I think a recent period of emotional strain compromised my immune system, allowing the body's flora to propagate exponentially, resulting in crawling, tickling and itching sensations, red bumps and welts, tiny spontaneous cuts and purple streaks.
I've been bagging my clothing, changing clothes multiple times per day and vacuuming and doing laundry daily and self-treating with a series of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications and supplies such as tea tree oil and coconut oil (applied to the skin) and bathing nightly in borax/epsom salts water (5x/week) and dilute bleach (2 x/week).
The symptoms have receded to the point that I need only two major treatments (bath or shower, preceded by alcohol and followed by tea tree oil, coconut oil, etc.) per day, whereas I had needed four to six shower/treatments daily. I carry a bottle of tea tree oil and a borax-soaked sponge for spot treatments on the fly. The bumps and itching and tickling sensations occur mostly around the head, face, neck, shoulders and stomach (the T-bone area.)
Yesterday I saw my third dermatologist, who prescribed a medication for my nerves that requires an EKG screening before I can take it. The session was rushed, and I didn't have time to mention all my symptoms and history. I've also made such good progress on my own that there were no visible symptoms at the time of the examination.
To diagnose a demodex infestation requires a skin scrape test, where oil is applied to various parts of the body and then scraped on to slides and examined under a microscope. He did not mention doing this, but I'd like to know what I have before I resume social contact with loved ones, which have been suspended for going on five months.
The crawling sensations, mostly at night, over 4 months resulted in sleep deprivation so severe that I blacked out while driving and ran into someone. I began having panic attacks with suicidal ideation. With Xanax I am getting adequate sleep.
Thanks for posting your query.
From your symptoms of tingling and crawling and itchy skin, it is important to rule out parasthesia skin and restless leg syndrome. If the skin is thick and leathery then neurodermatitis would be an important possibility.
Parasthesia due to dysfunctioning of neurons which can be due to diabetes, hypothyroidism, peripheral vascular disease, vitamin B12 deficiency, neurological causes or malnutrition.
You can take vitamin B 12 supplements for some days. Foods rich in vitamin B 12 like meats and poultry can also be taken. Also get your blood usgar levels and thyroid hormone levels checked.
Restless leg syndrome causes an uncomfortable, "itchy," "pins and needles," or "creepy crawly" feeling in the legs. The sensations are usually worse at night.
Consult a dermatologist and get these causes ruled out.
Hope that this information helps and hope that you will get better soon.
The symptoms have shifted and ameliorated over the four months' duration of my infestation.
I've had no crawling sensations for more than three weeks and the tickling sensations are rare. For the past two-plus weeks the symptoms are almost entirely itching on my scalp, face, neck and shoulders, with red or grey splotches here and there, especially around my temples and eyebrows and, at times tiny white-headed pustules leading down from the corners of my mouth.
Until two days ago I used tea tree oil and coconut oil, which helped, but what has REALLY worked is the clotrimazone cream that, on a hunch, I began applying two days ago. Lord, what a relief!
And to think, that a noted dermatologist prescribed a anti-psychotic drug for delusional parasitosis!
I read your piece on seborrheic dermatitis, and what I am experiencing sounds exactly like what you described. My immune system was weakened due to protracted emotional stress, allowing my floria (demodex and malassezia) to proliferate. My treatment regimen dealt with the demodex, but wasn't designed to deal with malassezia.
Now the clotrimazole is dealing with the fungus. I just bought a shampoo that has 9% coal tar. Between the shampoo and the fungicide cream and my other hygienic and health protocols, I should be on the road to recovery.
Glad to say "goodbye" to tea tree oil.
I would be pleased to have your feedback on the above.
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