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Itchy Arms with no rash
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Itchy Arms with no rash

Someone please help me.  I am a 29 year old female who is toherwise healthy. I eat right, exercise, and am very active. I live in Florida and spend a lot of time in the sun, which may contribute to this.  About four months ago, my forearms became extremly itchy for no real reason. If I leave it alone, it eventually goes away, but if I succomb to the urge to itch, it just turns into a vicious cycle of constant itching & scratching - getting worse as the day goes on.  It keeps me awake at night and interferes with my life. It's embarrasing to meet new people and scratch all the time. I have scratched my arms to the point of bleeding. I have been to a dermatologist who mentioned something about a pH imbalance and then prescribed me lotion that costs $250 (after insurance).  Needless to say, I'm not using the lotion. If I put a bag of ice on it, it goes away for a while, but always comes back - it's a daily thing. I dont know what to do. As far as I know, I don't have any allergies. My 27 year old brother has the same issue. Any ideas, please.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi

I understand that this could be frustrating. Itching in the absence of a rash may be due to conditions involving the skin alone or it may be associated with systemic conditions like kidney or liver problems. In your case, you are young and you have not mentioned any associated signs and symptoms. If this is the case, then we need to consider a fungal infection or irritant dermatitis. Fungal infections may not necessarily present with a red rash all the time. For fair skinned individuals, fungal infections may present with light areas associated with mild scaling. Irritant dermatitis may be due to application of creams and lotions on the skin which may render it dry and irritated.

What is significant here is that you have noted your brother to experience a similar skin condition. You may need to assess circumstances that surround the onset of the skin condition eg food intake, certain activities, exposure to pets, history of travel, and even scabies.

Does your brother have any history of asthma or allergies?
If these are present in the family then we have to consider an allergic reaction here.





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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

Itchy skin that is not accompanied by a rash, is most often caused by dry skin. Dry skin in turn may be due to environmental factors such as changes in weather, low humidity levels, long-term use of air conditioning or central heating, and washing or bathing too much.

Other conditions that may also cause itchy include: skin disorders; internal diseases such as those involving the liver, kidneys, and thyroid; , allergies and drug reactions. With no known history of allergy and with your brother manifesting the same symptoms strongly point  to skin disorders. Many skin conditions including psoriasis, dermatitis, scabies, lice, chickenpox and hives may cause itchy skin.  Are there other signs and symptoms present?
Scabies in particular, is a transmissible ectoparasite skin infection that usually presents with intense pruritus or itching. It would be best that you and your brother see a doctor  for further evaluation and management.

Take care and keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the quick reply.  My brother doesnt have asthma or any known allergies either, but it seems that we both had this issue start around the same time. We live two hours away from each other, so I dont know what commonality other than relation we may have.  I have a 1 year old Great Dane, but have had dogs my whole life and never had an issue. My brother does not have any pets. I had some bloodwork done to check for hepatitis, but it came back negative, so I'm not sure if its liver related, although both my bother and I are somewhat heavy drinkers. My brother is somewhat fair skinned, although I am not & I have tried changing the bath soap, laundry detergent, lotions, and anything else I can think of that may cause this. As I type this, my left forearm, near my elbow is itching like mad. Sometimes its both, but its not resricted to just one arm.
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