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Feet and hand itch: Nighttime only
All my adult life, I've had recurring problems with either my feet or my hands developing a severe itch (usually not at the same time), almost always at nighttime (around 11:30 PM), occasionally earlier in the day or where standing. The itch is not confined to my soles but can be the entire foot and both sides of all my fingers. I am a thirty-year old very healthy male. The itch keeps me up at night.

The itch is a deep itch, and there is no rash/eczema/redness, and the itching is not seasonal. It does not respond to corticsteroids (including prescription ones), and it is not contact dermatitis. It does not respond to Hydroxyzine either.

I have ruled out peripheral neuropathy (pain in the extremities due to Diabetes), and my blood sugar and liver blood tests all come out fine.

The itch is not athletes foot (I know because I have had athletes foot), and wouldn't apply because it's on my hands occasionally.

The itch is not due to dry skin because I 1) use moisturizers, 2) live in very humid San Francisco, and 3) it is a deep itch with no visible symptoms.

I do have a history of depression, but I have noticed no correlation between the itch and depression and stress. It still occurs at some of the least stressful times of my life. If there is a correlation with stress, it's because the itch itself is stressful.

The only relief I have discovered are cold compresses. I have a freezer full of them. Heat does not help. People have spent time with me can testify about how strong this itch is. It occurs 2-3 times a week and takes about an hour before it calms down. The odd thing is it occurs only at night.

My current best theory is it may be due to a hormonal problem. In light of this itch manifesting itself only at night, a circadian hormonal spike or imbalance makes sense. Pregnant women report itchy hands.

Another theory is a metabolic intolerance. If I eat something I can't metabolize during the day, the itchiness would therefore only show itself at night as whatever I can't digest builds up. I can't find any correlation with it and my diet, however. Recently, I was assaulted and had to spend two days hospitalized. The second night, the itch showed up (the nurse thought I was crazy asking for ice rather than a sudafed: I told her the sudafed wouldn't work), but I hadn't been allowed to eat anything, so It couldn't be metabolic.

That leaves dietary deficiency - my body needing something, but I regularly take a multivitamin. Also possible is dietary over-eating (I pledge guilty to too much processed food and sodium), but, again, no correlation as far as I can see.

I have read about 10+ postings across the magikall interwebs describing the same phenomena in others, all with stupid follow up suggestions about athletes foot, et. al. If there is a reasonable theory of what is going on with this itch out there, I would much like to hear about it!
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563773 tn?1374250139
Hello,
One possibility for your symptoms is neurodermatitis. Neurodermatitis develops when nerve endings in the skin become irritated, triggering a severe itch-scratch-itch cycle. Common causes of nerve irritation include an insect bite and emotional stress. I suggest you to get an examination done from a dermatologist.

It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.






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Thanks...it looks possible, but the literature says it's usually confined to just one area on an individual, and that there's actually inflammation. The most common areas are the neck, arms, legs and ankes--not the hands and feet. I know enough not to scratch it, which would explain the lack of inflammation or any visible "lichen simplex" (ie, I consciously don't scratch enough to mess my skin up).

I do have a history of asthma, though.

