and goes away completely after I’ve spent time in the ocean.  I will have total relief for a few weeks after my trip.  I drink lots of caffeine and get lots of sun while I’m there…these are not the cause.

I have four sisters with the same problem.  None of us knew the others had it, until I was over and it started and made myself an ice pack.  Then this mysterious itch was described by all of my sisters, exactly the same.  The only relief is ice and sometimes Benadryl, but antihistamines make us all tired.  Our Mother also has the same problem.  It started at different ages for all of us, but somewhere between 25 and 35.

This is not a superficial itch, it feels as though it is coming from deep inside the tissue.  I’ve had a nerve check while it was occurring, and my nerves are not the cause.  The only unusual occurrence of note is mosquito bites.  This may be a simple coincidence, but it all starts shortly after I get my first mosquito bite of the summer.  About two years before this all started, I had been out at the lake and at dusk while packing to head home, I was bit by over 200 mosquitoes.  Over the period of a week I grew sick and weak and the mosquito bites took days to fully emerge as bumps that oozed.  My joints swelled and I itched intensely.  I had what my general practitioner called a “severe allergic reaction”.

When it is mild I can get away with using an icy hot patch.  It takes a few minutes for it to take affect and during that time I want to scream, or rip my skin off.  I travel with ziplock bags because I know I can get a cup of ice at any convenience store, and sometimes I travel with an ice pack, just in case.  
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This is my 4th or 5th year with this, starting in the late summer, and I live in Kansas.
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I had itchy arms that kept me awake no matter what I tried for three years.  I slept on average three to four hours a night.  I went to an acupunturist for help with what she believed was an allergic reaction, but had little relief, so when a naturopath I consulted suggested allergies, I was skeptical...but desperate.  She used a blood test, found numerous food allergies, gave me Quercitin and digestive enzymes and something to repair the gut lining.  Approximately a year later, I was free of symptoms and remain so a year after that.  I thought the scars--from scratching and the bumps--would remain, but it's as if it never happened.  I know the agony of this crazy, strange condition, so wanted to share my experience.  Blessings to all.
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Thanks for the information on your itchy arms experience.  I am going to an allergy doctor on Oct. 2nd.  I will show him your report.  Sometimes food will trigger my itchy arms and sometimes being in the sun and the pool.  The sensation feels like it is coming from internally and no matter how much I scratch, I cannot get relief.  I have had this problem on and off for a few years......since we moved to this area of Florida.  However, this year, since June, it is unbearable.
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I saw my dermatolgist after having all these symptoms.  Immediately said it was Brachioradial puritis.  Not very good news- no real treatment except to keep moisturized.  She recommended Sarna- an over the counter moisturizer with menthol and camphor- it works for a while- but I still need ice.  I tried the chiropractor too- but gave up.  I think I will go back.  It is so frustrating that in 2008 there is no treatment.  I feel like I am going crazy sometimes because mine happens right when I am going to sleep.  On top of this- I am now pregnant and am worried about it getting worse!!  It is good to hear others if only to validate.  
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I have been going to dermatologists for years for my itchy arms and was put on every type of antihistamine possible.  All I did was sleep and nothing helped.  I was told that it must be in my head etc.  The itch was under the skin and driving me crazy.  Finally a young dermatologist took one look, took my history and diagnosed Brachioradial Pruitis.  It had a name......She started me on Gabapentin (neurontin) which was like a miracle drug for a while but then stopped working unless the dose was excessive.  I did alot of research on this BRP and found out that the old drug Thalidamide was like a miracle and actually could stop this disease in its tracks.  Yes, I remember the drug and there are doctors that can prescribe it after much testing etc.  I was approved for it after much testing etc.  When it finally got to the drugstore and waited for me to pick it up, the amount for a month was $6000.00.........WHAT????  I have insurance and could not get this drug.  There are many drugs out there that pregnant women cannot take.  This was the first.  It used to be given out for morning sickness in samples in doctors offices.  Now when there is a real use for it primarily BRP and Leprosy, no one can get it.  I think something should be done about this.    I am now on Lyrica but the side effects are terrible for me.  Sorry that this was so long but I have been suffering from this for over ten years and it is only getting worse.  And yes, I have cervical damage for car accidents.  
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I started to notice this this summer, and it started a couple weeks ago.  I am 26 and live in MN.  For whatever reason it starts in the afternoon around 3:00pm.  I have been taken Clariton (Lorataine 10mg) and it really helps, at least until it wears off (24 hours).  A co-worker says its Ragweed season, so maybe this is a a cause.  It isn't bad enough to see a dermatologist yet, and so far the Loratadine is working, so maybe people can give that a try.
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the only cure for this i have found is a bag of ice/ice pack/rub arm with ice,rather than even itchin it at all.i completely numb it with a gallon bag of ice until i cant feel it no more and if need be i do it again.i feel it is from sun exposure and not much is known about it because the sun has only become more dangerous in the last ten years so this would of not occured before.This is why i beleve it occurs on the top side of the forearms because this is the area where our skin is exposed the most.***** there is not more information or a better cure but i have not lost any sleep with the numbing with ice technique, i hope this helps someone through those itchy nights.....
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I'm curious if you are a water skiier or wakeboarder?? I too have the same itchy/tingly arms beginning in Aug. every year for a few months. The consistant similarities seem to be, summer months, sun, and possible spinal denervation. I have had x-rays of my spine and in fact have a number of pinched nerves in the c-5, c-6 area. I'm wondering if they don't get inflammed in the summer months because of the wakeboarding, and diving, and summer sports I enjoy. Would you say that is true of you and your 4 sisters with the same symptoms??
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Hi my deepest sympathy to you all from a fellow sufferer in the UK.  My GP didnt make a lot of my complaint last time I went.  But god Im so tired after yet another night of going crazy with the tiny pin ***** under the skin that escalates into a full blown hot burning prickling sensation from my wrist to my elbow.  I am thankful my husband found this site for me.

