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itchy arms = BRACHIORADIAL PRURITUS
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itchy arms = BRACHIORADIAL PRURITUS

all itchy arm sufferers....please look into brachioradial pruritus.  My arms, and only my arms, have itched for 10 years.  no rashes, no psiorias, excema etc.  The creams, allergery pills..my list is extensive as to what I have tried but nothing worked. ---------------The only thing that helps are ice packs. -----------------------
Recently,I had an x-ray to check if I had any nerve impingement in my cervical spine - one of the possible causes but nothing showed so I continue to search for answers.  I did get confirmation of the brachioradial pruritus from a great dermatologist who has only seen 3 cases in his 15 years on the job.  He did a biopsy that he sent to UC Davis for confirmation.  The diagnosis was actually a relief as I have been told that it is so many other things.  
I hope this helps.  I will keep posting if I find anything helpful solutions.  
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I have the same exact thing, and have also had it for 10 years. It seems to spread more each year, starting as only my left arm, then moving to my right, and now extends to my wrists and shoulders. :( I too have been diagnosed with BRP, and the only relief is from ice--but that feels so hopeless to me. Are there any other cures/solutions? I can not bear the thought of having to endure this torture the rest of my life. Makes me want to cry!

steamboattracey
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Prudoxin (Doxepin Hydrochloride) 5 % lotion.  This seems to be working.  I have been using it for about 6 months.  My list of things I have tried is incredibly long including eliminating a particular food to anithistamines to acupuncture to steroid lotions.  Until this Prudoxin, only ice packs worked.  
My heart goes out to you.  I so totally understand the frustration and exhaustion this causes you.  My dermatologist diagnoised it but my general physician worked with me on a variety of prescriptions until we landed on this one cream.  I did try it in pill form but it made me too sleepy.  
Best wishes and keep posting your progress.  One note: I am also in the midst of menopause.  Not sure if there is any connection ....
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Thank you so much for your personal response and empathy. I have had it for TEN years and feel hopeless that it will ever go away. Been to countless dermatologists and tried all kinds of expensive prescription creams, steroid creams, and regular OTC itch remedies--NOTHING has worked. I also tried acupuncture, chiropractic work, and diet changes. My only diagnosis, which is what I think it is, is brachioradial pruritis, but the only prescription for relief was more creams—no root of cause or lasting cure or solution. Only relief is ice. It started 10 years ago (was living in mountains of Colorado--sunny, but little humidity) in the summer. It comes back every year around July/August and lasts thru December, disappearing just as suddenly as it returned. Does your itch do this as well? I am awake every single night with this, although it also occurs in the daytime now. It started on my left upper arm, but seems to expand each year. It went to entire left arm, then right upper, and entire right arm, and this year it extends to my shoulders. It is the worst torture, and makes an otherwise happy and laid back person very irritable, frustrated and tired! I do not know what to do. I am not menopausal, but I am 36 years old, and am pregnant with my first child (less than a week to go!) so can not take meds or get an MRI, but am going to a neurologist asap and will ask for MRI after baby is born. I am athletic (tho no known neck/back problems), and have also spent a lot of time outside and in the sun. I now live in Austin, Texas, also a sunny climate (but more humid than Colorado), and the dreaded itch came back about a month ago. I can not bear the thought of living with this for the rest of my life. Also, no rash or any other visible sign of itch, aside from the scars I create by scratching until bleeding. :(  I have been up many nights over 10 years reading blogs like this, see that thousands of people suffer with it, men and women of all ages, living in all parts of the world...I have not been able to distinguish a common thread for the cause besides the symptoms and the temporary relief from ice. I hope there is a doctor out there, or a team of doctors, that is aware of this and will take the time to find the cause and cure of brachioradial pruritus. I've read that it is caused by one of two (or both) things: prolonged exposure to sun, and /or something with a nerve in the cervical spine. I for sure have been in the sun a lot  (I am very outdoorsy and also, as a kid, had sunburn too many times) but am not sure about my spine...  Thank you for the reco on the prudoxin...I will definitely try it. I am willing to try ANYTHING at this point.
