I am a 51 year old, white male that has been suffering for over 21 years from what I call a now "excessive night time itch". This chronic itch has migrated over the years back and forth, mostly from neck, shoulders and arms occasional upper chest. It is almost exclusively to night, of that 90% after I lay down at night. This almost unbearable, life altering itch is hard to describe unlike insect bites, poison oak/ivy which I have had, nothing compares to this stinging type itch. Though the first occurrence happened some 21 plus years ago, it was after I had remolded a previously burned house that may or may not have had molded insulation, the debris of the insulation had fallen onto my shoulders, chest and back. Some have said some insulation could have gotten into my blood stream. This has been ruled out by almost every general practitioner and dermatologist I have ever seen. However that night after showering I broke out with a terrible itch and scratched my neck and mostly chest until it bled. I’m almost certain that this was the cause of that night’s frantic itch. After several weeks, the scars and scabs healed but I began itching on my arms and neck quite often and nothing seemed to help. I then made an appointment and was recommended to a dermatologist who could find nothing wrong. This crazy itch which was then on my forearms, wrists and neck, no creams, saves or ointments have ever given any relief other than ice packs to this day that is the only relief I can get. At one particular time I did have a shot, kenalog, which seemed to help this one incidence for 6 months I did not itch but since then I have had the shot numerous times and it has never again given me any relief. I have had allergy test, biopsy, and blood work but still no diagnosis and all of my tests have always been normal.
Though I almost never itch now where it began and where it was once the absolute worst, my chest and forearms it has been about 10 years since those areas have broken out, and the longest period I have ever gone since the beginning of this saga with out itching has been around 6 months. I seem to now only at the best get a couple of nights of not itching. But lately a couple of nights is as much as I get and to this day ice is my only sort of relief. Though allergy test and blood work came back negative I have still tried to watch for any pattern of cause of this disease. I have avoided certain foods, detergents, sun, cold, and stress. I feel that I have tried every type of cream, ointment everything known to man, but nothing seems to get into the skin to the point of attack, if that makes sense. I have also taken countless oral prescribed medications as well as over the counter, those all have been ineffective. The most recent ones I can recall, hydroxyzine, doxepin, loratidine, and the most recent cyclosporine. I have never itched anywhere else other than these areas mentioned. I have used knives, forks, sticks, whatever I can get my hands on at times when this is at extreme breakout just to get the wound open, its like it breathes or something then I will have a period of relief in that area though briefly it will move maybe only a few inches away or maybe even to the other arm, almost to the identical location. Whether it be my upper chest, arm, back or shoulder. Usually if I have scratched to the point of an open sore, when the scab begins to fall off it will start to itch again. Though now by keeping ice packs on it I have about avoided scratching it raw because of how bad the scars on my upper back, shoulders and arms look. I have never before this time, nor has any family member, had a history of skin type issues or medical history. Dermatologist have most all agreed that the house that I remodeled years ago had nothing to do with this condition that I have now and I cannot possibly have any trace of anything in my blood, such as insulation, which I had originally thought to be true. I have seen approx half dozen well known dermatologists who have claimed to have seen into the hundreds of thousands of patients and not one can diagnosis this much less offer a cure or even some relief. Everything has been ineffective other than that one time, kenalog shot and again the brief times of remission the kenalog was ineffective then, though I had hoped it was cured. Little did I know this would turn into a lifetime of misery and through the best years of my life. I am now 20 plus years of being ignorant to this and have been possibly been going to see the wrong type physicians. The heat, cold, summer, winter, sun, no sun, stress, no stress, seems to make no difference. I have been in frigid winter and extreme heat regardless but 95% of the time after night fall anywhere from 9pm-2 or 3am it’s almost sure to start itching. Please note, these symptoms are year round, prolonged heat, sun, or even exercise when sweating does seem to aggravate it more when I am having a breakout attack. I’m sure there has to be a person or physician that knows someone or others who has this type of dreadful condition. I’m growing tired an weary, I fight depression constantly I don’t want to get up in the mornings because I haven’t slept at night and any medication I may take just makes me tired or irritable the next day. I pray, scream, curse and cry at times, I cant even be in a normal relationship because of this sure to come itch at night. I refuse to loose faith or give up but I beg you for suggestions or anything that may help me. The only thing I can associate this with is inconsistence. Please help!!!
Also, please note after reading blogs on similar conditions I am going to see a physician and try zoztrix hp it seems to have helped some other people.