I dont have exposure to sun as its not that clever the weather in the UK.  I dont drink alcohol.  I do have some allergies to fish, penicillan and metal touching my skin,perhaps there are more I dont know about.  I also am menopausal could it be that?

I am grateful to be able to read what you are trying and what works for you before tackling the doctors again.  The funny thing is I am a medical secretary at a local hospital and we dont have an allergist there.  I work for a gastroenterologist not much use that then.

regards to you all and nice to meet you.  Mistyang
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I have no known allergies and in n.e. Scvotland there is no sun just now but i have become a victim of this awful itch.  I too numb it inot submission with ice but reading this forum will try Benadryl to see how that helps. My itch always comes on when i am just about to sleep.  Have booked an appointment with my doc to see what he says but from the forum i don't hold out much hope of getting any help.  will definately mention the thalidomide possibility.
Floydie
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I'm new to this posting thing and have posted I guess somewhere else.  I am also a suffer from this skin whtever you call it.  I live in Ga.  and yes it is also from July or August until December.  I too have been to doctors, chiropractors, etc.  Freezing it does help, so does peppermint oil and lavendar oil.  However WE ALL NEED A CURE not a bandaid!!!  Hopefully others that have gotten help will now tune in like I just did.
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This is my first year of the itch.  Started in early August and still going strong.  Only occurs at night right before I fall asleep.  It is on my shoulders down to my elbows.  Usually one arm and then a few weeks later it switches arms.  It is prickly and a burning sensation.  The ice works but I rub Lotrimin or Gold Baum foot itch spray on the area.  It definitely relieves the itch and when I combine it with Aleeve I get some relief.  It rarely starts before bedtime.  I live in CT.  
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One thing to do to find out if your doc could have been wrong and said BRP to quickly simply because it is usually restricted to the forearms as well maybe they should do it that way, is to go to google images and type it in. Look at the pictures and see it it looks like yours. If not, there is only one other that I know of that may just be there But I won't say as don't want to throw you if he was right. Do this and get back.
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Its after midnight here in New Zealand and my family are all asleep like I too should be but I can't sleep and have had to get up and ice my arm to try and stop my unbearable itching!! mine too is exactly like everyone is describing and seems too be worse at night. It doesn't get overly hot here in NZ but I do seem to have this more so in the summer months I will try some of the suggestions from others and pray that something works. The strange thing is the itching is only on my right arm and can be anywhere from my forearm to my shoulder. As soon as I even lightly brush the area it gets insanely itchy, prickly and hot and I end up scratching off some off my skin. The itchy prickly feeling is deep in my skin and is so distressing sometimes I feel like I'm going to go insane!
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I was suffering just like you for years. From about age 42 to 47. Since November 2009 I have been taking Milk Thistle every day and I only occasionally itch. No more scabby arms!! No more wishing I could just sandpaper the skin off my arms and be done with it!!