Also odd is that I only have it at night. Granted, if it is aggravated by stress, being home alone at night with nothing to do but think about how miserable I am would do the trick. In my case, it always hits right around 11:30-1:00 AM, but it can happen if I'm not at home or have company. Since having others around or being otherwise distracted would be a way to "distract the mind from the itch," it doesn't fit. This just buts in like a seizure or craving for ice cream. It doesn't respond to corticosteriods, which are the recommended first-line treatment. Also, I'm not in the high-incidence groups (women, middle age, history of skin conditions).
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Hi there.  I have the same itch you are describing.  It started with my feet.  I would get an incredible severe and deep itch in my arch, balls of my feet and heel.  I couldn't not itch it as it was too deep.  I would find some momentary relief by rubbing/digging my heel or balls of my feet into a rough carpet.  I tried soaking my feet in epsom salts which kind of helped but the water had to be so hot that I couldn't hardly stand it.  I almost wanted to hurt the spot rather than itch it.  I am now getting the itch in my fingers and sometimes in the palm of my hand.  Mostly it occurs on my right hand and foot.  But it does happen on my left too.  It almost always wakes me up around the midnight hour and I go to my computer to try to figure what this is.  Right now, I am experiencing it in my 3 right middle fingers.  I want to pick them with a pin to relieve the itch.  They almost feel numb.  Like you, there is no redness, swelling, bumps, scrapes, etc.  No cream works.  I am so tired of this and I just want answers.  I recently had twin girls ( I have 4 kids altogether).  This started before I was pregnant with the twins.  I had gestational diabetes and I have been told I am prediabetic.  I have not lost all the weight and am at my heaviest.  This itch may be worse now because of my weight and sugars.  My mom has MS so I thought it may be a MS attack since it feels like it could be caused by nerve endings.  It could be a pinched nerve.  I don't know what it is but I want to know so I can fix it.  I can't live like this.  It's horrible.  I just want to hurt my feet or fingers when the itch comes on. If you have any theories or if someone else has a theory, I would love to hear it!
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I have the same problem also. Maybe 4 years and counting. I use lotrimin spray twice a day and found a lot of improvement. Although it still persist but not as frequently  as before.
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I realize this is pretty outdated but wondering if you recieved any help or information? I too love in San Francisco and am experiencing the same thing exactly as you described. It's not some skin irritation, nor is it a bug. It's something else. The odd thing is it happens only at night while asleep or trying to sleep for awhile. And it's rare. I'm baffled. But intuiting what this could be, perhaps as you say it's. Hormonal  imbalance brought on by circadian rhythms. Perhaps it's a combination. A reaction to a drug, however mild, that only when asleep and under the proper circumstances emerges. That's the only thing I can think it could be.  I would love to know more and if you found anything out.  
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Hi. I am facing an exactly similar problem as described in here! I am in Mumbai India. Have been fit and healthy. Follow very good hygiene. I bathe at least twice a day. So I am ruling out infection. No known allergy of any sort so far to any food/medicine/etc. Am not being treated for anything, nothing at all.
I went to my good ol' doc - a local general physician- after I got some red rash on my neck. My arm pits also had become itchy. This was about a month ago . I had applied a medicated powder called Nycil. It was a gulabjal variant of it, red in colour. It had cooling crystals in it so when one applies you feel a dash of 'coolness'. I thought I got an allergic reaction to this powder. Now, Nycil I have been using for donkey's years but never this particular variant of the powder. The doctor heard me out. He said " Nycil will never cause this problem as far as I know.  First things first, I have observed your skin. It looks like a fungal infection. Take this presription. Apply this brand Z***n ( an antifungal, anti bacterial dusting powder) Clotrimazole powder, twice a day."
I said " But Sir, I am surprised at the amount itching I get. It is also in my pubic region. Besides I have been using a medicated soap of a famous brand - Detto*"
Doc : "Son, be patient. Show it to me again if it persists. ALso shave off all this hair on your body. That can also cause these things. Stop using that soap; it can be very strong on your skin. Using something more delicate"

I have done as he said. Upon shaving the hair off, I observed some "spots" of fungal infection. Darkish spots.
After applying that powder the itching on other regions has subsided.
However, for past week I am facing itching as described here by SFKelvin. Exactly that.
I guess I have to see a dermatologist and not a General Physician. If anyone can recommend a good one, I would much appreciate that.
I live in the western suburbs.
Thanks
Regards
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I realize this post is many years old, but still, I am wondering if you have ever found a solution. I have been dealing with this exact same issue for the past 6 years. It started when I was 32. Pregnancy had not effect and I do not believe it is hormonal. I have my own theories about what is causing this and would like to explore this with someone else who is experiencing this.
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I too have this issue I am in colorado. Mine happens a few time a year. Currently happing for night too. The itch is so bad and deep it doesn't stop. I did take some children's benadryl yesterday and that kept e itch was during the day. My hands hurt so bad from itchy I wale up on the middle of sleeping to me itchy. I am afraid I will itchy my hands til they bleed at night.

This time I noticed welts or hives all over both legs and feet and they all itched as well that is why I took the children's Benadryl

I Also noticed when I woke up itching that putting my hands directly on my skin helped stop the itch for a while.

