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Any CURE for brachioradial pruritus? (besides ice as relief)
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Any CURE for brachioradial pruritus? (besides ice as relief)

Thousands of people are suffering with Brachioradial Pruritus, including myself, in my tenth year. It is the most maddening disease and I have learned of no cure. Ice is the ONLY thing to provide relief, and acupuncture has not been effective for me. I have tried all the expensive prescription and steroid creams to no avail. I am losing sleep, and my sanity, b/c it keeps me up all night. I am staying out of the sun, but every year, this persists until December or January. I have read countless articles and blogs about BRP, am sure that is what I have, but have yet to find a cure, and therefore some hope that I don't have to suffer with this every year for the rest of my life. Any new ideas/solutions/cures??? PLEASE?!!!!
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I have just started with this itch on my upper arm and I have scratched my skin so bad it looks horrible!!!!   I keep ice and topical creams on at night and gel/cream during the day but the itch does not stop.  It's much worse at night.  This just started two months ago and I have no idea where it came from or how to stop it. :(

If anyone can help, I'd appreciate it!
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I had a lot of relief with gabapentin.  The neurologist prescribed it to me and I started off with a low dose (100 mg) per day.  The maximum benefit, for me, was when I took 300 mg 4 times per day.  One in the morning, at lunch, around 6 pm, and right before bed.  It took the itching away for a good while (at least 6 months).  I'm not sure if I built a tolerance to the drug but, I've read that the most benefit is experienced at some point and then it tapers off.  I believe that 2400 or so is the maximum dose.  Anyhow, when I started itching again, I continued my search and found an article that gave me my next idea.  Since all of us do have some sort of bulged disc in our cervical spine, I went to a pain managment doctor (an anesthesiologist).  I requested an epidural steroid injection in between the C5 and C6.  First I was sent to get an MRI of the cervical spine.  Once my bulge was confirmed I got an injection.  On about the 2nd day after the injection I had intense itching (this is a normal side effect for pain sufferers so I guess it's the same for itching) but then nothing for 3 weeks....we shall see how long this lasts.  I was told that I could get up to 3 shots per year but that's it.  Another option the doctor suggested was trying some sort of neurostimulation device that can be implanted to block the itch signal to the brain.  There's a 5 day trial period at first.  If it works then you can get it implanted.  This is much more invasive than the injections but the itch is so crazy I think that all of us are willing to do anything to get rid of it.  It is a horrible itch!  Also, since I've been in a few car accidents, my neck is straight (I've lost the natural curvature of the neck), and my trapezius muscle is tensed up.  My shoulders are like bricks.  The pain management doctor is going to give me some trigger point injections to relax the muscle.  Maybe this is an issue that other BRP sufferers have?  I hope this helps.  If anyone has a cure, please let us all know.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I HAVE A SOLUTION (a couple actually)

I suspect I have BRP as I also have SLIGHT bulging & herniated discs from a car accident but all who have seen my MRIs suspect it is not enough to cause this?  (I beg to differ!)   While my BRP does seem to be triggered by explosure to sunlight I never had anything like this before the accident!  

NOTE:  I am NOT a doctor or health care professional.

Last year my doctor prescribed DOXEPIN (generic for SINEQUAN, Doxepin is available via prescription only and is on the discount $4 prescription list at walmart.)  
I take it at bedtime.  It really knocks me out but it starts to stop the itch in about 20 minutes and all into the next day.  The original dose was 100mg but now as I am also on prozac (medication interaction) I am now prescribed 25mg.  works just the same.  apparently each of these drugs amplifies the effect of the other.  While Doxepine is classified as an antidepressant, the anti-itching is a powerful SIDE EFFECT that gets the credit for the relief.  Apparently Doxepin acts as a very, very powerful antihistamine (which explains the drowsiness).

ALSO:  This an alternative regimen I came up with on my own before my doc prescribed the Doxepin:  
1.) clean affected area with rubbing alcohol.
2.) wet a styptic pencil (like for treating shaving cuts) with water and apply liberally to area.
3.) allow to air dry - do not remove residue.
4.) apply benedryl extra-strength itch-stopping gel to area liberally, blot dry after letting soak in for 1 minute. (2% Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride;  available over the counter at walgreens).
6.) apply Lanacaine maximum strength anti-itch cream to area and rub in thoroughly.
(20% benzocaine, available over the counter at walgreens)
7.) I would take anywhere from 50mg - 200mg benedryl orally, 3 to 4 times a day as part of this ant-itch regimen.

SEE YOUR DOCTOR to determine if the above regimen is safe and proper for you, especially the oral benedryl as the dosage is above the recommended amount.  Do NOT do this regimen while taking Doxepine also.

Partial relief should begin within 5 minutes, complete relief when the combined effect of the oral benedryl kicks in (20-30 minutes).  Relief from the itching should last approx 3 to 6 hours.  All the benedryl WILL make you sleepy.

NOTE:  sometimes the lanacaine alone works pretty well but for best results consistently I had to do ALL the steps EXACTLY as I described.  My doc said it was a pretty ingenious regimen I came up with and had nothing bad to say about it.

ALSO I had been prescribed NEURONTIN - but I much prefer the Doxepin.  The Neurontin upset my stomach, had to take it 3 times a day, it took a LONG time (hours) to take effect and was unforgiving if I missed a dose or was  late - had to wait hours all over again for it to kick back in.  The upset stomach really did me in though.

I hope this helps someone else.
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I have had this for over ten years now and it is MISERABLE! Im going crazy. Right now I use a very rough scratch pad for pans. I scrub my arms as fast and as hard as I can while showering. I have also gone to other extreme measures...like a dog brush. It didnt do a very good job. A meat tenderizer, if the blades stayed out it might have been effective. I have thought about sand paper. REALLY! I literally dig my arms bloody. I always have scabs along with many scars. On top of being miserable it is embarrassing. I am thankful for all these comments and remedies. I do have bulging discs in the c5-6 ad c6-7. Smething has to work or I am gonna lose my mind. I cannot take it anymore.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a landscape gardener,I have had this debilitating condition for almost two years , I say almost as the condition appears to improve during the winter months.i am interested to find that this irksome condition has a name other than itchy arm , I believe that exposure to sun and use of heavy hand held machines has been the cause of my nerve damage and has led to the itching.i will visit my chiropractor next week and see if that helps but would be pleased to hear if any homeopathic solutions are available  asi don't like taking prescription meds.love from the UK x paul
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I also have this and just went on gabapentin , it's the only thing that has helped.  I actually jus t slept through the nights 2 nights in a row since I started it two days ago. Hardly any itching,  give it a try
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I also have this and just went on gabapentin , it's the only thing that has helped.  I actually jus t slept through the nights 2 nights in a row since I started it two days ago. Hardly any itching,  give it a try
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I was diagnosed with BRP about 4 weeks ago.  My dermo gave me Doxepin and a topical steroid that gave me a serious allergic reaction.  For weeks, I had hives.  

She decided to take a biopsy.  The biopsy came back that I had features of Lupus.  Then the next step was to take a blood test to make certain that I didn't have Systemic Lupus.  The Systemic Lupus was negative.  Next, another biopsy was taken.  This test is called a Lupus Band Test.  I am positive!  I have Subcutaneous Lupus Erythematosus.  

There are medications that place this auto immune disease in remission.  I start my treatment today!!

My Lupus is sometimes itchy and therefore, I am warning other itchy armed individuals that you may want to have a biopsy and a test ran for this disease.  My dermo was surprised and is now taking this very seriously.  

I will have to have eye exams from a Optometrist once a year to check my retinas for deposits of the medication.  Also, I will have to have a blood test once a year to make sure I do not develop Systemic Lupus.  

I will make sure that I wear sunscreen with Zinc oxide, as well.  

I am a runner and an airline captain, that was not using sunscreen on my arms.  Only my face.  Of course, I used sunscreen when going to the pool or the beach.  Just need to use it always now.  And for my kiddos.  

Well, I hope this helps!  Sincerely, Emily
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had this horrendous itching afflication for 18 years.  It comes, goes and is localized on one or both upper arms.  My doctors have not been help and in the early days subtely suggested it was in my head.  I found a website about 6 years addressing a completely specific diease process, but someone there directed me to try capsaicin (cap-SAY-shun) cream.  It was a MIRACLE!!!  And by year 5, I did not have any itching at all.  Unfortunately, in the past few weeks the itching sensation has come back with a vegenance!  I started using the capsaicin cream again, but it doesn't seem as effective.  I am keeping it up and last night went without the cream.  Ice, cold compresses, and itch creams NEVER worked for me.  I highly recommend any sufferers of this awful condition give this a try!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same intense itching and have done so many things...I have had this for so many years and done so many things also. I
wondered how you were doing?
What have you done lately to help? Please advise
There are so many Dr.s who know nothing about this
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check out environmental allergies..ask for a Heavy Metal toxicity test
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Hi I have had the same problems and I am wondering how you are doing and what has worked?
Thank you
Ellyn

I am on gabapentim right now
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Hi guys
This disorder (disease?) has driven me crazy in the summer months for years. Sun damage is undoubtedly the cause. I've never tried prescription meds. The only thing I've found over the counter that helps is Eurax anti-itch cream (Crotamiton). It works in about 15 mins and repeated application relieves it to tolerable, but you must not scratch while it is working. Give it a try, I hope it works for someone. This can be such a horrible condition!
Rick
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Ive had BRP for about a year and a recent low back spasm put me down for a few days. During this time, I was itching my forearm, neck, legs etc to death. Waking up at night with my forearm on fire. So as I always do I put ice on it then go back to bed. My Dr. had prescribed my Flexerol 10mg for my back spasms. I started taking one pill about 7pm once a day and the itching has
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Ive had BRP for about a year and a recent low back spasm put me down for a few days. During this time, I was itching my forearm, neck, legs etc to death. Waking up at night with my forearm on fire. So as I always do I put ice on it then go back to bed. My Dr. had prescribed my Flexeril 10mg for my back spasms. I started taking one pill each evening at about 7pm once a day. I soon discovered by mistake that Flexeril actually made all my itching completely stop. After about 5 days of taking the meds, I stopped. So far little to no itching,  I have finally been able to get good quality sleep. I told my Doc about this and he said that Flexeril blocks nerve impulses to the brain. Anyhow,  I hate taking drugs but anybody knows that BRP isnt fun and it can affect many things in our lives.
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Ive had BRP for about a year and a recent low back spasm put me down for a few days. During this time, I was itching my forearm, neck, legs etc to death. Waking up at night with my forearm on fire. So as I always do I put ice on it then go back to bed. My Dr. had prescribed my Flexeril 10mg for my back spasms. I started taking one pill each evening at about 7pm once a day. I soon discovered by mistake that Flexeril actually made all my itching completely stop. After about 5 days of taking the meds, I stopped. So far little to no itching,  I have finally been able to get good quality sleep. I told my Doc about this and he said that Flexeril blocks nerve impulses to the brain. Anyhow,  I hate taking drugs but anybody knows that BRP isnt fun and it can affect many things in our lives.
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I have had BRP for about a year. Kept me awake for meny nights. The I accidentally discovered "Moringa seed oil."That is 3 weeks ago. I never had any proplems since then. (unless I forget to put it on.) Remember, it has to be 100% pure oil.
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I was going mad with the itching on my arms.  NOTHING seemed to work.  After a few years of this, I finally made an appointment with my dermatologist.  He took one look, and told me what is was.  Brachioradial Pruritus.  Previously, I had extensive cervical spine surgery.  He explained that many doctors are using gabapentin but he had something else for me to try.