I came across the idea for Milk Thistle in my reading that associated nerve itching with liver function. However I don't care how or why it works, just that Praise the Lord I hardly ever think about itchy arms and it used to be such a constant stress.

I take Milk Thistle extract, 200 mg each tab, 2 tabs a day. It says it is standardized to have 160 mg of Silymarin.

Here is wishing you healing and rest.
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I'm chiming in as someone who's had the same condition, for the last two years at least. It's August, and I'm itching. It's always in the exact same place, a few inches above my left wrist and there are usually 3 or 4 spots that get really itchy.

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I am SOOOO happy to see I am not losing my mind.  For 8 years I thought I was. You all understand.  It actually inhibits me from doing things during these months that I want to do because I am so preoccupied with the itching sensation under my skin in my arms; like worms crawling around under there. I just read your posts and ran to the store.  Got Capsacin, Tiger balm, Zeasorb and Milk Thistle. I am desperate!! Let you know the results....
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Hi,
I suffer from itchy arms too.  It started 5 years ago when I was pregnant and was unbearable.  The only thing that helped was benadryl and to ice it down or wrap it tight in cold washcloths.  I feel like a freak when these episodes occur.  I have been using benadryl to fall asleep at night but it leaves me groggy in the morning.  At least it helps the itching though.  It was fine for a while but just recently got worse.  Anyways ~ we are not alone, which is good to know.......could it be stress?  I'm under a lot of stress and am wondering if the stress & hormones trigger it?  
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8-2010    I too have itchy arms from mid August til therll first frost.  this has been going on for about ten years. I truly
believe that it has something to do with rag weed and or mold.  I take a RX allergy pill every day in the AM but it wears off late afternoon.  Long sleeves definitely helps. I take Benedry  Keep the arms covered
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Me too, hardly slept last night, I have noticed a pattern of interest in my research, I live in a rural area and this itching/rash/hives also dermographism  does happen mostly in August onwards  I have a large garden /land with cactus and all kinds of desert vegetation, i googled them , the cactus, and they are actually very  toxic, I get it mostly on my arms, and neck area , it has been horribly hot here this August well over 100 degrees every day ,we have a respite today,its abou 90   .so check out if it could be any plants/cactus/ all kinds of plants especially around California ..today I ran out for benydryl to take in capsule form , I already have the cream, which does not help me ...reading up on ideas.. this all started for me after a trauma at a dentist office over 2 years ago ...
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Glad to find you all.  Itcy bloody scarred arms off and on for years.  Sun worshipper when young still outdoors daily to garden.  Serritonin drug when started about 10 years ago.  Has flared up again, as I went back on (Prozac) to quit smoking a few years ago. Lower back pain, recent pain in hands, joints. Sun and heat aggrivate condition.  Starts up almost always as night.  Dont drink, or, smoke anymore!   Will come off Prozac and try some of the many suggestions you have all provided.  
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OMG!  It is so refreshing to know I am not the only one with this strange itching attacks on my arms.  Ice seems to be the only thing that alleviates the pain.  I freeze up the ice packs that go around a bottle of wine for comfort.  I went to a Chinese Herbalist Doctor and he said my lung channels were weak that is why I am itching on my arms.  Your lung channels run down both of your arms.  He just gave me some tea and did a cupping process on me.  I still have episodes and yes it started around August.  This type of itching has never happened to me before.  I will be 41 the 1st of October.  I have been under a lot of stress lately and thought maybe that was why but after reading  all these posts it sounds like a form of allergen.  I took the advice of some posts and went to store and bought Milk Thistle; gold baum cream and claritin.  It seems to have subsided for the moment but I guess I will find out tonight.  good luck everyone.....I know it's frustrating and makes you just plain irritable.  I have laid in bed at night just scratching and crying and begging for it to please stop.
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I may have a little more information on the itchy arm phenomena!  It is definitely a nerve problem; which is a mild form of Fibromyalgia. When the connective tissue around your cells has weakened.  My acupuncturist told me to take Knox Gelatin everyday and this will strengthen the connective tissue.  I put the Knox Gelatin in a cup of Pulpy Orange juice.  This way the texture of the gelatin is kind of masked by the Pulp; easier to swallow.  Also Vitamin C in the form of Orange Juice and Apple juice is good for the connective tissue. The heat brings on the symptoms hence the reason it starts in July and ends usually around December.  Well I hope this information is somewhat helpful to you.  Good luck
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I suffer with this same itching and finally a dermatologist has it right BRP. Creams make it worse and ice reliefs it 100 percent. I am thinking I should go to a chiropractor as some have since it effects the spinal  cord and I have lots of low back pain. I just want to know if it is related to any type of cancer as I had breast cancer and this came after that. Any ideas?
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Know it's an old thread but I have the itching arms, too. Itching is a mild way to put it, it's deep tissue, painful itching and wakes me up. Ice packs can't numb it, nothing stops it. Dermatologist was zero help. No rash, nothing visible, started about 20 years ago out of the blue. Only on back of forearms, in areas that change for each episode and are about 2 or 3 inches across. Can last for hours or minute or days.
FINALLY figured out that when I avoid diet sodas with Nutrasweet, the itching goes away after a couple of days and stays gone until I drink them again for a few days then I have another round.
If anyone has this and drinks diet soda with equal or some form of nutrasweet, stop for a few days and see what happens. Anything is worth a shot to make it stop.
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After an especially miserable night where my arm itched so bad that it kept me up all night, I went to see my doctor, who prescribed a drug to take once a day and Lidocaine patches to see if either would help the itch.  