Since posting my itching problem a few days ago, and discovering this website, boy have I gotten educated. Unfortunately at the expense of many others that suffer from this dreaded itch. Also from the suggestion from Allen Rockoff, MD who mentioned to blog 1717, it may be a neurological issue. 1717 symptoms sound all too familiar and almost exact in fact. I after seeing dozens of dermatologist, and general practitioners, with no explanation, cure or relief and after all tests, blood work, biopsies, all came back normal I should have known to look further. I thought I had tried most all medications but unfortunately I have more to add to the list of near ineffective, zostrix which may have helped little, burned like hell but I would swap burn for itch if it were more affective. The lidoderm patch seemed to help on my upper arm only, maybe because I was able to get it tight with the help of an ace bandage but no relieve on my chest, back or shoulder. Maybe too much hair to stick on well? But didn’t help! Also I have too many areas at one time to possibly use the lidoderm patch. This almost always at night time itch (90% of the time I would say) still seems to get no relief other than ice packs that I have so talked about before. Though I am in the dermatology (expert forum) and this is where I have gotten so much information and have read about others symptoms I see no recent or active responses and especially from blog 1717 who I am the most curious to hear from. Unless now on a neurological website? There is so much I want to check into from the suggestions of others on this particular site; puva? Neurodermatitis?, both are top of the list along with brachioradial pruritus? My first breakout of this was 22 years ago and I know it was related to getting insulation and debris on me in a burned house, but that may have just aggravated something, I don’t know. It was winter time and I had not been in the sun for months, however the sun as well as heat, sweat, even exercise and hot tubs makes this itch worse. I’ve been Alaska in the winter time, Key West in the summer, and one is as bad as the other when it comes to my itch. I have looked for patterns over the years of anything that may be related to any sort of stress, food, drink, soap, detergent, sun or no sun. I cannot find any correlation to this itch. It does make me wonder about this puva itch? , because I have had long exposure to the sun and tanning beds and I can’t help but wonder if I have damaged nerve endings? I do want to try one more topical gel (fluocinonide) that one has suggested. Even though as one person exclaimed “it infuriates me to be suggested a topical treatment” the cream doesn’t get deep enough to where the itch problem begins. The stinging, burning, prickly, whatever else itch it is no bigger than a quarter. It comes and goes without any warning “mostly comes now”. It makes no physical appearance unless I dig a hole with an instrument! And even though the ice is the only thing that soothes it, its’ frustrating because when the ice melts or possible when the spot becomes numb the itch moves sometimes an inch or two or sometimes across my body. This is almost exclusive to my upper chest, upper back, shoulder and upper arms, it was once relentless when it started on my forearms, neck and middle chest and NEVER itches there now. It’s probably been 10 years since I have itched where it began. It’s almost like it migrated and even then gave brief sometime, but sometimes 6 months to 1 year relief without itching. Now a couple of nights without itching is a blessing!! I don’t have any other health issues, in fact I’m healthy, fit, workout, eat right, drink alcohol very little, and probably drink to little water, but plan to start drinking more water because one blog I read suggested more water may help. The last blog I saw of blong1717 though from 2003, now 2010, they were using with much success, so it seemed from my readying, Hawaiian Tropic SPF 45 sunscreen as relief. Wonder if that still works?? Or did it last?? This all but drives me crazy, I’m loosing my sanity, social life, and work performance because I loose so much sleep!! One person suggested gasoline, another lighting it!! I am certainly not going there but I can’t stand much more. If ANYONE can shed light on this “Life Altering Chronic Itch From HELL” please help me!!
Have you tried bathing in lavender camomile and pepper mint .lavender is an antfungal anti viral etc and healing damage to the skin , camomile is soothing great for sensitive skin and peppermint is cooling
I have suffered this. My remedy is drinking lemon juice. When I get this unbearable itching/burning/needle sensation, if I drink juice from 1-2 lemons, it stops almost immediately and lasts a long time!
Probably something to do with acid/alkaline in my system...
I have had similar unbearable itching for almost 4 years, although it happens during the day, and usually, but not always, after showering. It's worst in my ankles but also affects my arms and legs. I take aspirin and loratidine and use ice packs. The closest I've come to a diagnosis is Aquagenic Pruritis, but nobody seems to know how to treat that.
It does at times seem like there's a neurological issue--if I don't get it stopped right away the itch "marches" up my legs, starting with what feels like hot pokers.
The itch first began a couple months after I took swimming lessons in an overly-chlorined pool.
I cannot overstate how unbearable this itch is. I get migraines, too, and I'd rather have a migraine. I never thought I'd see the day I would ever say THAT.
I first discovered Aquagenic Pruritis as a condition by googling "itching and suicide."
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