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You said it all. Im not even going into detail about mine because its exactly as you described it. I want answers/solution to stop this insane itch. My Dermatologist has done nothing for me! I wish i could find some relief somewhere besides ice packs. I have it on both my arms and on my shoulders. I have read about Brachioradial pruritis and that seems to best explain what we all could potentially suffer from. [emedicine.medscape.com] is a website that explains it well. While i was doing some research i came across this -----> [brachioradialpruritus.com] It's apparently an ebook written by a lady named Adele Michaels who wrote all about the symptoms we suffer from (if you check out the website you will see what i mean) she seemed to have it down word for word what we suffer from. I was about to buy the book when i saw the price. $49.95 which wouldn't be a lot to cure this problem we have, but i decided to do some more research on her. I googled Adele Michaels and found this web page -----> [www.stopshakyhands.com] which has the exact same set up! If you notice on both website under "How do I know this will work for me? " you see testimonials from THE SAME EXACT PEOPLE FROM BOTH WEBSITES!!! The testimonials were only changed slightly as well! In seeing this i will not be purchasing the book but am curious if anyone has or see any other similar things that are actually legit. Goodluck to everyone during this time i hope everyone finds relief soon :-(
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OMG....I did the same exact thing with the Adele Michaels thing...my husband and I were looking at it a few nights ago, and he was like, BUY IT! I don't care if it's $50...etc, but I was suspect and looked further only to find the same exact people in the testimonials. I hope she is found out--we are all so desperate to find a cure that we could be vulnerable to such a scam. PLUS, if ANYONE found a cure for this, who has also suffered from it, I'd hope they'd give up all the solutions/relief/cure/info for free, just b/c they'd know how awful it is.  When she didn't even provide one tip or sample page, I thought it had to be too good to be true. :( What a bummer. In my 10th year, this is the worst I've had it so far, b/c it has spread to my shoulders and wrists and seems to itch CONSTANTLY at night. I have been taking sleeping pills every night, but when I wake up, they are itching and I have to resort to ice. Anyway, let's keep searching...there must be a doctor out there who can help. How long have you been suffering?
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About 3 years. Its from my elbows up, and on my shoulder. I dont have it on my forearms or wrist. Its the same as you, very bad at night. The strange thing is that my sister who is only a couple years younger then me has started experiencing it as well. She has all the same things and i can tell she is suffering from what myself and everyone else is suffering from. The fact that she has it has me wondering if now it could be genetics. There are so many questions that i would like answered like why only certain areas of the arm are itchy, why is it seasonal, and so on and so on. I was prescribed some sort of sleeping pill by my regular doctor but it did nothing but make me groggy so i stopped taking them because i felt so awful in the morning. I think that it def is Brachioradial pruritis it just seems to make sense. From what i have read it had to do with vertebra and your spine so i think im going to get acupuncture and maybe adjustments from a chiropractor. I am at my wits end with this as im sure you are too. Have you looked into acupuncture and adjustments by a chiropractor, or heard of any other solutions. I also recall reading something about electro stimulation or something to that affect.