He advised me to go to the drugstore and purchase a cream called Capsasian.  It is generally use to relieve arthritis pain.  It is ordorless, colorless.  Rub on arms 2 - 3 times per day and return after 2 weeks.  WOW!  I don't even have to use it more than once per day.  The idea of it is to block the nerve singals.

I have been using is for a few months now with excellent results.  The only recommendation I have is to either wear rubber gloves when applying or use a cotton ball.  Make sure to wash your hands good.  Should you touch your eyes, lips, or your bodies sensitive areas, it will burn like Bengay.

I strongly recommend this be tried before any thing else.  You might be surprised.
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I have also suffered from intensely itchy arms for 10 years and I was in tears and just today stumbled upon BRP as an answer...finally! I feel like I've hit the jackpot to just even have a name of a syndrome! I also was in a car wreck and have no neck curvature and super sore, tight shoulders which used to burn so badly they would almost go numb (just a year or so after the itching began). Did you ever come up with a connection between the two? I just scheduled a chiro exam today so I'm just starting out on this path. But hoping to find some answers...and some relief...very soon. Thanks for posting!
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I developed this skin rash, itch, burning on upper body AFTER my second
whiplash (car accident)...there is a definite correlation between this skin problem and the cervical nerves which are being impinged.  I was suffering
and on tons of gabapentin until I discovered an orthopedic chiropractor who
uses the cox technique (check internet for practitioners) and a laser on my neck.  Guess what - this problem disappeared after 2- 3 treatments.  
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Hello fellow BRP sufferers.  This whole nonsense has to do with the dermatomes  from C-4, 5 and ennervate on your body.  Google 'dermatomes' and see exactly where your issue begins.   I have experienced all the same nastiness of this syndrome as you.  I thought I had scabies, dermatitis, psoriasis or some other crap,etc., People think you're insane, and I have scratched my self bloody and scabby too. I have scars all over my upper and lower arms.  All the topical stuff in the world for skin does not work, except for what i read about capsacin (sp), as it all has to do with nerve endings from your damaged C-5 and C-6 vertebrae, and impinged nerves.  Ice works becasue it dulls the nerve endings; so did gabapentin -ketoprofin cream you can get from your local compunding pharmacy.  What i found that worked for me, with no more creams, steriod injections, ice, and insane scratching is acupuncture, chiropractic, and if you can stand the heat, Bikram yoga.  My life is soooo much better now.  Gabapentin capsules made me gain 15 pounds, and they have undesirable side effects.  I have had to get off the expressway, and run into the gas station to get ice from the pop machine to rub on my arms, becasue the itching was so intense and relentless.  It is soooo wonderful to be free of this terrible affliction.  Now if I can just keep the arthritis at bay for a few more years!!!  Best of luck to you.
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I have today, based on 2 x biopsies, been diagnosed with brachioradial pruritus after 4 1/2 months of torture (lack of sleep and on fire upper arms).  Have also been advised there is no set treatment, just hit and miss bandaids.  I note that most of you quote damage to your spines with this, I am unaware of any spine damage.  Just to advise, I was given a can of beeswax last night which I have been using and have not had any intense itchiness since then, fingers crossed.
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I've been suffering with this for a couple of years. I don't have it all the time. I am fine for several weeks, then am afflicted for several days. Holding a bag of ice on it for half an hour or so will usually stop it for several hours, but it can be less than convenient, especially at night.

My wife and son get migraines, and I used to, so it suddenly occurred to me that maybe this was my version of a migraine. I've been trying taking Excedrin migraine (actually, generic equivalent), and I'm cautiously optimistic that it's working for me. Last night, it definitely worked. The itch started up and I popped two Excedrin migraines. I just barely contained myself from ripping my arm apart for about 15 minutes, then it stopped. It may be placebo effect, but if it works I don't care.

If anyone else tries this, I'd love to know if it helps them too.
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My dermatologist just read an article in a med magazine and the patient stated he has had relief for four years from ketamine, triptyline 0.5 %, 1% vanicream..it has helped unless I just stay out in the sun for a long period and it took about two weeks to really help a lot but I have been two weeks sleeping without ice so I am hoping that this is the ticket
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Hey there, I am a hobby gardener living in the Caribbean.
I found out from THIS PAGE:
http://www.dermnetnz.org/site-age-specific/brachioradial-pruritus.html
- that Capsaicin (which is the Alkaline extracted from hot chilli peppers) rubbed on the arms and itch locations daily gets rid of the itch completely!!!
Usually available purified within creams bought from pharmacies, this is not available where I live so I took it upon myself to create my own lotion.
I take about 10 red chilli peppers (the hotter the better - haven't tried many different types but assume the Alkaline is the same in all) chop them up and put them in a small sealable container (with seeds etc.) and add some boiling water in hope of extracting the alkaline faster (probably not necessary tho.) - anyway, I rub this into my arms daily and believe it or not - IT WORKS :) Please help spread the message - My Motto: always avoid pharmasuticals at all cost - there's always a natural solution :)
I am now growing tons of chilli peppers in my garden too - of course cause I love to eat them too :) Good luck!!!
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I also developed brp .mine showed up 3 yrs. Ago after I fell and bulged discs jn my lower back. I would rake my upper arms open.i now have scars. This January I hurt my back and herniated 3 discs and its traveled to my forearms.i look as though mosquitoes have eaten me. Ice is the only cure.i take gabapentin for fibromyalgea and its doesn't help.i should wear gloves to bed to stop the scratching.
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I just screen shot the part about running into convenience stores to get ice for my wife to see... It's very hard to be able to explain this kind of itch... so many people just don't get it!  
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My dermatologist just diagnosed me with brp. I had this incredible itching about 10 years ago out of the blue andscratched so badly took layers of skin off my upper arm! It was horrible! It seems to worsen about this time of year. I thought it was environmental or stress but just found out its brp. Does anyone if this is brought on by stress too? Has anyone had any luck with chiropractors? I've is the ONLY relief. My doctor has given me prednisone  and an oral antibiotic ad well as two topical creams. Itching has lessened but not disappeared. I'm tired during the day and can't sleep at night!
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Thanks friends for posting all your tips. I'm grateful to read these and not feel like I'm crazy!
I've tried the capsaicin and the burning was too much for me to handle! Did those of you that had success with it suffer through a period of time getting used to it?
I have been to the dermatologist and allergist and had bloodwork done in all kinds of ways searching for a cause for this but came up empty. I am cautiously optimistic that i may be having some success with pain killers. One web site I visited suggested that it IS a type of pain since it is a nerve thing. So that is what I am trying right now. My next steps are:
Tracking the itching with my cycle to see if it could be hormone related
Scheduling regular weekly chiropractic visits
Trying that lanacaine topical treatment

Hopefully something will work.

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I am a fellow itchy upper arm sufferer or WAS, let's hope.  Itched and itched mostly at night for 9 weeks now.  Was reading the forum blogs about BRP and neck issues.  Decided to revisit my upper cervical chiropractor.  I was "out" meaning the Atlas bone was found not level so he adjusted me using the Sonic method.  Only a few specialist advanced orthogonal chiropractors do this.  Most use other methods that don't work as precisely as sonic.  Your organs are connected to the nerves going into your spinal column from your brain and if your Atlas bone (first one holding your brain) is crooked then the space is pinched for your spinal column nerves and they are affected.  I am hoping that my itch was the result of this pinching since my atlas bone was crooked today before the adjustment.  I had 3 dimensional x rays.  My Atlas, first bone below head, is now level and both my legs are the same length again.  I have had no itching so far and my arms scratched raw in places are relaxed.  I was taking hydroxyzine HCl which helped but made me drowsy and haven't taken any today since last night.  Hope this helps some or a lot of you.  I highly recommend getting to an advanced orthogonal chiropractor who has studied to use the sonic method.  There is one in St. Pete, FL; one or more in or near Atlanta and one I know of in Franklin, TN near Nashville.
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My first experience with BRP and migraines started 6 weeks after I suffered whiplash in an auto accident.  That was 11 years ago.  I have had blood tests, MRI's, allergy testing, massage therapy, ultrasound therapy, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, nerve testing in my neck & arms and taken Neurontin, gabapentin, and  trazedone.  Acupuncture worked for a while as did the drugs.  However, I felt like I was in a mental fog with the drug treatments.  I also have a bulging disc between C5 & C6.  Surgery is an option, but that is my last resort.

The only relief I have found started a year ago when I was treated by a NUCA chiropractor.  After x-rays and measurements, he adjusted my atlas bone.  I had 6 months symptom free; then while lifting down a box I felt that electric shock like I did in my accident and the itching started again.  I went back to my upper cervical chiropractor and my atlas bone was out of alignment.  It is very difficult for me to believe in the results of what he does, but it works for me.  My doctor is in Minnesota.  I will continue to see him for $50/treatment rather than have surgery.  Good luck to you all!
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I just wanted to update that I have had some success with Arnicare gel. It is the first topical treatment that has made me feel better instead if worse. Wanted to pass that on.

Today was my first scheduled weekly chiropractic visit so hopefully those will help too. I am encouraged by the posts that say the adjustments are helping.
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The one thing that gives me relief so I can sleep, is using Lidoderm 5% patches - available by Rx from dermatologist. My BRP is on my neck and once I apply the patches, I fall asleep with an icepack over the patches.  It helps - tried the Capsacin but could not tolerate it.  Will not use gabapentin for fear of side effects - seeing an acupuncturist now.  Tried chirpractic but that too was not helpful - felt great after treatments but no effect on the BRP.  Neurologist had absolutely nothing to say of any assistance - exercise helps but I believe it is just good for me anyway!  It does nothing for the relief of symptoms.  Will keep you posted - THANKS
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Hi - I just discovered this has a name! I am so happy - I have been itching for 14 years, and most people thought it was in my head. My marriage nearly broke up because of it. I assumed it was related to peri-menopause and hormone fluctuation, but that can no longer be the case! Ha ha!
I have worse symptoms after sun exposure, but I also have cervical spine issues. I was wondering if any of the women here had been diagnosed with PUPPS during pregnancy. This is when my itching started, and if I count the years from my first episodes of itching whilst pregnant, I would have to make my total years of itching 25 years. I always wondered about the PUPPS diagnoses because it didn't quite fit, and I always itched only on the arms. But thats why I assumed it was hormonal.
I am excited to try some of the suggestions people have posted here, to see if I can get relief from anything other than ice. And get me to a dermo - now that I know I am not a nut job!
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Yes, I was diagnosed with PUPPS during my last pregnancy but it just didn't make sense. Now that this itching has continued 3 years after that pregnancy, I know it absolutely was not PUPPS.
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I was noodling around and found this post on another site and was wondering if anyone has tried it....KETOSTAT - Is a combination of Baclofen, Neurontin, Flexeril and Lidocaine - it is a compounded cream that a few folks raved about for skin/nerve pain bit no one was talking about it for BRP...Please let us know if you have had success! Thanks!
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I am back to Chiropractor as it does work. I have had this itch for 10 years it presents on back of neck ,both shoulders and arms at different times. Starts up beginning of Sept and usually lasts till January. It seems that once I am out of the sun  in the fall it starts up again. I have found temporary relief with Vicks Vaporub in the past but have just discovered BIOFREEZE which my Chiropractor sells. It is non greasy and works faster !  I live in British Columbia Canada
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a 44 year old woman, living in the UK. Whilst abroad this summer (not sunbathing, but walking in the sun) I developed a maddening itch on my right arm. It was in line with my elbow, on the top of the arm and slightly down the forearm. I thought it was a bite at first, but after a few minutes it felt like no itch I'd felt before. Scratching made it itch like nothing I've felt before, it was almost agony, it burned and felt like sharp pins. I scratched until the skin came off and it bled. After a few hours or so it stopped and didn't occur again until today. Same symptoms, nothing on the skin at all, but all the symptoms that I now am certain are BP. I am glad I've found the other stories on here, from people above, I felt it was something odd like nothing I'd felt before, so did a few searches to see what I could find. I am now worried with the talk on other medical sites of cervical spine damage, diseases of the spine, compression of discs and vertebrae and so on. Should I be? I have no back or neck problems that I am aware of, I am a fit active person, but could there be something going on inside that I am unaware of? I know nobody can really answer these questions, and only medical investigation could reassure, but I am dreading even seeing my GP about something that can't actually 'be seen' and something which she may not believe is actually there. Getting through the system for a proper diagnosis seems like it would be difficult, and actually give very little help. I just don't know if I should try and see a doctor, or not, as I don't want to miss any underlying condition of the spine. Sorry, this is a rather random post. Just putting my thoughts out there really. Thanks for reading.
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I am a Registered Nurse here in the States, and also a 5 year BRP sufferer. I was just diagnosed yesterday, and like many others, I "thought it was all in my head."  The puzzling thing for me was that my brother had developed identical symptoms about 6 years before his death from cancer. It just seemed crazy that I would experience the same thing beginning in the summer he died....
Anyway, there are many ways that the spinal nerves can be compromised without a history of injury--as is my case as well.  