I need to know why it happens and how to prevent it.
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I have the exact same problem, only at night, the itch is unreachable.   no visible rashes at all.   No doctor can figure it out.   I have been suffering with this for the past 9 years.  has anyone found any solutions?  so frustrating.
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I have the same itch! Feet and hands every night! I don't know exactly what it is but I was told my my psychiatrist that he thinks it might be an allergic reaction to pill coatings. Not the medications themselves but what they are coated in. He said it is nearly impossible to tell but like you ice helps, I also use jet gems ultra healing lotion and some numbing lotion I got from a doctor for scar treatment. It helps but it's no cure. I'd like to talk about this more and keep in touch if you're willing to email or message back and forth on Facebook...? I have never met anyone with this issue and even tho it ***** it's kinda nice to not feel so freaking alone now! I thought I was going insane or something lol. I also have another theory just myself for this issue but it's purely speculation... I think it could also be related to my sensory prosesding disorder. And a lot of people go undiagnosed with spd. It's a nerve disorder. And all the nerve endings are in the hands and feet. And because people with spd tend to suppress the symptoms nearly all day, by the end of the day when I'm all settled in bed and relaxed (whether stressed or not) I feel like my nerves get the chance to kind of just "explode" or just fire away in other words. So the itching feeling is a result from my nerves going nuts from my suppressing my spd sumptoms all day and they are just letting loose. Kinda like if you wear a ponytail all day and then when you let your hair down it kinda hurts and it sore for a while then your scalp calms down after a bit. Hopefully this has helped you in maybe finding a reason as to why this is happening to you.
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I have the same problem on the palms and heels.

Long story short…I am going to see a gastroenterologist (GI doctor) I have read that the itching condition could be due to a blocked bile duct. I have been diagnosed with gall cysts on an mri that was done for another condition.

Anyway I have found that a warm white vinegar soak does greatly ease the symptoms
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Did anyone find a cure? I am in Kenya and experiencing this but its broken out into what the Derm thinks is Dermertitis -  i have taken all kinds of meds the past 7 months with no relief. My hands look like they are scrapped with knives and cut up...they bleed from my constant itching and I am so frustrated.
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I have been experiencing the same issues for the past 4 years. It started when I moved into an apartment after my divorce. I'm thinking possibly stress. Not that I ever am aware of any stress in my life. I am very happy with my life.  I am now 50 years old and have had no other signs of ANY health issues. I also eat healthy about 90 percent of the time. I have noticed that when I am ill of a cold or flu symptoms, the itch is not present. I wish all of us to find answers and relief for whatever this issue is caused by.  
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What a relief it was to type in "nocturnal itching hands and feet" and find all of your comments here!  Just knowing I'm not imagining it makes me feel hopeful.  I like the theory regarding SPD mentioned above -- I'd never heard of it before so I googled that too, and discovered it might actually explain a lot of other issues in my life.  My husband has described me as "overamped", since whatever I do or whatever I experience, I do so to the extreme: including itching, stressing, laughing, and being annoyed by loud motorcycles, for example.  These nighttime itch session wake me from a sound sleep and then keep me awake for 1-2 hours.  I have to remove my wedding rings to get at the itch in my fingers.  It never ever occurs during the day; which is why I like the nerve-release theory mentioned.  Thanks Internet, thanks folks.  Good luck to us all.
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Erythromelalgia is a condition characterised by intense burning pain, erythema (marked redness), and increased skin temperature, primarily of the feet and hands. The condition is classified into primary and secondary erythromelalgia. It has also been classified into early-onset and late-onset forms. Symptoms of the disease vary markedly between individuals; in some patients there is a continual burning pain while others experience “flare-ups” or bouts of the condition lasting from minutes to days.

Erythromelalgia is also known as ‘erythermalgia’. It may be considered a type of neuropathic pain syndrome (pain related to conditions affecting the nerves themselves), where there is dilation of the small blood vessels that become congested with blood.

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Erythromelalgia is a condition characterised by intense burning pain, erythema (marked redness), and increased skin temperature, primarily of the feet and hands. The condition is classified into primary and secondary erythromelalgia. It has also been classified into early-onset and late-onset forms. Symptoms of the disease vary markedly between individuals; in some patients there is a continual burning pain while others experience “flare-ups” or bouts of the condition lasting from minutes to days.