I tried the Lidocaine patches (brand name Lidoderm) the first night, and to my infinite relief it worked!  Within an hour or so of applying the patch it numbed the skin on my arm and completely quelled the itching.  I did experience a side effect of minor swelling of my throat, but that was nothing compared to the relief I experienced, plus it went away as soon as I took off the patch.

The patches can only be used for 12 hours each day, so I use them when I go to bed so I can sleep.  The itching is worse then anyway.

If you haven't yet found a way to stop the itching, please give the Lidocaine patches a shot.  It won't cure the condition but it will provide relief from the itch.

I'm supposed to give the drug a week to take effect, so I guess its effectiveness is still to be determined.
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So glad to find that others have this same problem..It saves me money. I won't be going to the doctor for the 5th time about my arms.  I am going to try the sarna and the milk thistle.. I hope it works!
I
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Hi this is my 4th year with the itching.  I live in Spain and always started when the heat arrived so I presumed was sun related...also just my right forearm at first between shoulder and elbow but this year left arm has started itching just as bad..and now November and cool so the sun theory has stopped for me.  Always happens when I am in a relaxed mood or when I go to bed and then I cannot stop..Drives me crazy and this year broke my skin as itched that much..Aloe Vera helped and the ice.  Wondered if could be related to my age and hormones as 46, but notice a lot of younger girls on this site..is this mainly female related I wonder?
I am going to try B12 as seems to have worked for a lot of people on here who had lack of iron (which I did) and then they started to itch.  Also I am going to check out a chiropractor as a few comments all point to trapped nerve in the spine specifically aimed at itching in the forearms only, so having yourself checked out and realigned might be the answer to our relentless itching...stressful times also seem to trigger mine..will let you know how I get on...
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Hi, my problem started 3 years ago back in England, not a hot place, I also suffer from lupus so I'm never in the sun, my arms itch day and night, I'm going tomorrow to another Dr, if I find something I will share it with you all
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THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !!!  I read all about this and this is ME !!!   I thought maybe it was mosquitos, but in reading this article and pin pointing my symptoms and the on set. this is it.  I was in my late 30's when i had an accident on a trampoline., My neck hurt for the next few years, went to the Doctor and found that I had a herniated disc between C5 and C6.  Never thought much about it until reading this.  Shortly after the accident I started having chronic itching , mostly when asleep.  It was like I was bitten all over.   It comes and goes. Now Im 50 and I seem to get it on my forarms, mostly on my left arm.  Like fiberglass and when I scratch it goes away for 1 sec and comes back with a vengence.   I would of NEVER put these two together at all.  Thank you !!!
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My itch began in Nov. '08 while I was living in Wisconsin.  The first presentation was a small, intensely itchy spot on the front of my right calf.  The spot grew and then a similar spot began on the front of my left calf.  This too began in a small area but both eventually spread to cover the entire front of each leg from just below the knee to just above the ankle.  And then a similar presentation began across my abdomen and, eventually, both sides of my lower rib cage.  My doctor at the time started me on a course of prednisone, which made me a monster and did absolutely nothing for the itch.  He next sent me to a dermatologist; she took me off the prednisone, took a biopsy off my left leg to test for a liver disorder (negative), and gave me a cortisone shot.  