Arthritis of the spine is an ever present, advancing adversary.  As the calcification from arthritis increases into spaces that should allow the nerves to pass freely through the openings in the vertebrae, pressure or pinching of those nerves can occur.  This is a natural and unfortunate process that seems to just go along with aging.  

X-rays, CT scans, ultra-sounds are important for those of us with no history of injury to rule out other things that could be causing pressure.  Not to be an alarmist, but a tumor is one such thing we need to rule out before we begin palliative (treating symptoms, not cause) treatment.

I am now using zinc oxide on my arms as a sun block.  While the sun is not the cause of our problem, it can act as a trigger to the nerves flaring up and causing the itch.  In fact I am doing an experiment to try it on just one arm to be able to compare effect.  Based on what I have just read here, I am going to try capsaicin on the other arm.  I am getting into herbal treatments, and have made and used comfrey salve with beeswax and olive oil, jewelweed salve with beeswax and coconut oil, and poultices of comfrey, jewelweed and plantain.  All give some relief and keep my skin more healthy than it would otherwise be, but all relief is fleeting.  

There is comfort in community.  Misery loves company comes to mind.  I have not before understood the saying as meaning, it is good to talk with others who share the misery.  I always thought it was, if I am miserable I am going to ensure everyone around me is miserable, too!!  Now I get it.  I am glad to have found this community.

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I am so incredibly relieved to find this online community for brachioradial pruritus. I have been suffering from this condition for over a year and was just finally given this diagnosis. I can completely relate to several of the posts:
-It is PURE HELL to live with the itching and burning feeling on my upper arms
-I feel like cutting my arms off as well at times (of course I wouldn't do this, but only people with this condition can understand the desire to go to such extremes to stop the sensation).
-Went to a body work specialist who worked on my disks (c4, c5, c6). Also had chiropractic work and acupuncture. I think it kind of helped short-term, but obviously not a permanent solution.
-I have been on Gabapentin. Started at 100 mg 3x per day, went up to 300 mg 3x per day. I might try 4x per day as on person posted.
-I also had an injection that was supposed to stop the itch for 2-3 weeks (I have to look up what it was). It lasted 5 days then came back with a vengeance.
-My dermatologists just prescribed a topical creme that begins with an "L".... I'll pick up from the pharmacy tomorrow.
-Ice works, but not all the time. Last night I was up practically all night with 2 ice packs on each arm and I still couldn't sleep. I am tossing & turning all night that I finally just get up and sleep in another room as not to disturb my husband.
-I too have been to several doctors and it wasn't until I saw a dermatologist I hadn't seen in 20 years who is very "old school' and recognized it. My primary care Dr. and another dermatology hadn't even heard of brachioradial pruritus. Seems many doctors haven't heard of it.
-I'm wondering if I should see a neurologist next...Any thoughts??
Again, I am SOOOOO happy to have found this message board and find others who can relate to this condition. My husband, daughter, friends and even some Dr's have not idea the amount of discomfort we all suffer.
Good Luck to all of us :o)

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Hi, I am also in uk, and have recently started with same symptoms, and also just found these posts, I have the same concerns as you, worried about missing something underlying, but symptoms seem so silly that it seems to be a waste of dr appointment to go saying I have an itchy upper left arm and shoulder !, have tried antihistamine but double dose didn't work, have topical itch creams that give no relief, which does worry me now that I have found these posts.  Good to find another uk suffer, although the other posts are useful, always a prob to find certain medications etc that are available in other countries, would be interested to hear how you progress.
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I am also from UK and have suffered this for about 4 years now and the only thing I have found helpful is ice cold flannel on the area but I have just found relief with something called cold gel mattress or pillow topper that stays cold all night and doesn't leave the bed wet like ice or wet flannels. I got these off eBay hope it helps.
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Hi, I first had the itchy arm symptoms about 10 years ago, always seemed to be at the end of summer...no obvious reason for it, wanted to rip my skin off on my right arm.  One day I realised that at that time of year I would spend a fair bit of time in the evenings looking for gnats to swat so they didnt bite me at night! (always been really prone to mozzy bites!) And I realised that it is after looking up for any length of time that I get the itches!  If I massage my neck and roll my shoulders enough, the itching will usually go, and has stayed away for a couple of years at a time :-)) what a relief!! I am relly careful not to overstretch my neck now and rarely suffer the itches now.  I tried all sorts of creams in the past and found ice packs to be the only cure until I discovered the neck connection.  Been itching this evening which is why I found this thread, think I've stopped it again for now but my neck is clicking and grinding a lot!! Good luck folks :-)
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I've had BRP for around 2 years, and like many of you, have tried everything I can think of to relieve the itching, including TENS.
As everyone else agrees, ice packs are the only reliable treatment that seems to work consistently.
However, I've come up with a topical med that seems to work very well.
Peppermint Oil.  I cut it one to one with coconut oil, then add some lidocaine, which I find in the form of a 4% over the counter cream.
It warms up and provides a slight sting that masks the itch.  The onset of relief is about 5 minutes, and I can tell the moment it kicks in.  One trick is to re-apply it before the itch returns.  It's easier to keep the itch off than to turn the itch off.
A word of caution on this.  Wash your hands and keep your arms away from your eyes.  Even the vapor from the Peppermint oil wafting into your eyes will make you feel like you've been maced.
The peppermint really seems to do most of the work.  I add the lidocaine in case it does something, but have not gotten relief from lidocaine alone.
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I was acutely looking at sites for coconut oil for my dog’s rash. It sounded like it might work for me too. This site came up during my search and I’m so glad it did. As soon as I read a few posts I knew this was what I had. I’ve been dealing with BRP for four years. Until I read some of the posts I had no idea the horrible itching had to do with my vertebras in my neck. About four years ago I went to a holistic man who cracked my neck, causing me intense pain that I still get from time to time. My massage therapist recommended I get an x-ray a couple of months ago because she was having a problem working on my neck and did not know what she was dealing with. I’m going to get an x-ray tomorrow and see a chiropractor later in the week.  Now that I know what I’m dealing with I’m looking forward to trying some of your suggestions. I live in Mexico in a sub tropical climate. From what I’ve read this climate seems to be really bad for BRP. I’ve written down the names of all the different treatments that were mentioned. I’m not sure if all the treatments are available here, but I finally know what I have and feel hopeful that I can get some relief.  I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories.
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Hi, I am a 59 year old women in the UK who has suffered this unbearable itching on both arms (alternately) for about 10 years.it has worsened with each attack and I have currently had it for about 7 weeks..all day..every day. My doctor told me about 3 years ago that it was Hives,so I have been taking anti histamines,these have gradually helped me less and less..I have only just discovered this site and am amazed to discover that my symptons are BRP and not Hives! I run my arm under the cold water tap until it is 'frozen' and this helps for a while,I am going for ablood test tomorrow as I think my doctor is clutching at straws because he has no idea (beyond Hives) what it is.
I am surprised he diagnosed Hives when I don't have a rash! You would think he would have looked into it further..instead us poor sufferers in desperation have to search the internet for answers. I actually feel elated that others know exactly the torturous nature of this condition..I too can't sleep,scratch myself until I bleed,my skin feels leathery and thick,if you know what I mean.
I am now going to make another appointment with the Doc to show him my findings,I want an MRI scan (regardless of the cost to the surgery)...I need some relief..I can't go on living like this..and don't feel I should have to...
I'll let you know how I get on
Scabbynsore
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Hi im mamajp. Wanted to relieve your mind that buzzing is c what your feeling it feels like a vibration like a fly or bee buzzing undervyou itchy skin
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I have suffered from itching forearms intermittently since working in the mountains of California in 1987.  I gave up going to dermatologists.   There was never any diagnosis that made sense and the treatments did not help.  Steroid creams did not help at all.  Lotions made it worse. The only thing that has ever helped is ice. Doctors and friends acted like it was stress related.    I feel so much better after all these years hearing other people's stories that are the same as mine.  When the itching starts, it is so intense that I want to scratch my skin off.  Currently ,only my left forearm and part of my left shoulder is affected.  I get up several times a night to change ice packs because ice is the only thing that relieves the itching.  Thank you for this website- Now that I know the diagnosis, I will seek treatment.  I intend to call my wonderful physical therapist who is trained in cranial- sacral therapy and myofacial release.   I will ask him to work on c-4 and c-5.   I will report back how I do after some treatment.  Thank you all for sharing your stories.
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CAPSAICIN......at last some relief!
Got this on prescription from the Doc.....now I've gone from itching 24 x 7 to only occasional bouts during the day which soon subside by applying this cream.I have found that using the cream every 4 hours whether I am itching or not more or less keeps it away.
I was at my wits end before this,resorting to all manner of implements to relieve the itching,which we all know just causes bloody and scarred skin.
It's not a cure... That's my next step....but what a relief!
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I had laser surgery on my neck 10 years ago on C5-C6 and now my pain is back and so is this new itch.  The two things I have found to make any difference for me are the Bio-Freeze and also Lavender oil.  Not together!  I use the bio-freeze during the day while I'm working and at night I use the Bio-Freeze.  I haven't had this as long as most of you and I'm hoping to find relief before my arm gets scarred.  I think I will try the Capsaicin.  But for now, ice, bio-freeze and lavender oil will have to get me by.
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So I have been reading the comments for about 6 months now and totally freaking out. I have seen that some people are suffering from the itchy arm syndrom (syndrome) with very little releaf. Brachioradial Pruritus also known as 'itchy arm syndrom (syndrome)" is my worst nightmare that started after a C spine injury. (Yoga Head stand went wrong!) After several visits to my Chiropractor it started....I now have had a xray, and next week a MRI just to see how bad the injury actually is.
I have been to my physician and we have been working to stop the itching atleast until we can see if there is a long term solution. One that has actually been a success is a compounded topical medication.I highly encourage anyone with this problem to ask your physician for the Rx asap! Ice worked for me but I needed something better. This has been amazing, I  apply the cream before bedtime or when the itching begins. The first time I had to do cream and ice because I let it get too far. I have literally STOPPED ripping my skin off. I am not waking up with the iching and have been able to sleep for the first time in 6 months finally. I don't know what the long term solution will be or even if there is one. Just for the record I was also offered steroids, shots, antidepressants, sleeping medications, muscle relaxers, narcotics and I refused them all knowing that there is NO known CURE at this time and didn't want to start taking things that may or may not cause more issues. My local compounding pharmacy also can fill this rx.
THIS IS THE ONLY THING that has worked better than ICE!!  
Rx from Browns Compounding Center 866-805-9543 =
DICLO/BACLO/GABA/TETRACAINE   3/2/2/6/2%  
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I have suffered from BRP since 2005. At first only ice packs provided relief but I have since discovered BIOFREEZE which you can't buy at store but can get from many massage and chiropractic places. It is a green gel that makes the skin feel cold and for me has now replaced my need for ice packs.
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And to lyneer and Smiddle.  This is Oct. 29, 2013 and I have been free from itch since Aug.   Treating the itch with creams, herbs, oils, ice, drugs etc. only gives you temporary relief since it only treats the symptom which is the Itch itself.  Don't you want it to Stop????   Then treat the Cause.  I am not a doctor or related to any of these that I am telling you about; in fact, I thought chiropractors were quacks.  Not True!!  Please search out  an advanced orthogonal chiropractor who has studied to use the sonic method and please have your Atlas adjusted.  All the nerves that flow through C4-C6 flow through your Atlas first.  The Atlas bone being level and straight is critical for best health and to eliminate pinching of the nerves at the neck level!!!  There is one in St. Pete, FL; one or more in or near Atlanta, GA and one I know of in Franklin, TN near Nashville, TN.  I know this method works miracles for some people because I have seen 3 people in my family with diverse problems including blindness, seizures and numbness, chronic sinus-nausea-migraines....all healed through this method....not always immediately, but definitely healed as long as they kept their Atlas in place through adjustment (meaning level and not crooked, see former Aug 23 comment).  Very important to go to an expert, see Aug23 comment.  My heart goes out to each of you.   I had terrible itching for 9 weeks and do not have it now (10/29/13), as long as I keep my neck adjusted.  
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I have just been diagnosed with BRP by my neurologist and I am so thankful to have a name for this terrible itching! I already take gabapentin for nerve itching in my face for a tumor I had removed in 2009 (It was benign...Praise God)  She had upped my dosage on it and given me lidoderm patches to use on the arms as well.  I want to try some of the other methods I have read about on this site.  Thanks so much for all the advice from other BRO sufferers.
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On Oct. 6 I found this site and also posted a comment. This is what I have tried so far that seems to be working for me. Before I was able to find a chiropractor I started to take two Benadryl and two ibuprofen at bed time. This really did help with the itching/pain and I was able to get a good night of sleep.
I was able to get a reference for a good chiropractor and make an appointment. Even though he had never heard of BRP he was very open to listening to me. I had two adjustments made in one week and my arms stopped itching. I spent two weeks itch free.
Last night I had a hot spot on my right arm when I went to bed. I plan on making an appointment to see my chiropractor again next week. So far this seems to be the answer for me. If you are suffering from BRP I would highly recommend that you find a good chiropractor and get an adjustment done.
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Bio-Freeze is a big help.  I've had issues for 30 years, Sept thru March and worse @ night.  I'm hypothyroidism & once on meds the itching stopped for almost 7 years.  But recently with no apparent reason it's back.  I think k it may be pheromone related  and have been to 20 different specialists over the Years - so nice to share and learn from people with similar conditions.  
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Hi everyone,