Erythromelalgia is also known as ‘erythermalgia’. It may be considered a type of neuropathic pain syndrome (pain related to conditions affecting the nerves themselves), where there is dilation of the small blood vessels that become congested with blood.

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My Dr. prescribed:  Hydroxyzine ICL 10mg generic fo Atarax) I take 1 pill before bed. It works for me.
When I forget to take I will flair up and itch till I start to burn.

What causes erythromelalgia and who gets it?

The actual cause of erythromelalgia is unknown in most cases. Primary erythromelalgia develops spontaneously without any associated underlying disease associated, and is sometimes called ‘idiopathic erythromelalgia’. Secondary erythromelalgia develops secondarily to medical conditions such as neurological diseases (e.g. multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy), autoimmune diseases (e.g. lupus, diabetes mellitus), or more commonly the myeloproliferative disorders. In these disorders the bone marrow produces excessive numbers of cells, e.g. polycythaemia vera (increased red cells), and essential thrombocythaemia (increased platelets). Erythromelalgia presents before the appearance of the myeloproliferative disorder in 85% of cases.

People with early-onset erythromelalgia develop it before they are 25. Although the disease is of unknown origin in most cases, sometimes it can be traced back through generations of a family (Weir-Mitchell disease). This has recently been shown to be due to mutations in a gene called Na(v)1.7., which encodes a sodium channel within certain cells.

Late-onset erythromelalgia occurs most often around 40-60 years of age and is primary in about 60% of cases.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Lower extremities such as the soles of feet and toes are most commonly involved. Rarely does the pain extend up to include the knees. Upper extremity involvement includes the fingers and hands. Often both feet and hands are involved and both sides of the body (bilateral) are affected. It may affect one side of the body (unilateral), particularly in secondary cases. Less frequently, symptoms may also appear in the face, ears and other parts of the body.

The classic description of erythromelalgia is red, painful, warm hands or feet, brought on by warming or hanging the limb downward, and relieved with cooling and elevation.

Some patients notice a continual burning while others are troubled with “flare-ups”
Flare-ups may last minutes to days and typically occur late in the day and continue through the night
Usually attacks begin with an itching sensation, progressing to a more severe pain with a burning sensation
During an attack the affected extremity becomes warm, tender, swollen, and appears dusky red and sometimes mottled
Pain may be so intense that the patient cannot walk
Cooling (with fan or immersion in cold water) and elevating the extremity can relieve symptoms
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Hi Tara.. I can help you heal your itchy feet soles. Just feel free to get in touch with me over email : ***@****. The sooner you get in touch, the better. I myself had gone through the same problem and have cured myself thru spiritual healing. You dont need to pop any pills or spend a penny. And i intend to do it for other sufferers for free.
Rgds
Sam

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Am based out of Mumbai, India.. I can help you heal your itchy feet soles. Just feel free to get in touch with me over email : ***@****. The sooner you get in touch, the better. I myself had gone through the same problem and have cured myself thru spiritual healing. You dont need to pop any pills or spend a penny. And i intend to do it for other sufferers for free.
Anyone from Mumbai or India with similar itchy feet ??
Rgds
Sam