The shot made the itch disappear for about a month and a half.....and then it roared back with a vengeance.  Same beginning as the initial onset: small spot on my right leg which grew, followed by a small spot on my left leg which grew, followed by other areas which included the backs of my thighs, ribs, abdomen, fingers, backs of my hands, and the back of my scalp.  This time, non-pitting edema occured on my lower legs and was often accomapnied by a strong peppery taste in my mouth, burning eyes and nose, and an overall skin crawling sensation.  Two to three 24 hour claratins a day helped a little, the desoxametisone cream my doctor had me try did not.  So I went to an allergist and was tested for all the usual suspects; negative on all counts.  The biggest relief I ever got that winter was to go outside and expose as much of my skin to that frigid Wisconsin air as I could.  

Then I moved back to Virginia.  Out of frustration and lack of any other avenues to pursue, I took a friend's suggestion and went to see a practitioner of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medications.  After my initial interview with Dr. Chang, he asked to see my tongue (the shape of which he drew on my chart).  He put his pencil down, removed his glasses, and said to me, "Your blood is too acidic."  AHA!!! I thought.....Makes sense!  By this time, winter was gone and I was walking around in shorts.....my blazing red calves exposed for all to see.  This was comfortable for the most part as it got plenty of air on my skin....except when I walked through grass.  Walking through grass felt like my legs were covered in fire ants!  Acid, Dr. Chang explained.  Grass is an acidic plant; moisture settles on it during the night and when you walk through it, you disturb that moisture--which brings with it some of the acid from the grass.  I was convinced I was on the right track!  Dr. Chang and I met roughly once every ten days.  He would perform acupuncture on me and while I was "on the bench" he'd mix an herbal formula that, I later found out, changed each time and was designed to cleanse a different organ in my body (liver, kidneys, spleen, intestines, etc.). He also had me eat what essentially a vegan diet (which I stuck to but not religiously). Within a month and a half, I was completely itch free!  For a year and a half.

I never experienced the itch as intensely as I did with those first incidences and the itch seems now to be confined solely to my arms and neck.....which is how a recent return to a dermatologist resulted in a diagnosis of bracchioradial pruritis...and a prescription for gabapentin.  No one wants to even consider my first session with this as being related to what's going on now, but it is the exact same sensation and nothing (not even gabapentin) short of ice provides any lasting relief.  I have seen a chiropractor, hoping that over time repeated adjustments might prove BRP to be the culprit.  Nothing has changed though.  The other night while scratching at my right arm, I realized a couple things that I hadn't before.  The itch I feel has two distinct sensations: a general, intense itchiness that covers an area of skin that varies in full size from a small spot to a large area; and a very specific spot that really feels more like someone is standing next to me with a tiny eyedropper full of acid.  The skin in these areas are affected two ways, as well: areas that are "itchy all over" may look red and irritated, but that skin doesn't break or tear; specific spots that itch end up looking like a crater--literally like something has burned the follicle.  I felt a spot-specific burn the other night and instead of gritting my teeth and growling at it while scratching, I took the time to examine that spot.  What I found was what seemed like a pore that had a colorless scab on it....very small but definitely something with a different texture than the skin around it.  Out of frustration (and curiosity), I pinched that hardened piece of skin to get rid of it.....and the burn....stopped.  If you can figure any of this out......PLEASE TELL ME!!!!!!!!!!!