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I have tried acupuncture once, but to no avail...that doesn't mean it won't work though. At that time (4 years ago) we thought it might be something systemic, like an allergy or an internal infection....so maybe we weren't going after it the right way. I do have a few questions about the Brachioradial Pruritus (BRP) thing though...IF it is a neurological thing, and due to cervical spine/nerve damage, then why is the itch seasonal? And IF it is caused by sun exposure, then why does it wait until July/August to show up (I am outside almost every day--I now live in Austin, TX, and I used to live in Colorado where I was outside all spring/summer/fall April-October, in short sleeves, but the itch would continue thru December/January in winter when I was skiing, etc...)...so why wouldn't it itch on days you are exposed to the sun, etc, and go away sooner? I have not been outside much this summer, but am still suffering, even worse--it kills me to stay inside all the time, and it hasn't seemed to help anyway. :(  What kind of climate do you live in? Interesting your sister has it too--my mom thought she had it last year, but hers went away so it was not the same thing. My cousin experienced severe itching too, but his was due to yoga mats in a hot yoga studio and is now gone.  
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I live in central New Jersey. I absolutely think its Brachioradial Pruritus, thats the only thing that makes sense. I personally believe its neck/spinal problem causing the itching not sun exposure. I know that i had a problem with my neck when i was younger and maybe that is what has started causing this now. I also have a slight case of scoliosis. Many people are debating the cause and reasons for this its been written about in journals but there is nothing concrete. A few of your questions are criticisms for the Brachioradial Pruritus diagnosis because the itching is seasonal which doesn't make sense if its a nerve problem. Im 23, how are you if you dont mind me asking?
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hi ladies.  Notice that its mainly ladies that seem to have this problem.  Streamboattracey - I mentioned the prudoxin but I failed to mention that I now wear a sun shirt whenever I am going to be outside for an extended amount of time.  I found that the hotter the weather, the worst the itching became.  Mine was year round until this prudoxin and sun shirt combo.  Now its very, very occasional.  My husband's theory is that there is a connection between epidurals received while giving birth to my kids. The itch started after my second child.   Now I am in the menopausal stage of life so do hormones play a part?  Its about 12 years now since it started.  It was gradual - just an occasional itch somewhat seasonal moving onto both arms, from shoulder to wrist, and all year round.  I have had some issues with neck aches but nothing consistent.  Also, have religiously tracked my diet eliminating gluten for example but to no avail.  I see that someone posted using the flucinonide .5%  - that worked for about 4 months and gradually stopped plus it thinned my skin tremendously.  Keeping my fingers crossed that whether its the prudoxin, sun shirts or menopause,  I am just hopefully that this is ended.  My heart goes out to you all.  I am amazed how many dermatologists are oblivious to this, making you jump through so many hoops over and over again starting with anithistamines then a battalion of creams.  I started sending printouts to any dermatologists I had visited about this Brachialradial pruritus just so less people would suffer.  Keep posting.  Best wishes with the baby Tracey!  
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Thanks for the wishes and thoughts! I will try prudoxin (after Baby gets here). On the hormone thing, I have read many posts from younger people over the years, and mine started when I was 25 (10 years ago), and on the epidural thing, well, I haven't gone through that yet, and hoping not to have to use one.  So, I'm not sure there's a connection there. Perhaps hormones do have something to do with it, but again, mine started long before menopausal age, and also, there are many posts from males as well, with the same symptoms. But we need to keep making these connections and drawing common threads...thanks again.