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i used vicks vapor rub rub on my feet and put on socks.I have tried everything and the vicks dont always work.If i get in bed with nothing on my feet im up in 5 min to put something on.I also use Vaseline and lotion.
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Hi everyone, I'm 44 from Malaysia. I also have the same problem with extremely itchy feet, hands and in between toes and fingers. I'm scratching them every night and even now as I'm writing this. I noticed I only have the itch when I eat process food especially with flavor enhancers or MSG. As I'm Chinese, my food usually has soy sauce which contains the allergen. Therefore it's hard to avoid these food especially when you're eating out. Fast food are definitely out for me otherwise I'll wake up with scratch marks in the morning. I also have a history of eczema that will thicken up with scaly skin after much scratching. Steroids creams only will solve the skin problem but not the itch. A TCM( Traditional Chinese Medical) doctor gave me a cooling cream which only can numb the itch to prevent me from scratching. Sometimes when I have a clean diet, I'm saved from this nocturnal itch. My clean diet means no artificial flavoring or any process food. Hope this helps.
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Has anyone researched candida overgrowth? The body detoxifies at night, the feet are a major site.
If you really want to get better, changes happen inside - out.
Get rid of alcohol, sugar, flour, and cut down your carbs. Eat plenty of coconut oil, eggs, garlic and onions. Take hot Epsom salt and baking soda baths. Soak your feet in Epsom to draw out toxins. You'll get better. It took time to get here, it will take time to get out.
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I have been experiencing the exact symptoms as many of you have described.  Extreme itching in hands and feet that wakes me up and keeps me up for 1 or 2 hours at night.  Never in daytime.  I have tried many topical solutions, creams, anti-itch medicines, but they do not seem to make any difference beyond a momentary feeling.  Is there even a recognized name for this syndrome?  
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I have this as well.  Healthy 42 year-old male in Wisconsin.  Sudafed and others have not helped, but Zyrtec works well for me and the itch goes away in 30-45 mins.  Mine is also only about 11-12ish at night, sometimes on feet, mostly on hands - tonight it's worst on the webs of my hands between thumbs and index fingers. The skin feels hot to the touch, but no physical symptoms on the skin itself.  If I can not wait for the Zyrtec to work, I put my feet in ice-water and hold icepacks in my hands. I sometimes fall asleep with my feet off the bed on the floor in the bowl of ice-water and the rest of me sideways up on the bed. Ridiculous. What is this??  I get these symptoms anywhere from 1-3 nights a week. I also take meds for depression - Viibryd 40mg/day.
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It appears that many people posted the same type of symptom and there hasn't been anyone who could provide a one definitive resolution.

I am 40 yrs old male and live in NJ.  I have the same exact itchiness that the original poster described: deep itchiness on my hands and feet.  It usually starts in the evening-ish but occasionally as early as 2 - 3 pm.

I've used Cortisone and other anti-itching ointment.  None worked.  I've boiled herb leaves and applied the water on the itchy spot, as some suggested.  Didn't work.   I submerged my body in the tub with lukewarm water for 10-15 min.  Then without completely drying the body, I've applied generous amount of moisturizer (lotion) on hands and feet.   Didn't work.
I started running and sweating in the evening just to see if that worked.  Didn't work.  I skipped dinner to see if this was a nutrient thing.  didn't work.

Only thing that alleviate the itchiness was 1) poking the hell out of itchy area with a very sharp needle  and 2) put the hands or feet in the boiling hot water.   I know... I know... I can run into infections and skin damages.  I know.   But when the itchiness comes and it becomes severe enough I've gotta do what I gotta do.

