About 8 years ago I was at the gym having an intense workout when I had an unusual itch on my left forearm. the itch felt as if something stung me from underneith the skin. From that day foreward, I have had this painful itch that has last year spread to both arms. There is no skin discoloration, no bumps, yet after the itching fest has come to a hault, I end up with pin sized scabs where the most itching accured the next day. The itching was only in my forearms but the last couple of years it has spread throughout both of my entire arms. What is odd is that it's only my arms. No where else. I have cried many of nights. It is now to the point to where it is keeping me up at night. I have been to Dermatologists, primary care doctors, Neurologists, and allergists. I have used lotions, presciption creams, and allergy meds. The only thing that can stop the itch is ice, but then that only works temporarily. Another odd thing is that the itch simmers down in the winter. I really need relief. I can not imagine having this problem much longer.
THis is a condition called physical allergy where the body reacts to stimuli like heat,cold etc.
Cholinergic urticaria is a subcategory of physical urticaria (aka hives) that is a skin rash brought on by a hypersensitive reaction to body heat. Symptoms follow any stimulus to sweat such as exercise (sometimes called exercise-induced urticaria), heat from the sun (which could also indicate solar urticaria), saunas, hot showers (reaction to water can also indicate water urticaria).
The area affected is genetically predisposed. The affected area will often feel warm and can be extremely itchy or exhibit a burning sensation, in most casess followed by a rash called hives.
The exact triggering mechanism for this response is unknown, but it is assumed to be related to the body's thermoregulatory response.
Cholinergic urticaria can be very difficult to treat.Since an attack can often be felt coming on, it can sometimes be halted by rapid cooling, such as applying cold water or an ice pack to the skin.
Drug treatment is typically in the form of antihistamines such as loratadine (Claritin), hydroxyzine, cetirizine.
Calamine lotion can be applied on the arma for relief from the itching.
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