I also have this condition and I cannot believe the itch! I found that when I feel the itch begin, I take two Benadryl tablets (no name equivalent usually) and the itch stops usually within 15 to 20 minutes. I have now learned that the itch is not allergy related, but for some reason the allergy medication works for me. When I don't have it, I scratch until I bleed and beyond.

Hopefully this works for you as well! Please let me know.

Mike
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Im in UK too and have had this about a year. A week a go I persuaded the doc to prescribe me amitriptyline. It works! I havent been out to buy ice once. Totally disappears.
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Oh yeah, I also have a pain at the base of the neck which Im getting scanned.
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I have had this condition for about four years now and it is almost unbearable at times making me scratch until my arms bleed. It feels like something is stinging my forearms and upper arms sometimes even going to my shoulders but nowhere else. I have tried every anti-itch medication on the market, cream for psoriasis, antihistamines and even went so far as to wash my arms in water with a splash of bleach (thinking that maybe I had picked up some weird bacterial infection overseas). Nothing worked! My doctor gave me a cream for scabies and in hopeful desperation, I tried it too. No help! Finally I ran across a site online where someone talked about having the same infuriating itch. The solution he recommended was using Capzasin Cream, an ointment usually used for muscle aches that contains capsaicin (an extra of hot peppers). I tried it and within a minute or two my arms started feeling warm (like I had a slight sunburn) and the itch went away. I was able to sleep all night with no itch and reapplying the Capzasin the next day gave me a full day of no itching! It was glorious! I know just how frustrating this condition can be and it seems that few doctors know what causes it (although it does have a name Brachioradial Pruritus) and even if diagnosed with the disease, there are few medications that can relieve the intense itching. The Capzasin was the answer for me. I hope that this helps someone else and can give you relief! I apply the Capzasin with a cotton ball so that it doesn’t get on my hands (where you can transfer the pepper heat to anything else that you touch, like your eyes) and then put on a long sleeve shirt so that the cream on my arms doesn’t transfer to my sheets and pillow.
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I have also suffered from this horrible itch for years, and many dermatologists have not been able to help, so I gave up seeing them. One thing I found works for me, at least temporarily, is Purell hand sanitiser. It burns a bit but it does relieve the itch. I recently had a bad bout and someone suggested Tea Tree Oil, this also works (but it's a bit smelly). Using the tea tree oil, it seemed like it actually 'healed' it. yesterday I saw a new dermatologist who described Brachioradial Pruritus, so now I am going to observe if my neck is indeed part of the problem.
It's hard to explain to someone who does not have this itch what it is and how unbearable it is. At some point years ago it was so bad, it kept me awake all night, and I felt absolutely hopeless to make it stop. It was a bad feeling!! I am glad I have a few things to try now to see if they work. Thanks for all the advice from everyone.
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I have  was dx with BRP several years ago. My arms itch  all year long on and off and are scarred, this is very embarrassing to me as I am a nurse.  I take lyrica at night for this but after reading these posts may ask for a RX for doxepin. Have had neck pain for years but no diagnosis. This is a cruel, maddening illness. I also take visteril for itching. Hope this helps someone.
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Hi Lisa,

I also suffer from upper arm itch I have not been diagnosed with any disease however did have a double mastectomy a year and a half ago which resulted in terrible nerve damage to my upper arms.

My itching it's very bad So I got a steroid shot which seemed to help Last October but then in October this year I started itching again,  my mother suggested niacin.  

I have taken four doses in the past two weeks and my itching has diminished almost to the point of nonexistent! I'm not sure if this will help you but got news I know where you are with the itching and it's awful I have scarred my arms From all the scratching. I'm telling you Niacin really seems to really help.

Read about it and then try it it can't hurt that's for sure.
Good luck
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Hi I am a 53 year old male living in UK. After being diagnosed with follicle it's (wrongly) I have decided that I have BRP. About 6 weeks ago I had a profuse intense itching in my right arm around the inside of the elbow area and then it just spread down my arm to my wrist.

I have since scratched my arm to shreds in fact until bleeding quite badly. The symptom has just started in my left arm, I am going to see my GP tomorrow with the results of my research. I will be asking for the following ( either/or) Gabapentin, Capsaicin, Amitriptalyne with Ketamine. I am hoping something here will work. I will report back soon.

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Dear all,

I have taken Gabapentin and it's worked, I took three tabs last night and I have slept right through without any scratching.

will update again soon.

Terry
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Me too - have had this for 30 years... it went away for about 4 years when I started armor thyroid treatment (hypo) but is now back ... very seasonal, fall through spring and flares up even more so at night.  

I have slightly elevated liver enzymes which also cause skin irritation ... I've been gluten free for 2 years, tried every topical solution know to man... seen dermatologists, allergists, and at least 25 other doctors... I do think spinal alignment will be my next option because I'm looking for the root cause.  
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I've lived with this dreadful condition for a year, have tried every topical cream, oil, herbal remedy known to man.  Dermatologist was absolutely no help and dismissive.  It has driven me demented.  Then I read about Capsaicin cream.  After two weeks of treatment it has disappeared!  What incredible relief, it's amazing.  The first few times you use it (only apply thinly) the itching is worse and the burning almost unbearable.  But do persist.  It gets easier with every application.  
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It’s a relief to know I’m not alone scratching away at an invisible itch so unbearable that your arm(s) start bleeding. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. Having it for over a year has begun to take it’s toll. I have no idea how others have survived this even longer. It’s relentless. It just doesn't stop. Thankfully the internet is bringing us all together faster every day. I’m learning new treatments daily, and have finally nailed it. I hope others can benefit from it, although I believe there are certain conditions that activate it. Capsicum/Capsasian/Capsacin (it seems to be called a few different things) was my first relief last year Nov. But my original bottle of Jr. ran out and when I bought more found it no longer contained Capsasian. It was just pure liquid menthol. It still worked, just not as well. Then I found Capsasian liquid by itself and used that. OMG the burn was unbearable. I did get to sleep that night, well actually passed out from the pain of the burn. It lasts for a day or two of no itching which is such a relief. Purell hand sanitizer also provides quick relief. So visiting the doctors is great as they have dispensers everywhere. I then found an entire blog and the solution everyone was going with was basically drinking about a gallon of water a day. So I tried, and I totally recommend it. It greatly reduces the intensity of the itch. Ask yourself how much water are you drinking… you may have inadvertently skipped on hydration. OK, time to get to the real solution. My posture has been degrading slowly. At 43yrs I notice my side profile looked terrible. My head is way too far forward of my chest and shoulders. So I searched Brachioradial Pruritus (BRP) regarding posture and bam… found it. All the other thousands of people are getting their Brachioradial Pruritus (BRP) cured by correct alignment. This is going to sound too simple, but when I itch during the day, I pull my head back over my shoulders and instantly no itch. I couldn't believe it, way too simple. Let me try that again. Itch flares up and as I’m going at it, then I remember to stand up straight like military and whoosh …itch stops. Now I believe everyone’s different. But Brachioradial Pruritus (BRP) is caused by trapped/pinched nerves that travel and exit your vertebrae. Actually its your Atlas that is the culprit. I went to a chiropractor and had what’s known as “Atlas Orthogonal technique”. Make sure your quack can perform that exact procedure. Aaah, relief, ..the visit cost me $150. They use a device that shoots a sonic sound wave at your Atlas disk/vertebrae and knock it back into position. You don’t feel a thing, just hear a click. My Dr. did it as I was laying there with the worst itch going but couldn't scratch it, then suddenly it was gone... phew. However, if your Atlas is aligned/ok, then there’s a good chance you are getting calcium deposits building up elsewhere on your spine where it’s trapping the nerve as it exits. Usually in the neck region. Makes sense why I would get the itch when I went to lie down. Reviewing my mattress I realized I was actually sleeping on a futon for the last 2 years. Made sure I got a real mattress the next day. So overall, yes there’s hope, this nightmare can be cured. Just keep believing.. And please post what works for you. I hope this helped.
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I have suffered with BRP for over 8 years and every winter is a nightmare, putting clothing next to my skin starts the entire intense itching off. A severe itching to arms, collar bone area and shoulders. I used to wake myself up by scratching and my arms and shoulders would be covered in tiny scabs and sores. I literally thought I had some form of rare skin mite at some point. My GP could not diagnose anything and it took 3 dermatologists to diagnose BRP. The used of prescribed steroid creams form my GP left me with severe thin skin.