ANY OTHER MALES ON THIS POST?
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Has anyone tried eliminating sugar from their diet for at least 3 weeks?

Any other dietary attempts that have worked or not worked? Anyone met with a nutritionist? Even if a dietary change did work, I still don't understand why the itch would be seasonal (July thru December every year)??
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Has anyone tried eliminating sugar from their diet for at least 3 weeks?

Any other dietary attempts that have worked or not worked? Anyone met with a nutritionist? Even if a dietary change did work, I still don't understand why the itch would be seasonal (July thru December every year)??
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Avatar_f_tn
Has anyone tried eliminating sugar from their diet for at least 3 weeks?

Any other dietary attempts that have worked or not worked? Anyone met with a nutritionist? Even if a dietary change did work, I still don't understand why the itch would be seasonal (July thru December every year)??
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Avatar_f_tn
Has anyone tried eliminating sugar from their diet for at least 3 weeks?

Any other dietary attempts that have worked or not worked? Anyone met with a nutritionist? Even if a dietary change did work, I still don't understand why the itch would be seasonal (July thru December every year)??
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Avatar_f_tn
Has anyone tried eliminating sugar from their diet for at least 3 weeks?

Any other dietary attempts that have worked or not worked? Anyone met with a nutritionist? Even if a dietary change did work, I still don't understand why the itch would be seasonal (July thru December every year)??
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I have been dealing with this since 2003 with increasing agony as time has went by. I am in the middle of all the tests now along with alot of medical bills. I am at the point of doing anything to get answers. Tonight I decided to search on-line and found this forum and could not believe what I was reading. It was as though I had written it all. I then proceeded to research brachioradial pruritis and am still in awe of what I have found. I have printed quite a bit of reading for my doctor on the next visit. I did rupture the C5 AND C6 in my neck and had to have surgery, this definitely has shined some light on my misery. Thank You all so much for taking the time to tell your stories because this has probably not only saved me more unnecessary expense but has brought me hope in a diagnosis.
Tylersmam
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Hi! Wow, ladies, I'm glad to have found this thread, too. I'm 37 and have dealt with this itchy arm thing for at least 7-8 years. Of note---my oldest son is about to turn 8 this November.  Not sure if there's a correlation.  Also, I initially thought mine was seasonal, too, but I'm not sure it is. I used to live in Virginia and now live in San Diego...and it's bothered me year-round in both locations.  A few months ago I began to think it was wheat/gluten-related, but I can't seem to make sense of that, either. I think I'm going to check into chiropractic care to see if some neck/back manipulation will help.  I've found occasional relief w/ hydrocortizone, then vagisil, of all things, but neither of those works consistently. AAHHHH!  We've got to get this figured out! My husband and friends think I'm crazy!
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I was also diagnosed with Brachioradial Pruritius.  My doctor prescribed Gabapentin 100 mg 3xdaily along with a twice daily application of Fluocinonide Cream 0.05% and the horrible itching went from a scale of 10 to around 1 or 2 within a few days.  It still itches a bit but it's nothing like the nightmare itching before I began the Gabapentin and Fluocinonide.  Please give it a try folks.  It has made a miracle difference in my life.  The low dosage of Gabapentin does not make me sleepy or dopy and once I am used to it I can increase the dosage if necessary.  This is one goofy ailment and hardly anyone has heard of it much less experienced it.  You have to be proactive with your doctor and say you want to try the Gabapentin and Fluocinonide.  Good luck.
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Fantastic to find this forum!  My problem started in July on a particularly hot day - I remember my arms got burnt and my right upper arm hasn't stopped itching since!  It's been driving me insane just like you all describe - have tried at least six different creams to no avail.  It's worse in the evenings and often wakes me up during the night.  BP sounds like exactly what it is.  I have cervical root compression and arthritis and that may be the underlying cause, but it was probably triggered by the sunlight damaging the nerves.  If Gabapentin helps, then I guess it's almost certainly nerve-related.
I put an ice pack on tonight after reading these posts and it's the only thing that's helped so far.  I'm loathe to go to a dermatologist as it doesn't sound as if they can suggest much........I spoke to my neurologist about it last week and even she didn't believe me!
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So it looks like these are some of the creams/remedies that have at least helped other sufferers a little bit:

Gabapentin and Fluocinonide
Prudoxin
Elidel
White Flower Oil

ice of course, to numb the nerves
chiropracric work
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add to your list:
   avoiding direct sunlight on the arms.  (That seems to be a trigger for me at least! )