I have found that LIBERAL applications of Sarna (for sensitive skin) seems to help with the larger itchy areas.  I will have to see if the tiny, pore sized irritations all develop a "scab" or not and whether removing that scab helps every time.  I have a theory, but that's for another time.
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4865981_tn?1360216872
My itch began in Nov. '08 while I was living in Wisconsin.  The first presentation was a small, intensely itchy spot on the front of my right calf.  The spot grew and then a similar spot began on the front of my left calf.  This too began in a small area but both eventually spread to cover the entire front of each leg from just below the knee to just above the ankle.  And then a similar presentation began across my abdomen and, eventually, both sides of my lower rib cage.  My doctor at the time started me on a course of prednisone, which made me a monster and did absolutely nothing for the itch.  He next sent me to a dermatologist; she took me off the prednisone, took a biopsy off my left leg to test for a liver disorder (negative), and gave me a cortisone shot.  The shot made the itch disappear for about a month and a half.....and then it roared back with a vengeance.  Same beginning as the initial onset: small spot on my right leg which grew, followed by a small spot on my left leg which grew, followed by other areas which included the backs of my thighs, ribs, abdomen, fingers, backs of my hands, and the back of my scalp.  This time, non-pitting edema occured on my lower legs and was often accomapnied by a strong peppery taste in my mouth, burning eyes and nose, and an overall skin crawling sensation.  Two to three 24 hour claratins a day helped a little, the desoxametisone cream my doctor had me try did not.  So I went to an allergist and was tested for all the usual suspects; negative on all counts.  The biggest relief I ever got that winter was to go outside and expose as much of my skin to that frigid Wisconsin air as I could.  

Then I moved back to Virginia.  Out of frustration and lack of any other avenues to pursue, I took a friend's suggestion and went to see a practitioner of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medications.  After my initial interview with Dr. Chang, he asked to see my tongue (the shape of which he drew on my chart).  He put his pencil down, removed his glasses, and said to me, "Your blood is too acidic."  AHA!!! I thought.....Makes sense!  By this time, winter was gone and I was walking around in shorts.....my blazing red calves exposed for all to see.  This was comfortable for the most part as it got plenty of air on my skin....except when I walked through grass.  Walking through grass felt like my legs were covered in fire ants!  Acid, Dr. Chang explained.  Grass is an acidic plant; moisture settles on it during the night and when you walk through it, you disturb that moisture--which brings with it some of the acid from the grass.  I was convinced I was on the right track!  Dr. Chang and I met roughly once every ten days.  He would perform acupuncture on me and while I was "on the bench" he'd mix an herbal formula that, I later found out, changed each time and was designed to cleanse a different organ in my body (liver, kidneys, spleen, intestines, etc.). He also had me eat what essentially a vegan diet (which I stuck to but not religiously). Within a month and a half, I was completely itch free!  For a year and a half.

I never experienced the itch as intensely as I did with those first incidences and the itch seems now to be confined solely to my arms and neck.....which is how a recent return to a dermatologist resulted in a diagnosis of bracchioradial pruritis...and a prescription for gabapentin.  No one wants to even consider my first session with this as being related to what's going on now, but it is the exact same sensation and nothing (not even gabapentin) short of ice provides any lasting relief.  I have seen a chiropractor, hoping that over time repeated adjustments might prove BRP to be the culprit.  Nothing has changed though.  The other night while scratching at my right arm, I realized a couple things that I hadn't before.  The itch I feel has two distinct sensations: a general, intense itchiness that covers an area of skin that varies in full size from a small spot to a large area; and a very specific spot that really feels more like someone is standing next to me with a tiny eyedropper full of acid.  The skin in these areas are affected two ways, as well: areas that are "itchy all over" may look red and irritated, but that skin doesn't break or tear; specific spots that itch end up looking like a crater--literally like something has burned the follicle.  I felt a spot-specific burn the other night and instead of gritting my teeth and growling at it while scratching, I took the time to examine that spot.  What I found was what seemed like a pore that had a colorless scab on it....very small but definitely something with a different texture than the skin around it.  Out of frustration (and curiosity), I pinched that hardened piece of skin to get rid of it.....and the burn....stopped.  If you can figure any of this out......PLEASE TELL ME!!!!!!!!!!!