RESULT: My father advised me to try Ibumousse - a muscular pain treatment for aches and pains such as Arthritic conditions. It was the first time in years that I could sleep properly and the first time in years I was able to wear clothing on those areas and NOT itch!! I also now used Power gel (ketoprofen) other form of muscular pain relief. This also works amazingly, I only apply once or twice a day and I am able to wear clothing without itching and sleep all through the night. NO more problems, Just hoping these treatments may help many others with this frustrating condition. My GP and dermatologist are both aware of me using these treatments for BRP and are content in my continuing to do so.
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Listen to me please !  I am not crazy and this can be what you are looking for !  About six years ago I started to get itch on my arms with no rash at the bend of the top of my arm. Last month I was cleaning my desk with Clorox disinfecting wipes, those that come in a round plastic canister. Anyways I was itching so bad at that moment I wiped the area of my arm with the Clorox wipe and I swear the itching almost stopped on contact. Ok this is the funny ting...it stopped completely ! My wife thought I was crazy & kidding and laughed, it has been over a month it has stopped. I have a few times reapplied the wipes because I still cant believe it worked and whatever it was I don't want it coming back! Its hasn't been back at all !I have tried so many things in the past...the ice thing and all.  But listen please try this & let me know if it has helped. I have posted this on the boards but have never heard anything back. Good luck!
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Please read my post about using the Clorox disinfecting wipes !  I do not believe it is from herniated disc and not eczema like always diagnosed. I swear there is something spreading on the skin because this has stopped mine after six years! It would come and go nut seemed winter was always worse.....once you start to scratch it feels like pins priking ya like crazy!
  I just so happened to rub my arm one night while cleaning my desk and it hasn't itched in a month! It is gone ! I keep posting this because I want people to try it and tell me I am right!  :)
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If it is something spreading on the skin then why/how is it exclusive to the right arm.(well, initially) A herniated or slipped disk seems more logical which is why I sought out a Chiropractor who specializes in the Atlas Orthogonal technique. Although the adjustment did work for me, it only lasted 2 weeks and I was back to the beginning. The chiropractor did say that the Atlas could return to it's preferred crooked position, but I'm not sure my Atlas was the only thing crooked. So I'm open to everything at this point and I must agree, it's been a week since using Clorox Disinfectant wipes on my arm without an itch. So IDK, thanks for the tip and here's keeping my fingers crossed it stays gone. If it does, I owe you more than a beer.
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Hi Mclaing, I am so glad some one tried it & replied. I have had so many back problems so I to thought it could be from herniated disc. I just so happened to wipe my arm with them like I said and it went away. I did a few times more to make sure it would not come back because I could not believe this actually stopped it after so many years. I am just glad it so far is helping you too. Let me know how its doing ! And Cold Beer is Good!
Good Luck!
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Listen to me please !  I am not crazy and this can be what you are looking for !  About six years ago I started to get itch on my arms with no rash at the bend of the top of my arm. Last month I was cleaning my desk with Clorox disinfecting wipes, those that come in a round plastic canister. Anyways I was itching so bad at that moment I wiped the area of my arm with the Clorox wipe and I swear the itching almost stopped on contact. Ok this is the funny ting...it stopped completely ! My wife thought I was crazy & kidding and laughed, it has been over a month it has stopped. I have a few times reapplied the wipes because I still cant believe it worked and whatever it was I don't want it coming back! Its hasn't been back at all !I have tried so many things in the past...the ice thing and all.  But listen please try this & let me know if it has helped. I have posted this on the boards but have never heard anything back. Good luck!
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OMG!!!! I carry a cooler in my car with ice packs in it!!!! this itch has been with me on and off for 15 years...it brings me to tears!!! even my adult children tell me I look like a crazy woman.... peroxide is my laundry detergent to get the blood out of my clothes and sheets! I can go a long period of time with ease of symptoms and then out of the blue the burning itch comes back...Docs have no clue!!! maybe we could all get in a study of some sort!!! thanks for letting me vent, don't feel so alone and crazy now!!! nothing works but ice!!!!
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the only way I can get some sleep at night is to take 2 Naprosyn, one 25mg. benedryl and 0.05mg Xanax and 5 mg ambien, and of course ice packs to both arms and neck!! I have been reluctant to tell anyone about this because I sound like a drug addict...don't need to take all these meds when I don't get a flare up of symptoms!!! been to everyone, they think I'm a loon!!! have had MRI, which shows cervical stenosis and arthritis, which is not uncommon for my age, have had biopsies, negative. stress seems to trigger it especially if it is humid and lots of pollen is in the air!!! but when I have this itch, i can wear nothing that touches my shoulders and arms. Guys, this is a syndrome that is just now getting noticed by the medical community but, alas, no cure or what is the trigger for the flare ups!! anyone out there who can shed more light on the subject, please let me know!!! Good Luck out there, people!!!!
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I too have suffered forearm insane itching for about 15 years during the summer time, relieving with ice packs, trying all sorts of creams to no avail, diagnosed BRP last summer by dermatologist, currently receiving physical therapy to relieve neck pain, received neck injury when hit by a car when 12 years old, now I'm 65.
  A curious thing, last summer when I felt I was going to itch to death, I applied some baby oil to one of my arms and started running an Epilady (the old kind with the twisted metal spring) up and down my arm applying more baby oil, it felt so good and was relieving the itch, but a black substance started coming out of my skin.
  I kept pouring on the baby oil and allowing it to drip into the bathroom sink carrying the black substance with it.  After about 15 minutes the amount of this black substance became less and less until finally it stopped coming out.  I then did the same treatment to my other arm with the same results.  The itching stopped for a day and a half.  When the itch started again, I did the treatment again with the exact same results.  After doing this procedure for about two weeks last August, the itch ceased and hasn't returned yet.
      I don't know what that black substance is, I wish I could get it analysed, but I believe it is what is causing the itch.  I have fair skin but that substance is coal black.  I know this sounds crazy but so does this rashless itch to those not suffering with it.  I believe everyone with BRP would experience the same thing I did if they used baby oil and an old fashioned Epilady!  Who knows what environmental factors are at work here.  I got my neck injury when I was 12, if that were the cause of the itch why didn't I start itching then.  It's got to be something in the environment.  I am so waiting for more tests to be done!
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I am another sufferer.   For about 5 years i have had the insane itching , comes and goes.  I have visted multiple dermatologists, one nuerologist - still thinks i am crazy, finally a nurse practioner in the Dermatologist office diagnosed BPR.  At first i was relieved they prescribed Zonolon (creme, i think it is a depression med) the nuerologist prescrbied Gabapentin (300mg).   It worked for about a year, now it is back with a furry.   I will try the Zyrtec, but unsure how long it that will kick in.

One helpful hint for ice  - fill a gallon freezer bag with 2 bottles of Karo Syrup and freeze.  Creates a great ice pack.  i would double bag , just in case.
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I've had the unbearable itch on my right arm for about two years...off and on. Prescription drugs, prescription creams, ice...all help TEMPORARILY! Itching has been sporadic until about two months ago....now it's been weeks since I've slept all night. Get up for ice, wake up scratching, wake up feeling like pins are sticking in my arms.

UNTIL...I tried the Clorox wipes. Three nights in a row I've slept all night.  A little itching this afternoon...headed for the Clorox wipes now.
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WTG GAwoman! I am glad it is working & yes if it does a bit use the wipes again. I used them here and there for a few weeks to make sure it would not come back cause I just could not believe they actually worked. Anyway here I am like three months later and Its been beyond words away from the itch, I don't know what it is in the Clorox Wipes but it worked. Why I didn't think it was the bleach because I tried straight bleach a few times in the past out of desperation with no results. What ever it is I don't care all I know is that after years of agony it's gone & I am trying like heck to pass this on!
Please keep me posted!
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Clorox wipe update....every two or three nights I wipe my arm down well with a Clorox wipe and then I sleep all night long,,,no itching, no feeling of needles sticking me!  THANKS!!!!!  I thought it was ludicrous but being desperate I tried it. I'm still amazed and grateful !!!

THANKS again!!  Folks....try it!!!!
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Hi G A Woman ,
  I am so glad you tried it! Yes I thought people would think I am crazy looking at this pirate pic saying   yea...ok ! I still cant believe it works, why I don't know but something so simple changed my life from this agony. I hope others try it!  Keep us posted !

I feel like I cured something doctors couldn't ! :)
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Tried the clorox wipes, unfortunately did not work for me.   I am going back to dermatologist to get a prescription for anything new.  I read that amitriptyline-ketamine has worked, it is a topical creme.  we will see.
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I have tried quite a bit. Acupuncture was the best of all . However it is very time consuming and does not last very long.I had it for 3 months, once per week. Fortunately my insurance paid for it, otherwise it could be quite expensive.
Gabapentin did not help very much and I refused taking it as a long term medication because of all the side effects. We should be really cautious what we are taking in. Icing - of course - always works but I had already thermal damage on the skin because I overdid it.
I am getting an MRI in 2 weeks and hope that this will show something more substantial so that I can get physical therapy.
I already had a treatment from a chiropactitioner and an osteopath. To no avail!
It is here in this forum really the first time that I read comments about this Br.......Pr...... that shows me, this is something real not a psychological disorder.................!
I am female, 62 years old and -  of course physicians like to think that these elderly ladies are a bit nuts.......... to begin with.
I have read in the comments a lot about Capsasin - that's something I will try, too.
Great that I met you all.
Ratzfatz
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LGU have you done it a few times? It may be different that what has worked for a few so far. You are the 1st to have no luck. I'm sorry to hear but people here describing what they have is exactly what I have had & it sure worked for me and it seems so far the other few that tried. Please try again a few times, you have nothing to loose. Good luck to you though.
I sure know it worked for me: Scratching itch near fold of arm near fold area, it starts small but once you touch it its like someone is priking ya with needles, no rash,except the redness from scratching, maybe a mild few bumps from time to time. Doesn't spread but confined to small area.
Those were my symptons for six years. I am well to do, clean, have a huge home and I consider myself very clean . Why I got this I don't know But all I know is I stumbled upon using The Clorox Wipes (Orange) and after one wipe it stopped, for a few days I would wipe again a few times just because I could not believe the relief after a few weeks from wiping here and there time to time it was gone....not almost, but gone ! It is going on four months now....it is gone....gone....gone! Doctors can thake their creams for this one...they didn't work for me~!  I went to the best doctors in NJ & NC ! They could   not stop it!    I will shout this until I know I have helped a lot of people !      C L O R O X     W I P E S !   :)       I not crazy but happy.
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Sir, How are you making out with the arm Itch & The Clorox wipes?
   I hope you kept using them & they are working.


     Regards
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This evening the itch came back with a vengeance! Dreading going back to sleepless nights that starts with the God awful itching and then that horrible pubs and needles sticking on my arm.   BUT WAIT....a good wipe down with the Clorox wipe and it's 95% gone.

This is stranger than strange but I am a desperate ol' broad in her 60's who has insomnia and darn sure don't need to have what sleep I do get torn apart by my right arm. I really thought the Clorox wipe idea was absurd and knew it would burn the sores I had on my arm from the scratching.  No burning....just RELIEF!!!!