would still love to find out the cause of this malady!
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So I have read and read and researched and researched, as have all of you.  So what now?  Has anyone ever had a doctor that knew exactly what was going on?  With so many sufferers why is there not someone, anyone, to help us?  My story mimics all of yours combined.  I can't continue to sit here without answers!  I live in the Los Angeles area and will go see any doctor that lives within walking, running, driving or flying distance; if you get my drift!  Does anyone have a recommendation? I am going to start with a neurologist, as I do believe if this is the brachioradial prutitis, I should start with my cervical spine area.  Anyway, I so feel for all of you.  Feel free to write, call, Fed.Ex. (!!!)anytime.  Need some humor here...   my name is Kathy.  Email is:  ***@****   or cell is:  661-714-2787    no Fed.Ex. #  Thoughts are with all of you!
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And I meant to say also, it's just not normal to go to a restaurant and have to ask for ice bags from the host, because my itching started and I knew the only thing to stop it was ice!  Nice restaurant, daughter's birthday, all the family there; I looked nuts!  I'm going to start saying I injured my arms and have to ice them at times because that sounds better than saying my arms itch!!!  Anyone relate to that?  ;)
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Yes, also add to the list: avoid direct sunlight (and often, even just heat sets mine off)

To Mduck--so sorry to have to welcome you to this forum. It seems all of us have been through going to all kinds of doctors, dermatologists, AND neurologists and spent hundreds of dollars on all kinds of steroid creams, and still no "cure", just maybe some ideas for temporary relief. This is why I am wide awake and typing at 4:39 AM!  :( It's truly miserable. Hang in there, and keep communicating...maybe with all of our resources and a heck of a lot of hope, we'll find a cure someday?! I think we are all willing, at least I would be willing to go to GREAT lengths and expense to find a cure, b/c this is a QUALITY OF LIFE issue. :(  steamboattracey

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Might I suggest that we all print out these postings and send them to your current dermatologist and/or doctor in an attempt to educate them.  Any thoughts on mailing stuff to  Dr. Oz....sure he must be looking for topics for his new show!!!  Educate Educate Educate.  That the only way to get an answer.  
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Great idea about Dr. Oz...and I definitely plan to take these posts into the doc when I go to see him.  

Another possible cream for relief (sorry, can't remember if I read this in an earlier post or from another website)-----ICY HOT (or the even the generic equivalent).  It's been working for me lately, but I still want the doc in on this mess, so I'll be going soon.  

tracitb
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Yes, I have brought a number of these posts into 2 different doctors plus a nutritionist, but not to amny avail. But there WILL be someone who cares enough to read into it. I think the Dr. Oz idea is a great one, and anyone who might have a willing ear and/or audience/resources to help us.

I think I also mentioned Icy Hot in a post somewhere on this site (btw, threads appear for Brachioradial Pruritus in both dermatology AND in neurology, at least, maybe elsewhere on this site too, so read on....)  I am also currently using White Flower oil, which has menthol in it...basically anything with menthol in it (like Icy Hot)  can provide some relief.

Keep at it guys...it at least feels good to have a dialogue with you, and gives me some hope that we may be able to find help somewhere if we band together.....? THANKS!
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Thanks for this site.  I'm a 65 year old male and this thing has been driving me nuts!  I still work full time and staying up half the night or more with ice packs on my arms until I drop from exhaustion is getting very old (like me).  I too have tried cortizone creams and ointments and antihistamines and calamine lotion.  I have tried washing my arms. I spend virtually every day at my desk in support of technology at a large prosecutors office.  I work from home all the time and many days do not get out at all.  I have very high filtration filters in my A/C.  I am grateful for the information and experiences expressed on this site. I have printed it out and will take it to my doctor with me this week.
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Glad you have some supportive insight to take with you...good luck to you. Keep us posted!
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I wanted to tell you all about another blog site that I came across in my research of BPR.

http://thedermblog.com/2008/02/24/brachioradial-pruritis-scratching-makes-the-itching-worse/comment-page-3/#comments