I have found that LIBERAL applications of Sarna (for sensitive skin) seems to help with the larger itchy areas.  I will have to see if the tiny, pore sized irritations all develop a "scab" or not and whether removing that scab helps every time.  I have a theory, but that's for another time.
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4865981_tn?1360216872
I should note that my regular doctor tested my blood pH and it was normal.  Also, Dr. Chang has retired and I can't seem to track him down anywhere....My apologies for the double posting.....not sure what happened there!  :)~
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4865981_tn?1360216872
Hadn't noticed the connection to the east coast, but my itch actually began while I was living in Wisconsin.  I think we can all begin sharing possible commonalities in an attempt at understanding this.  It doesn't seem to matter whether or not a person is physically fit or out of shape, a drinker or abstainer,  and seasonality doesn't seem to be an issue, either.  Caffeine?  Meats laced with growth hormones and antibiotics?  Drinking water laced with fluoride?  Too much sugar?  Not enough salt?  Physical trauma that may have caused nerve damage?  More individual background....
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Avatar_m_tn
I live in London and have been suffering from these itchy arms since last year. Mine is definitely brought on by the sun (doesn't have to be particularly hot - it rarely is here these days) - this weekend we had the first sun in ages and my itchy arms, which were feeling much better, came back with a vengeance. But by the sounds of what everyone else is saying, it's not actually caused by the sun. There's no August connection for me. Mine seems to start as soon as the sun starts to get hotter - but there's no visible rash, and it's confined to my arms (all the way up and down both sides). I do occasionally get a persistent rash on my stomach, but anti-histamines get rid of that, whereas they have no effect on this.

I bought some Aveeno Anti-Itch Concentrated Lotion online (not available in the UK), which seems to help slightly - gets rid of the worst of the itching, although it doesn't relieve it entirely. As everyone says, ice (or in fact anything cold) is the only relief that really works - for me, just resting my arm on a cold pillow at night can help me go back to sleep again when I'm woken up by extreme itching.

I'm definitely going to try the milk thistle suggestion. I've got a horrible feeling that this isn't something that's going to go away, which doesn't bode well for my holiday in Corfu this summer!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same thing.  For about ten+ years now, every August through October the top part of my arms itch severely. I am 45 yr.old woman from California.   It almost feels like tiny bugs are inside me, right below my skin biting me from the inside. When I'm in the car and the sun shines on my arms, it's an AWFUL experience, and that even feels more like burning.   I itch throughout the day sporadically, especially if I am hot, and almost every evening.  I sleep with ice packs and there's blood usually always on my sheets/clothes.  Been to the dermatologist and they have no clue. I am always prescribed a topical ointment which is worthless.  I'm finding thru the internet that numerous people have this same condition but there is no diagnose/cure.  I found some inform. on "brachioradial pruritus" which may be a possibility.  If anyone else out there has experienced similar symptoms and can provide any feedback I would be much appreciative.
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Avatar_f_tn
I also have BRP and I see a couple of small whitish little bumps that are not going away.  I just got five days ago, a cream from a compounded pharmacy with amitriptyline, 5%, Gabapentine, 3%, Ketamine, 10%, Ketoprofen,5% and tetracaine 3% which took care of the symptoms within half hour. I was in misery and have been pain free for five days.  I apply two to three times a day.
I have now slept without the pain waking me up and I feel like myself again. You will need a prescription for this.
EJ in Phoenix AZ
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