Dermatology Expert Forum
Pin-prick Itchiness
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Pin-prick Itchiness

Something in my house or in my head is making me itch.  It's often in my bed, my sofa, and in the dustier corners of my house.  I suspected dust mites, but I have no respiratory problems at all, and no rashes, bumps, or welts.  There are no visible critters creeping across my body, but it sure feels like it.  What I feel are tiny pin-pricks, sometimes just three or four, then many, all over me, sometimes even my eyelids.  They are irritating and intensely specific enough to wake me up, especially if I am warm and comfy.  It sometimes helps to throw the covers off and walk around, but in the dead of winter, I can't really do that for long.  I'm usually attacked at 3 or 4 in the morning and get some relief toward dawn, as though the critters synchronized their venomous assault like African fire ants.  I have no pets, but do live in a wooded area and have a heat pump which blows in who knows what from outside.  Does this sound like an allergy, an infestation, a skin problem (my Mom has sensitive, rash-prone skin), or a painfully real imagination?  I don't usually itch in anyone else's (usually cleaner) house, and I do hate to see guests scratch in mine.
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Very tough to answer your question.  You don't say how long this has been going on.  When you say that you hate to see guests scratch in your house, I assume that they actually don't.

Most rashes or infestations that itch as much as you do cause a rash, at least after a while.  If there is no visible manifestation at all, then a psychological explanation does seem plausible.  I would recommend, however, that you see a skin doctor both for eva,uation and a blood test.  Although liver and other systemic abnormalities are not at all likely, they need to be ruled out.

In the meantime, I suggest that you apply a topical anesthetic lotion like Sarna (no Rx needed.)  Keep it at the bedside for ready application.  The antihistamines Benadryl (25 mg) and chlortrimeton (4-8 mg) may also help tide you over, and may even "break the cycle" of itching and scratching.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
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