Please, help.  someone..  anyone..  If you have one method that can completely make the itchiness disappear..   medicine, pill or home remedies or even Voodoo method...  I don't care.   Please, let me know.
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I was awakened last night, almost midnight with terrible itching on the bottom of my feet. No rash, they looked normal. Back in the mid 90's I had same thing but it moved. It was a total body reaction to a hysterectomy and resulting urine infection. Body shocked by the surgery and all the antibiotics and medicines I had never had before. It went away on it's own. Now last night. Leaving my feet out from under the covers, it was a chilly night, and a Benadryl finally gave me relief. Now I am worried it will come again. Which is how I found this site. There don't seem to be any answers. I do not  want to go thru this again. It itches so bad I think I will hurt myself itching.
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I got this last night.  It eventually abated after I applied generous amounts of Aspercreme with lidocaine and rubbed the hell out of my foot to make it penetrate.  I also put on my foot one of those capsicum-laced pads used for muscle aches, but I doubt that helped because I couldn't feel any heat from it.  I also popped a couple of benadryl.  It tok about 30 minutes for any relief to start.
Here's something else that might help.  I am exceedingly sensitive to bug bites and the itching they cause.  The only thing that gives immediate relief is to take some canned air (like you use to blow out your computer keyboard) and turn it upside down so it sprays the frozen liquid onto the itching area.  You have to be careful to avoid frostbite, but the intense cold will numb the area until a lidocaine sting-relief product kicks in. I haven't tried this on the deep heel itch, but it might help a little.  Just be careful with it.  
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Bingo. Im betting we are all similar with this - supressing a lot during the day, then crazy unreachable itch all eve. I keep wondering why I dont hurt from all the scratching my hands so hard...then it goes away later. I think we are all suppressing anxiety. Then it comes out like this.
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I dont think any of us has burning though...its itching.
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Does anyone else notice restless legs feeling with this?
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18667933 tn?1466792415
Have you found the solution to itching heel?
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ZYRTEC. Nothing else. ZYRTEC.
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This thread. This. Thread. :)
I, too, am looking for a solution to the deep-in-the-foot itch. Am a mid-30s female from WI. Mine was always mostly at night (am writing this at 1:30 am, for example, having once again performed my "what IS this?" search) BUT the last few months I've gotten it twice while on a half-hour drive. Agony!
More interesting? I am not the only person in my family to complain about this. (Extended family who live in another house- so rules out environmental.)
I am pretty sure this didn't hit until maybe ten years ago. I recall the first time it happened. And I feel it has gotten worse (sensation the same but with greater frequency). It wakes you from sleep! Gah!
Hairbrush. Stairway edge. Spinning in circles on carpet on ball of foot. Tried them forever but to no avail. Always end up just "waiting it out". Also of note: itch is almost always on the pad of my foot where it's deeply calloused (am a runner) BUT sometimes I feel it's deep between the toes in the softer, hurts-to-scratch-it-too-roughly area... you know, just for variety. Sigh.
Doctors haven't an idea of what it is. Hellllp, fellow sufferers!!!!!
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I've had this for 3 years now. It drives me insane and I actually feel like sawing my hands off! I've had a full blood check done and nothing shows up. Doc prescribes me an antihistamine and if I take one around 6pm it tends to keep it at bay, but if I miss one....
PS I also take anti depressants
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My first time I got it was when I was 37 weeks pregnant they told me it was PUPP couldnt give me anything. I'm only 23 years old and healthy. Now after 7 months its back and its driving me crazy!!!! Nothing helps except freezing water. Im so tired of this
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I have this exact thing. I started taking loratadine in the morning and benedryl at night and it has helped a lot. I also notice that alcohol  (especially wine) and NSAIDs (ibuprofen, motrin, etc.) make it much worse.
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Yes, try Zyrtec or a generic form of it.  I had similar symptoms (itchy feet only at night keeping me up, no rash or marks, feet would feel hot) and this worked for me.  I don't have any known allergies but after taking a tablet of this antihistamine 20min later it does the trick and the itch goes away for me.  I try to take one when I suspect the itch is coming to prevent but either way is good.  Definitely worth a shot, I got a bottle of Cetirizine Hydrochloride from Amazon.   Good luck everybody, glad there are forums like this, it was very helpful and reassuring that I wasn't alone.
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Same, same...  Female, 45, fairly healthy (30 lbs overweight) terrible intense itching on hands and feet - only at night, no rash, redness, etc. (until I scratch so hard I break the skin) not consistently every night, sometimes nothing for a couple weeks and then a season of 3-4 times a week awakening with it. I think the 2 benadryl only help because they knock me out so hard I sleep through any itching. Over the last 5 years or so it has gotten worse. I agree with hormonal spikes maybe even triggered by certain foods? The endocrine system is all linked together and related to nutrient intake and hormones.
Something new I just noticed...  I have been on a strict diet for about 2 months, have lost 26 lbs (no carbs, no sugar, no processed food, limited salt) have had almost no itching in the last month! Until tonight, but I have been once again slipping into bad habits (3 days now) but today was the worst probably. I had bread, and sweets, and tons of salt. Thinking that all that garbage is trying to escape my body? Maybe it spikes hormones or thyroid? Either way, I just scratched the crap out of my hands and feet with my hairbrush and after an hour of sleeplessness will head back to bed (4:30 am) ugh! I do love food, especially processed, but for the sake of sanity, sleep, and health - I guess I just need to grow up and eat the nutrient rich foods my body needs. Not worth the dermatological war with my appendages :-/
Hope you all find relief as well. It really is a blessing to find other people with similar issues - misery loves company??? Lol I will repost soon with another update to see if my hypothesis is correct. Sleep well all - no scratching.  
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