I URGE YOU FOLKS THAT ARE SUFFERING TO TRY ZAZA216'S CLOROX CURE!!!
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GAwoman just keep it up....what ever it is is trying to survive but is dying.....Like I said I would just wipe for the heck of it cause I could not believe.....a few time I just laid the toweled on the area a few min........I swear I haven't used them in prob almost two months and not a sign of anything. Keep us posted !
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Knock on wood....arm is fine! Clorox wipes always nearby tho!  THANKS!!!!
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I have this horrible itching as well.  Keeps me up at night.  I've been to so many doctors and have tried so many creams.  Ice doesn't even work for that long anymore.  If anyone has recent updates please let me know.
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My problem went away in one week by taking 5 pills per day of "Life Extension Super K," which is a very high concentration of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is produced by the good bacteria in you intestines; if your good bacteria is decreased, (usually by antibiotics), your skin becomes deficient in Vitamin K and suffers dryness, itching, bruising and blood blisters from scratching, etc. If it works for you, then look for a permanent solution by addressing candida overgrowth.
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I was so happy to see some recent posts on this blog. when I first came across it, the posts were from 2010.  
I have had BRP for about 18 years.  As you all know, it is a horrendous affliction. My Dr. had no clue and sent me to a dermatologist who diagnosed it as stress.  I have been living with it on my own, and every once in a while I would 'Google' "Itchy Arms" but would find nothing but psoriasis, etc. Finally, about 2 years ago, I found this site. I was so happy to have so many other people that knew what I have been going through. I am a 'sun' person, I have horses and a boat and love being outside all the time.  I live in Maine, but this started when I lived in California way back when.  Now, I winter in Florida, so I'm really screwed.  I use sunscreen now, but I will try a total sun block this year.  
Over the years, I have tried Chiropractics and Acupuncture. Nothing helped because nobody really understood (or tried to) what this was.  I printed off some information and took it to my Dr., who then put me on Gabapentin, 200 mg., 3 times a day.  It worked for a while, but now it is not. I also could not bear the 'burning' that occurred after using Capsaicin, but I did try it a few times.  the burning subsided after the second application, but did not stop the itching. Obviously, there just is no universal treatment as everyone reacts differently. I don't have any great answers for you all, but I wanted to join this blog because it does feel good to 'vent'.  
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OMG. I couldn't believe it when the skin spec diagnosed me with BRP the other day. Like everyone else I thought it was in my head but I just couldn't stop scratching. My both arms look like a battlefield and have done for about 6 years now. Steroids, creams, lotions have all been tried but the only relief has been ice packs but as soon as they melt it's straight back again. I nearly jumped over the desk to hug my spec when he instantly diagnosed me. I was so relieved to know it was SOMETHING. Mine started with a bad attack of sandfly bites on my legs 6 years ago and within a month had travelled up to my upper arms where it has remained on and off( mostly on) since. I have to wash my sheets nearly everyday due to scratching scabs off constantly and quite bad bleeding. My itch is inside my skin like something is eating inside so I tend to push my nails in very deep to try and alleviate the itch but to on avail.i have used steel wool scourers, hairbrushes anything that takes the pressure off for a few seconds. I have tried to find a way of explaining it to people and doctors and I came up with 'it's like a sharp itch as opposed to a sharp pain'. I've just been prescribed Doxepin(dextran) to take at night and so far haven't noticed anything different other than it zonks me out even into the next day. I still am  scratching just as much  but getting back to sleep easier .im definitely going to try the homemade chilli rub. I'm willing to try anything. Thanks for giving me some hope
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my last bout with BPR has lasted since February, non stop.   I have gone to numerous dermalogists, two top neurologist and now a spinal surgeon.  Surgeon sent me to a Spine&Pain center they performed epidural steroid injections (cortisone) directly into the back of neck.  It took 4 days to take effect,  it has been a week and no real itch.   My surgeon feels it is caused by the nerves being irritated or pinched due to herniated disc and bone spurs and overall "cervical radiculopathy".  Xrays showed definite misalignment and degeneration.    He is now talking surgery for permanent fix, not sure i am up to that,  but it sure feels great not dealing with all the remedies that don't get to the root cause.
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I too have the arm itch nightmare. I have found (dare I say it) Vagisil effective for me. I prefer to purchase a store brand as opposed to name brand for obvious reasons. Some of the store brand names are; Vagicaine, Vagicare...you get the idea. Another relief, but I will deny it if confronted with this, is super hot water! I will hold my arm under running water and make it get slowly hotter and hotter. When the water is almost scalding, the relief is almost org...... really! The sensation of a secondary pain is apparently helpful.  Also, I understand that certain Native American people would use very hot water to relieve poison oak itch. I tried it and works for that also. Any medical practitioner worth their diploma will look shocked by this and say the hot water is one of the worst things you can do for this. That's okay with me...it cannot be any worse than the itch.
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I had forgotten about this posting... and obviously about my itchy arm because my itch had totally gone. I haven't itched in months, and then it came back behind my ankles. When scratching wouldn't relieve it, I realized it was my itch back, just relocated. But thanks to you Sir, a few wipes of that amazing stuff and it's under control and fading. So I'm trying to get a grasp of why Clorox works. It's a cleaner, so is it cleaning away bacteria of a sort that is causing this itch, or is it actually numbing the itch sensors at the same time. I do find that it does turn my skin to leather in a way or makes it less soft. Either way, it's awesome and I would never have thought of using it hadn't you mentioned it. Thank you.
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Hi Mclaing ,
      I am so glad to hear from you and to know it worked for you! Truthfully I tried Clorox straight in the past and it didn't help, why the Clorox wipes I haven't a clue I swear I just know that when I tried it & it  instantly took the itch away but I did reapply quite a few times just for haha's but its been many months now for me and the itch has not even came close to bothering me. I think besides the bleach there is something else or its a combination of something in there that works but we are proof :) I just people here don't think I am a nut and try it......Please keep me posted on ya progress! I am so glad it worked for ya!
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I know what you are going through, because I think I have it too. Mine is not with me all the time but when it flares up  it's awful.  What I found that helps me is to rub organic coconut oil on my arm and it seems to help very much. I hope this will help you.  
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As I have read to be true for many other people, my BRP seems to be seasonal. I have had quite a break from it until the past couple of weeks, and it is starting to creep back in.

I am starting to scar by my left wrist from the scratching. :(

I did get some Xanax (prescribed for panic attacks, not BRP) but now if I wake up with the itch, I take one right away and am able to sleep.

I haven't been on the board in a while b/c I've had a little break from symptoms, and was surprised to see your Clorox posts - but like others have said, I will try anything when the itching is bad! And if it is as simple as a wipe, great! So I will give it a shot and let you know how it goes.

My next step otherwise is to make an appointment with a neurologist. Don't know where else to go.
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JKdubs,
        I hope it works, please try it and let me know. Reapply a few times if need (even if is for a few weeks) ! but if it is the same thing I swear mine is gone for the first time in many years and yes mina also was more seasonal but if I was to disturb it forget it. Let me know!  ( I used the orange ones in the round canister)
  Again: I have no clue why.......but it worked !
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Hi.  I have had BPR for 20 years.  Mine too began when I was pregnant.  They thought it might be PUUps, but that was ruled out.  

Don't ask me why, but when an episode begins I take to psuedafed tablets and it helps the intense itching that can become uncontrollable.

