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intense night rash with uncontrolable itching
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intense night rash with uncontrolable itching

Hey Doc! I am absolutely desperate!!! For approximately 18 months I have had this horrible rash on my neck,eyelids and chest that is currently ruling my lfe.  It "awakens" particularly at night.  I will literally scatch until I bleed.  Recently, it is located across my upper chest and shoulders. I also experience a similar rash(but not as intense and deep)on my eyelids and anterior folds in my arms. The itch feels very deep and scatching does not feel effective in any capacity. The only cessation is when I literally scald the areas with very hot water(which I find myself doing 2-3 times per night). This is the only way I can get any sleep(typically I have never had any problems sleeping).  I understand this is the worst thing for it, however, I've been to 6-8 doctors that have given me no answers but cortisone creams, numerous injections(kenallog/decadron) and medrol dose packs.  Short term answers to a long term problem.  I have gone to an allergist-and I was positive for many things-dust,mold,dander,pollen-but I have absolutely no nasal reactions whatsoever. His answer to the problem was zertec that did nothing...I have covered my mattress and pillows with dust mite proof linens. My question is why does the rash/itch become so intense only at night regardless of where I sleep(friends houses, hotels or different rooms in my house)?. How is it possible that I can go to sleep at night, and wake 1-2 hours later tearing the skin off my neck or chest, yet I can take a nap in the same bed during the day and have no reaction.  Do you think it is an allergic reaction?  I have literally eliminated everything with no allieviation of symptoms. Could this be systemic or consistent with any pathological condition?  Who should I see? Please keep in mind, I am a 35 year old white male, very athletic, an extremely healthy eater, very little stress and I am NOT a hypocondriac in any capacity so please do not tell me it's hives b/c it is not...Thank you and I look forward to your response.
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Well, there's one thing I can say for sure, and that is: if you keep scalding your skin with hot water three times a night, you're never going to get any relief.  That will keep your skin in a perpetual state of aggravation.

My bes guess is that you are now in the throes of a terrible vicious cycle of itching and scratching.  To get better, you will need to break the cycle.  This should involve a combination of dermatologic and psychologic therapy: soothing creams to calm the skin, sedatives to help you sleep, anti-Itch measures that will give you relief without scalding yourself and perpetuating your problem.

Make no mistake: once you stop scratching, your problem will, I predict, disappear.  But first you have to get the help you need to stop scratching.  Begin by using cold instead of hot (cool compresses, ice cubes in a plastic bag) to numb the nerve endings when you would otherwise be tempted to scald yourself.

Good luck.

Dr. Rockoff
11 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Drs! I need your help here,,, I've been experiencing itching on  my armpits... I think it'll get worse after a week... is it a ringworm? what can i do to cure it? i really need your help pls. don't ignore this... i'm 18 yrs. old with dry skin... tnx! I'm hoping to get your reply before a week pls... thank you very much!
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband could have written your post, opusazul.  The only thing different is that he doesn't have a rash of any sort which makes it even more perplexing.  

I had hoped the doctor would have the answer but the way I read his answer it seemed like he thought the psychological component was the biggest part of it.  I don't agree unless your subconscious mind is capable of causing you to scratch yourself until you bleed, even in a deep sleep.  

I do agree with him about the cold being better than heat, though.  My husband uses those ice packs you can freeze over and over and there is an icy gel you can get at most drugstores.  We used to buy it at Wal-Mart for about $7. but then I found it at the dollar store for, yep, a dollar.  It's the only thing that seems to help at all.  Like you said, no problem during the day but  he can count on it waking him up every night and very little sleep for three or four nights until he is so exhausted he does sleep.  Then the cycle starts over.

Desperate isn't too strong of a word.  It's just awful.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a similar problem to horje and my doctor recommended Synalar Cream. A friend suggested that I try and get my perscription online as I do not have health insurance and it will be cheaper. My question is.. Are online pharmacys like
"www.safemedsnow.com" safe? And, if I don't have insurance, and I know what medication to fix my problem, is it really any cheaper?  
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband has the same problem, as soon as the sun goes down he starts scratching and can't stop. We don't know why this is happening we have not changed anything so we can't find a reason. The only thing that help him is benadryl. It stops the itching but it make him sleepy and hard for him to get up on time in the morning. If anybody has any solutions I open to hear them
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Avatar_n_tn
To you people with a rash that goes across areas of soft skin like the upper back, chest, armpits, waists, under breasts, etc. that flairs up at night with intense itching that does not allow you to sleep, you really need to go to a dermatologists and tell him these symptoms.  These are the symptoms of scabies,  a burrowing mite that causes for a rash in these areas that always keeps people up at night.  This infection is on the rise right now all over the world, so your dermatologitst will most likely not be surprised.

You should not be embarrassed to mention scabies to your dermatologist, as scabies is not an infestation associated with filth or uncleanliness.  Scabies affects all social groups and ethnicities, as it is very contagious.  If you do have scabies, your Doctor will most likely prescribe a 5% permethrin cream, and he will instruct you to bleach your bed linens, sleep in an untouched bed for at least four to five days, and wash all clothing worn within the last four to five days with bleach or Borax (for colors)in hot water!
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Avatar_n_tn
ALSO, ALSO, ALSO!  For those of you who feel sure that you have scabies and do not have the time and/or money to see a dermatologist, you can order Nix 5% permethrin cream, which one otherwise has to get through prescription, from Blue Sky Pharmacy at www.blueskypharmacy.com.  It is under "topicals", and Blue Sky is a legitimate online pharmacy.  I have ordered many different products at good prices from them in the past, and they are always delivered on time.  Estelene
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Avatar_n_tn
About 3 years ago, my skin started itching all over my body. The rash will spread all over my body for some hours and it will disappear. I can have it during the day and sometimes at night when I sleep. It comes and goes. I especially get itchy after a hot shower. Can you help and tell me what I should do? Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel crazy. My spouse and I both developed an intense itch at the same time. No visible rash, except after scratching. It seems worse in the evening. It's lasted about a month. Our kids don't have it, just us. The itch is mainly on our legs and stomachs. What the heck is it? We stripped our bed, washed everything, are using Aveeno and cortisone cream. What do you think it is? It wakes me up in the night and I am scratching so hard I now have bruises on my thighs.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have got this itchy skin for last 8 days. General physician said it is some allergic reaction and advised antihistamin which I am taking. I have taken atleat 6 tablets of antihistamine but itch has not decreased and instead has increased. Yesterday night I couldn't sleep and was trying to find all information on net regarding itch. One strange part is that I have developed red rashes all over the body except the face and head above neck. I have more rashes in belt area, biceps in hand, elbow and knee. But itching is generally all over body and legs. I am presently at a remote island and have limited opportunity to see specialists. Can you advice
what is the possible case?
How long will it take to recover to normal?
Any medicine to take care of itch?

Incidentlly I read for scabies and went to near by lab for test and it turned out to be negetive. But I also read that it is not necessary that test may be positive as there are very less, may be 10 scabies on body.
I itch a lot and to he extent I cut the skin.   Please help and advice.
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A related discussion, itchingat night was started.
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A related discussion, INTENSE ITCHING!!!!!! was started.
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