Let's keep testing and trying to figure this terrible thing out!
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I suffered with this for three years. I would scratch until I bled regularly and even when I was sleeping.  I have scars on my arms. I often found myself looking closely at my arms because I thought for sure there were little bugs in my skin. It drives you crazy! The ice worked but thats not very practical. I found the cream icy/hot for muscle pain worked but that smells pretty strong. The doctor called it brachioradial pruritus and wanted me to take some meds every day for….ever? I wasn't into that. So I have done three things differently (I live in northeast). I believe I do have some neck issues and I suffer from migraines, so I started taking yoga. I very rarely get a migraine anymore (that's a different miracle).
The other thing I did was I started taking magnesium. The last thing I did was I kept my arms covered from the sun and/or keep sunblock on all the time, without fail. The itching would always go away in the winter and I think it was really important to not expose them and start the cycle. I was working outside the other day with short sleeves, but sunblock 50+, and no itch. Im so happy this seems to be gone. I can remember wanting to put a sharp knife straight into the spot, bleeding regularly, and having to wear sleeves anyway because my arms were always scratched and bloody and ugly.These are the only things I've done differently since last year. I really believe it was stopping the cycle with constant coverage and no more exposure…..ever, I guess :/
I hope this helps someone, I know how disturbing this condition is.
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My itching started during my first pregnancy and continues after I have had 3 kids. Youngest is 18 months, wonder if could still be hormone related. I do not have any back issues or injuries.
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Funny thing is my bine yr old  daughter has eczema on her arms  since she was born.
   Since the Clorox wipes worked on me a few months back yesterday she was having a bad episode and she asked me can she use the Clorox wipes. I swear I have never ever seen her eczema go away like it has since yesterday! I am not sure if we both had the same thing but she can't believe the itching has stopped and how it has cleared up in just twenty four hrs. If this works I am for sure convinced there is something in These wipes that help with what is going on here! At first it was making her arm burn a min but she could not believe how after that the itch stopped! She reapplied today and she said the burning was so minimal compared to the day before and her arm feels great!   I will keep this post updated!
C L O R O X  W I P ES !
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Having suffered with BRP, undiagnosed, for 24 years, I HAVE FINALLY FOUND RELIEF!!!!  For about the first 18 or 19 years, I would have one episode annually, on either arm and in the worst years, both arms, for about three months.  Five or six years ago, it started going almost year round, sometimes with a one month break and then start again.  I do not have to tell my fellow sufferers how badly this breaks your spirit and how difficult it is for anyone else to understand how difficult this is to live with.  Torn up, scabby arms, blood spotted sheets and clothes and the ITCH.  I learned early on to ice my arms but working outside as a landscaper/irrigator caused constant flares, all day at work and then terribly at night.  
I have waited almost nine months to report how I received relief because I did not want to create false hope for a fellow sufferer.  I wanted to see if it would not only stop an ongoing episode but that when another episode started, it would knock that out as well.  It does it all for me.
It is the compounded ketamine/amitryptaline lotion I found described in an online JAMA article.  I was seeing a chiropracter when I read the article.  Of course, he can't write a prescription so he sent me to a 'pain management' doctor.  The doctor, after reading the article, acted as if I had asked for a prescription for heroin.  I was not in a mood to be denied though and basically let him know that I was not leaving without a prescription.  I had my compounding pharmacist fill the script and the rest is happy history.  This stuff works.  I hope to god there are no side effects (i have not noticed any) because love nor money could not make me give up the relief I sought for almost a quarter century.  
BTW - I am a white, 53 y/o female with no neck injury history.  Participated in outdoor sports growing up and I was in the third trimester of my 4th and last pregnancy when this occurred for the first time.  I have hashimotos autoimmune thyroiditis, diagnosed about four years ago.  Other than that, there is nothing remarkable in my medical history.  
I wish all of my fellow sufferers the best of luck.  I am with you in spirit.
Marti
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About 5 weeks ago I had a bad sunburn. After a week or so, my sunburned skin peeled and I thought that was the end of the sunburn. But about a week and a half ago my upper arms started itching, there was no rash but the itching is unbearable. I washed my arms wirh baby wipes which gave some minor relief. I am using benedryl itch stopping gel but it only gives minor relief. I looked "itchy upper arms" up on the web and found a lot of info and finally a name for this condition. I am going to try some of the remedies you all have listed and talk with my doctor.  I cannot imagine going through the rest of my life with this condition.... I am 64 white female living in northeast Pennsylvania.
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I started experiencing this last year after spending more time outside in the sun. I noticed I had 2 different types of sunscreen and when I was wearing one vs. the other my arms were even itchier - like it intensified. So I switched to only zinc oxide sunscreen and it seemed to fix the problem. But this summer it is back. I am excited to go to Target tomorrow to buy Clorox wipes. If that works for me, I will be back to find out if somebody can then point to a solution for the seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp. I'm like one giant itch ball! ha!
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Do you use the Clorox Bleach wipes or the Disinfecting wipes? I looked up the MSDS sheets and they have different stuff in each of them.
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The Disinfecting ones .
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Please keep me posted I bet you will be fine !
Note: They come in a three pack round cylinder plastic canister. The Orange one was the one to be specific.
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Is Ketostat available in Australia,
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Update: after several months it did come back a bit. I was in Punta Cana D.R for a week in the hot sun, my arm started to haunt me sort of daring me to scratch. Finally a few days after I got home to NC I scratched my arm like crazy to see what would happen and the itch started! I hurried and got the Clorox wipes again and yes it did help big time! But the next few days I found myself wiping my arm every time it started and it did again make it subside. I do believe now it has something to do with sun damage through the years of exposure and not protecting the skin. I did also yesterday use a wash and ointment that was given to my wife by her Dr and it also does seem to help so far. The wash is called Ketoconazole Shampoo and the ointment is called:Fluocinolone Aectonide Ointment USP 0.025   .    I will still also stick with The Clorox wipes(Orange Container) because I don't know why but it sure takes the sting and relief out of the itch without fail!
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Hi, Iv always said to people my itch dnt start till i got preg. with my 1st child. I thought that theres got to be some connection. If any thing at least I know im not alone.
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I read this thread because I hoped that I could find better answers than I have already.  I have not seen anyone mention using Sarna, which contains camphor and menthol.  It works some of the time for me.What usually works the best has been Caladryl, which contains Calamine and Pramoxine HCL.  The Caladryl usually works very well, but it is messy and leaves a pink film on your skin.  (OTOH, it is quite water resistant.)  I am going to try the Clorox wipes--I think we have some in the house--and I'll follow up.
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I have suffered with brachial pruritus some months (usually from Sept-Jan) for each of the last 6 years.  Now it comes and goes at different times of the year, but lasts (regardless of clorox wipes, capsaicin, multiple cortisone creams, ice packs, yoga, you name it)  UNTIL I pop a Flexeril.  One Flexiril at bedtime usually takes care of all the itching by the next morning; sometimes I require a second night of one Flexeril before the itching is completely gone.  For me, this is a miracle find that was a recommendation from a fellow sufferer on this site some time ago.  The itching will return in some months out of the blue and the Flexeril treatment again solves the problem.  I hope this helps some of you--I know how debilitating this condition is.
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Like most of you, I am so relieved to have found this community after 15 yrs of living with this maddening condition. There is comfort in numbers - though I wish you all permanent relief. I've been through dermatologists, biopsies, neurologists, nerve tests, cortisol tests, every steroid cream available & now my new doctor wants me off the steroids and prescribes a daily allergy pill and aspirin for when I feel a flare-up because as you all know, itching is a form of pain. As if it were so simple! Needless to say, I've had to take matters into my own hands b/c I've been 2 months, non-stop itching and my arms look like hell.
I'm a side sleeper & whatever arm I sleep on, flares up. I wear tank tops but the skin is burning hot and the itch so intense, it wakes me from a sound sleep. Repeatedly these days. No prickling like others have reported, just scalding skin that is so itchy I've used forks, knives, boars head brush and back scratchers to aleve it. I'm a 42-yr old Caucasian female who has 3 years of life-guarding under her belt, hence the believability of the sun-damage theory but there's got to be more for us than scarred, bloody arms and desperation to ice our arms, like a junkie needing a fix.
I'm currently seeing an acupuncturist and will report my findings (chiro care didn't help). My Chinese healer told me I have too much heat, and she tried the Bleeding technique, which sounds gross but provided my 1st relief in months. Today we tried cupping/bleeding, which also felt amazing & I can't help but think there's something to applying pressure to the nerves. She also thinks it might be auto-immune related and we will try herbal treatment & I will report back. Unfortunately, the itching resumed after I got home. A friend of mine is a Ph. D and she feels like it's auto-immune & sounds like shingles. Anybody have the Shingles shot for this? Also, my BRP isn't seasonal. In fact, there's been years where it's been dormant & I cautiously thought, "Is it finally over?"
You are in my thoughts, friends.
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  Instead of attacking the itch , I have found that gently washing with mild soap in a "not too hot" shower helps (warm water will not aggravate the itch, Hot water will)..  After the shower I gently towel dry and  apply a good dose of Lavender Oil. I massage the oil in gently.  (You can probably order on line,  or if you are lucky,  you can find it at Home Goods or TJMAx.  Tea Tree Oil and Argan Oil oils are good too.)   I have found that oils treat the itch much better than lotions.    Hope this helps.  It keeps the itch away for almost 24 hours.  When I start itching again, I slather more oil on it.  
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The saying "AN ITCH CAN DRIVE YOU MAD" is true, I feel I am going mad. I have read with interest how many people suffer with this chronic itch in the upper arms, shoulders and upper back. I have suffered this for nearly 10 years! In these ten years I have asked repeatedly for answers at my clinic to various doctors. I have seen two dermatologists, the first was several years ago and told me I was just stressed and dismissed me with antihistamine and cream. I asked to be referred again recently and luckily saw a different lady, she thought it was nerve damage to my spine causing my nerve endings to react with pressure on my spine. I have often had severe neck and back pain over many years so this made sense and a relief that I may have found a cause for this awful condition. I went for an x-ray and it was confirmed by the doctor that I had mild spondylitis, but no action has been taken. I asked to be referred but the referral was not sent.
This is now controlling my life and affecting my marital relationship. I am on gabapentin, sertraline, and I have a emulsifying menthol cream to take the heat off, sometimes it helps. I go to bed with ice packs as its worse at night, but as soon as I remove them it starts again. It is worse at night probably due to pressure on the nerve in a sleeping position. I have to sleep on my back as sleeping on my side makes it worse. I can not have anything touching my skin in that area and have to go without wearing a bra as the straps start it off.  It has got so bad in the last couple of weeks I feel I want to cut into my skin! I would take pain over this constant itch any day. It is now affecting my back and lower arms as well as my shoulders. Red patches develop and they are hot to touch, then the itch starts like thousands of small electric shocks or ants crawling and stinging under my skin. Scratching only makes it worse as it seems to encourage the nerves to be stimulated thus making me itch more. I want a cure not medication to cover it up.
I now have a name for it which describes all I feel.

Brachioradial pruritus
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Avatar_n_tn
The saying "AN ITCH CAN DRIVE YOU MAD" is true, I feel I am going mad. I have read with interest how many people suffer with this chronic itch in the upper arms, shoulders and upper back. I have suffered this for nearly 10 years! In these ten years I have asked repeatedly for answers at my clinic to various doctors. I have seen two dermatologists, the first was several years ago and told me I was just stressed and dismissed me with antihistamine and cream. I asked to be referred again recently and luckily saw a different lady, she thought it was nerve damage to my spine causing my nerve endings to react with pressure on my spine. I have often had severe neck and back pain over many years so this made sense and a relief that I may have found a cause for this awful condition. I went for an x-ray and it was confirmed by the doctor that I had mild spondylitis, but no action has been taken. I asked to be referred but the referral was not sent.
This is now controlling my life and affecting my marital relationship. I am on gabapentin, sertraline, and I have a emulsifying menthol cream to take the heat off, sometimes it helps. I go to bed with ice packs as its worse at night, but as soon as I remove them it starts again. It is worse at night probably due to pressure on the nerve in a sleeping position. I have to sleep on my back as sleeping on my side makes it worse. I can not have anything touching my skin in that area and have to go without wearing a bra as the straps start it off.  It has got so bad in the last couple of weeks I feel I want to cut into my skin! I would take pain over this constant itch any day. It is now affecting my back and lower arms as well as my shoulders. Red patches develop and they are hot to touch, then the itch starts like thousands of small electric shocks or ants crawling and stinging under my skin. Scratching only makes it worse as it seems to encourage the nerves to be stimulated thus making me itch more. I want a cure not medication to cover it up.
I now have a name for it which describes all I feel.

Brachioradial pruritus
I found some interesting medical information on the net
good luck everyone I WILL get rid of it and I WILL badger my doctor now until he listens!
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Avatar_m_tn
. After 15 years of this horrible and embarrassing condition, I finally have a name for it!!  And, as sorry as I am for all the rest of you, I am ever so thankful that I am not alone anymore!
Thank you for posting about clorox wipes. They do provide me with some relief. I still dig holes in my arms, but I do see a light at the end of a very long tunnel. They have a nice, fresh smell as well which is an added bonus because if rubbing dog crap on my arms worked, I would certainly do that!
Thanks to all for giving me a community.
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Avatar_m_tn
. After 15 years of this horrible and embarrassing condition, I finally have a name for it!!  And, as sorry as I am for all the rest of you, I am ever so thankful that I am not alone anymore!
Thank you for posting about clorox wipes. They do provide me with some relief. I still dig holes in my arms, but I do see a light at the end of a very long tunnel. They have a nice, fresh smell as well which is an added bonus because if rubbing dog crap on my arms worked, I would certainly do that!
Thanks to all for giving me a community.
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Hi Lesmacy , I have gone to the dermatologist due to the itch did come back after a bad sunny day in Dominican Republic on vacation. The colorox wipes again helped but it did keep coming back. Anyway my dermatologist was right when someone here said it could be from a bad disc in the neck like a bone spur that makes the nerves think you itch there on your arm but its really not your arm its the nerves. I was going to get injections in my neck at pain management but put it off because the itch has gotten better for now . The Clorox wipes she said worked because it sort of fools the itch. She said it was a great idea but the Clorox wipes can reek havoc on ya arm if you use them too much. I love them because they work and take the itch away....:)    
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Avatar_m_tn
I had the itchy arms related to what is now known as brachioradial pruritus, for the past two years.  Like everyone else, I tried every topical I could find, while only ice seemed to offer temporary relief.  Then my wife found an article written by a dermatologist.....see the link.....http://www.drbaileyskincare.com/blog/a-new-explanation-for-intensely-itchy-arms/
I've had lower back problems in the past, and was told by an orthopedic surgeon that it was a degenerative condition and there was nothing that could really be done about it.  I had seen a presentation on the procedure called Vax-D, which is a form of traction, which pulls your lower spine from the hip.  While the round of treatments was very expensive, and not covered by my insurance, I couldn't help but think that it could benefit my condition.  I tried a method at home that imitated the Vax-D method, and during one of my treatments one evening, my back suddenly popped into proper position, and like a miracle, my pain was gone!  That was several years ago, and from time to time, I find it necessary to undergo the traction process, when my back starts acting up.  Well, when we read the above referenced article citing pinched nerves as causing the itching, I decided to try my traction method.  I felt my back pop into place....it was just a small adjustment as I had not noticed any severe back pain lately.  Immediately, the itching stopped, and haven't had it since.....like a miracle....and that was 4 days ago!  Topicals will only act as a bandaid to the condition, and do not address the cause.    
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey Zaza. Thank you for replying. I am aware that I have bulging discs in my neck. Between that and my definite sun damaged arms, I now know what causes it. That in itself is a load off my mind. I seriously was beginning to think I was going mad. I have already tried (or so I thought) everything available over the counter, and several prescriptions. The wipes give me relief for now, and I am finally getting a couple winks of sleep. For now, all is bliss,(well, in the itchy arms department anyway). I will seek other treatment options as needed. Once again, thank you so much for the information.
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Lesmacy you are very welcome. I was going to get a injection in my neck actually from pain management but decided not to only because the itch has subsided for now & I would not know if it actually was working or not but if need I will. Yes, I am glad you tried the wipes and they worked for you. Hey what ever stops it at the moment right! I will in the future keep this board posted if I(well when) it does come back and if I do get the shot in the neck.
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Just found something that works for me, completely by accident!  Try Blue Stop Max massage gel.  If got it from my Mom for joint pain, and out of laziness one night when I was itching so badly, I grabbed the closest lotion I could find, and this worked instantly!  I imagine other sports creams that have that cooling affect, like Ben Gay, might work as well.  Good luck!
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The wonders of the clorox wipes has faded. Darn! The itching is quite severe , and my arms are full of the scratching holes and scabs. I am calling my chiropractor today to see if he has some suggestions. I will keep you posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
I find it interesting that several other people have mentioned it beginning with pregnancy. I wonder if it has a hormonal trigger, or if the pressure on our spines/joints from the pregnancy changes could have something to do with it. Or the epidurals or surgeries or...??

Anyway, my PCP said maybe it is an anxiety symptom. Has anyone else had this suggested? He said just go ahead and continue with the low dose of Xanax as needed, so long as I'm not using it every night. Right now, it seems to be several nights a week, and the Xanax works to help me not lose my mind. I put on the ice pack and wait for the meds to kick in so I can go to sleep.
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Thank goodness for all your posts! I have had this on and off for 5 years or so. I thought it was related to my lyme disease which I have had twice - and some say never leaves you. It's so comforting to find others with the same condition who understand. Doctors and even good friends just don't get it. Many years ago I was told I had scabies which made me shut up because I didn't want anyone to know.. Then that same doctor sent me to a dermatologist when the medicine he had given me for scabies didn't work. The dermatologist said in no uncertain terms that I did not have scabies but instead just a bad excema - so he gave me more creams which didn't work. After a lot of googling I came to the conclusion that it must have to do with nerves and lyme and autoimmune trouble. And finally today after another sleepless night, I am off work because I am exhausted and have taken a benadryl which makes me sleepy. So, now I know what it is called and that I am not the only one suffering from this.  For me - the only thing that has helped is benadryl and ice. I've tried real aloe gel, baking soda applications, neem oil and lots of other stuff. I've had a lot of neck pain on my right side - and the flare up seems to coincide with this so it all is kind of making sense now. Sorry for all your pain but glad to be able to write to people who know and get it..
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Thank goodness for all your posts! I have had this on and off for 5 years or so. I thought it was related to my lyme disease which I have had twice - and some say never leaves you. It's so comforting to find others with the same condition who understand. Doctors and even good friends just don't get it. Many years ago I was told I had scabies which made me shut up because I didn't want anyone to know.. Then that same doctor sent me to a dermatologist when the medicine he had given me for scabies didn't work. The dermatologist said in no uncertain terms that I did not have scabies but instead just a bad excema - so he gave me more creams which didn't work. After a lot of googling I came to the conclusion that it must have to do with nerves and lyme and autoimmune trouble. And finally today after another sleepless night, I am off work because I am exhausted and have taken a benadryl which makes me sleepy. So, now I know what it is called and that I am not the only one suffering from this.  For me - the only thing that has helped is benadryl and ice. I've tried real aloe gel, baking soda applications, neem oil and lots of other stuff. I've had a lot of neck pain on my right side - and the flare up seems to coincide with this so it all is kind of making sense now. Sorry for all your pain but glad to be able to write to people who know and get it..
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I hate to say it, but, welcome to you gorgieporgie. just a follow up from me...acupuncture had no effect on the itching. I have been slathering on lotions. Any lotions that have a cooling effect as the air hits them. I have been having the best luck with SBS40. It's a medicated lotion I found on amazon. There are also some foot lotions that cool. One is avon's footworks ginger and white tea cream. Hope this helps
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Hi again - Dogwoman here....and yes, still dealing with this nasty affliction. Since my last post in Sep of 2013, I tried acupuncture - 3 long sessions - and while I felt generally great after, there was no relief from BRP.  As mentioned earlier, mine is from having had shingles on my neck - in 2008.  I have been on gabapentin 600 mg at bedtime for months now, and just recently upped it to 900 mg at bedtime.  But awakened with horrible anxiety - so I have decided to taper off the gabapentin, and stick to what really helps with the nighttime discomfort:  Lidoderm patches, 5% lidocaine.  I would rather use these every night than be on gabapentin indefinitely - I also tried the capsacin and that was brutal - and went to a chiropractor to no avail.  So the patch is what I plan to use, and nothing else.  I am tempted to try the Chlorox wipes and see how they work - but am not holding out much hope.  Thanks for everyone for your contributions...it means a lot to have "community" support....By the way, I am a fit and active, still working (!) 66 year old woman living in the San Francisco bay area.
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I had this on both forearms and shoulders for the past 4 years, it starts around august and lasts a few months.Each year has got worse. Each year I have been to my gp who has treated me for scabies which I have protested each time explaining its seasonal and no one else is suffering. Last week I begged him for capsaicin cream. This stuff burns and couldnt use it cause it scared me . I used it last night out of desparation and I slept the best in weeks.   I have figured how to manage this cream when its on , will try to explain so it helps anyone else....here goes......if I lie on my back (soany pressure on the cream) the cream starts to heat up and the burn starts......tune into the burn...and if you can it actually replaces the itch......if I lay on my front I put cold wet cloth across my shoulders. 9 hours in and the cream is still working....im amazed by it.....and im off to my gp tomorow to tell HIM whats up with me and hopefully get me reffered........this is a dreadful time as it takes over you life....hope ive helped someone else..jane xx
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I have had neck and back problems most of my life. And then one day this horrible itch started. Left arm only. Was put through allergy testing. They found I had some allergies but nothing that would cause this miserable itch. I was given Xyzal 5mg. It worked took it for a year or so then got off of it because I had been itch free. Then the itch came back after a steroid injection. Started the Xyzal again but it's not working. Things like chills, holding a grand baby, getting hot while doing something, some materials touching my arm make it worse. I have tried a lot of different lotions,creams,skin soothing body washes,rubbing alcohol, all of which my work once but not the second time. Sarna lotion even worked  for a while. If this is a nerve issue then there should be a way to stop it before we all go insane. With all that said I was glad to find out it (the itch) had a name. Someone Please help us make this stop. Pam N.
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I have been suffereing for a short period of time compared to many here and wonder how you have made it so long without going crazy.  I sleep with ice packs around my upper torse and upper arms, take an oatmeal bath every morning and then powder...keeps me calm for a bit.  Then I pack my lunch tote with ice packs and off to my day.  Most days I run out of ice and stop for a cold drink with an extra cup of ice and that gets me thru till I get home.
This is no way to live.  I am taking Gabapentin for foot drop and it doesn't help with BRP.  Seeing a specialist this week in Boston and hopefully there will be some solutions that I can share.  So glad I found this community!
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This is my 27th year with BRP.   I just found a name for it last year.   I am still trying to find commonalities in those who suffer from this malady.  Shortly before I acquired this, I suffered from  popping in my chest.   I went to a couple of doctors and they offered no explanation, just surgery.   I now know the popping was caused by instability in the cartilage in my costal ribs around my sternum.   Last year I went to a physical therapist, who believes it is a connective tissue problem and a rib cage instability issue.   After around 9 treatments he made the symptoms go away.   Sadly, the itching returned in June of this year.   I am back to my physical therapist, however it is slow going since I cannot take off work for appointments.   I also have Notalgia Paresthetica which causes maddening tingling and itching in a spot on the left side of my upper back.   I  have Hypothyroidism and Psoriasis, otherwise I am strong and healthy.   Does anyone else have any of these same disorders ????
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I've used 100% pure Peppermint Oil for years.  The peppermint causes the area to "heat up".  Still trying to find the underlying problem to cure.
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I understand!  I've had this for 10-15 yrs and just found a name last week.  You mentioned Footdrop.  My son, brother, and nephew has CMT (Charcot, Marie, Tooth Disease).  The women in my family are carriers.  It is a peripheral nerve disorder.  

http://www.cmtausa.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=159

I've used 100% Peppermint oil for years.  The "heat" effect helps.  Still trying to find the underlying cause and a cure.
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Are you still bothered by BRP ?   Was the Flexeril a temporary fix or does it still work for you???   Thanks
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Marti,   Is the Ketamine/ Amitryptiline cream still working for you ?   I have suffered with this for 27 years.   I have had many remissions, however it is now worse than ever on both arms.   I would love some relief, however when I called the pharmacy, they said it would be at least $150.00.   I may consider paying this if you say that it still works for you.  Thanks !
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I was just last week after a trip to a dermatologist diagnosised with BRP.  I like everyone else have spent the last year scratching my arms until they bleed.  I am now using a compounding cream with menthol and Rose hip but I am for sure trying the Clorox wipes as applying the cream while at work is a pain.  
Has anyone had any spinal surgery to relieve the itching?  Did it work? Did the itching come back?
Also since mine first started after a beach vacation, I am expecting my favorite past time of beach time is gone.  How has everyone done after being in the sun with sunscreen on your arms?  
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I have had BRP for 30+ years - off and on like everyone else.  I am 62 in the San Francisco Bay Area.  If you are tired of the ice packs, try Bio Freeze - you can buy it at a Chiropractic office or Podiatrist office.  It works like the ice.  You may have to apply it a few times, but the cooling effect is the same and it keeps the itch at bay.  I keep mine in the fridge for maximum effect.  I rarely use ice anymore. Still no cure though - just relief from the symptoms.  Mine goes away for a few months every year, but comes back at the end of summer and at other times. Maddening.  I don't even try doctors anymore - they don't get it.
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I have had BRP for about 15 years, I tried Capzasin HP a week ago and it work great. After i rubbed it in my arm it still itched for about two hours then the itch COMPLETELY went away.
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Avatar_f_tn
Did any of these creams work for you?
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WOW!!!  I did the SAME EXACT THING with the pan pads!!!  on BOTH arms.  Also, when in the local hardware store (HD for short), there are beam and rafter mending plates (steel plates that have "nailer" spikes punched in them).  I took one of them and rubbed my forearms to try and ease the pain.  Didn't work AND I had very bloody arms!
I am SO glad I have found out what it is, that I am NOT alone, and there are SOME remedies (not really cures though).
I have tried most of them... the allergy meds(sort of work short term), the sun protection, vitamine E (not really), glycerin (a few drops and a little water to help absorption )  (kinda worked and was the most successful).
Now I will see my doc since I know what it is called, and hopefully get this under control... DRIVES ME MAD and can't get sleep either!
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Where in Mn???  I am having the same problems, very frustrated.   I can relate to almost every post here, it's 2:26 am and I can't sleep due to the itch, pain and general discomfort.
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I am a 14 year sufferer or BRP.  I have been to multiple neuro, derms and allergists.  No help.  Biopsies, meds, the works.  Capsazin did not work for me, gabapentin left me drooling on my desk.  I sleep with ice packs, pack a cooler in the car with them so if the itch rears it's ugly head then I can run out to the car and stop it with an ice pack.  I have run in to convenience stores gotten ice out of the machine and rubbed it on my arms letting the water drip off of them.  Chiropractic care has not been helpful.  I am on my 9th acupuncture treatment which hasn't been too helpful but I am committing to 10 treatments.  They suggested Yin Care, an herbal wash, which will decrease my itching by about 80%.  I have been using it 3 weeks and it has been helpful.  If you get some, order the fragrance free because it is pretty stinky.  

Like everyone else hear, it is good to know I am not alone in my insanity from this unscratchable itch.  I feel like I look like a meth addict with my scabs all over my arms.
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