I have this also, I suffered trauma from a fall 5 years ago and am quite certain nerve damage to the C5-6 area plays a role!
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james - thanks for that link!  
the prudoxin and sun shirts are still working for me.  Keeping my fingers crossed that it continues!
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Wow!  This is pretty enlightening to read all of your comments.  I've only had the symptoms you're all describing for one month on one arm, but its driving me insane and keeping me up at night.  At first this started with insatiable itching and teeny bumps so I thought they were flea bites, but its like you said, the scratching only makes the itching more severe... so I tried the ice packs and did get back to sleep last night.  Its really rather torturous to itch so much and resist the temptation to scratch!  Thanks for the recommendations of Gabapten and fluocinonide.  My husband thinks I should go to the doctor this week, but I will be printing out some info from this website...  Have any of you experienced side effects from the prescriptions?  I have no history of cervical spine injuries, but did have 3 epidurals.  I believe that without a doubt it gets worse with sun exposure.  I am an RN and determined to seek out answers to this weird thing!  

itchyarmwoman
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Sorry to also have to welcome you to this site, as that mean you are suffering :(   Some of the steroid creams, such as those with fluocinide, will make your skin atrophy after a while b/c it sort of desensitizes it. At least that's what happened to e, and the dermatologist said that would happen, but it at least helped to relieve the itching some. What I found that worked best for me this summer (my 10th summer with this! and also had my first epidural 5 weeks ago when my first baby was born) was white flower oil (natural; bought at natural foods store, Whole Foods) and also tried Elidel prescription cream (active ingredient: 1% pimecrolimus). Good luck to you! Ask all those doctors you work with--maybe someone will take up our case and cause, or at least have some new insight or other helpful advice!
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I too suffer from this nagging painful condition.  I have just started trying to find some help.  I spoke to the Nurse Practioner where I work today at length about this.  A question arose that I have not seen any posts to and wondered about.  Have any of you sufferers had surgery prior to the start of this condition?  I had surgery on one shoulder for a deformed socket and the other for a rotator cuff injury, my symptoms started after the surgeries.  I get this several times a year and it goes from one arm to the other.  I have no history of neck problems and I am definately not in the sun much.  Also, mine flares up more in the fall and spring, very little in the summer.  I am glad that I found this forum and that I am not alone.  I have had this going on for about 3 years (after the last surgery on my rotator cuff) and when I have spoken to my PCP she acted like I was making it up.  I also spoke to another doctor who stated that it was probably just a rash triggered by stress and that I shouldn't worry about it.  (I wish she had to spend half her night in agony and no sleep).  Any feed back you can give about the surgery question would be helpful.
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I am going on year 12.  Re; Your theory about surgeries...About year 6, I broke my arm (the ulna bone in two places).  The itching subsided until the bone was completely fused back.  Have to admit, I was so hopeful that I had "severed" the connection of whatever nerve was causing this terrible itching but to no avail.  I too wondered if having epidurals played a part in this mystery.  
One comment on  fluocinide - it thinned my skin and eventually stopped working.  Will definitely look at the white flower oil.
Keep posting.    
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Thanks for the response. I don't know about an epidural playing a part as I only had one child and had him natural.  My Nurse practioner at work has read everyone's posts and info that I printed out for her.  She has prescribed a low dose of Neurontin for a week and we are trying that.  I have been on it since Thursday (100 mg 2x daily).  I started it right in the middle of a flare up and within 30 minutes it had subsided, I have not had one since.  As I told her, I am skeptical but time will tell as these flare ups come and go.  Has anyone else tried Neurontin and did it work long term?
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I heard about Neurontin, but I've also heard of people having bad experiences with it from side effects, so be careful! A good friend, in his 50s, healthy and strong as an ox, tried neurontin for a back injury (I think it was back?) and he had a seizure while driving due to the drug, so NOT to scare you, but do be careful. I opted not to try it after hearing that, but please keep us updated. Thanks!
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I've been using gabapentin for a few years now and have found it's the only thing that has worked for me.  I've had no side effects other than maybe (and I say maybe) a little drowsiness.  Other than that, I can go itch free for the night.  I can take up to 2400 mgs a day, but haven't  reached that dosage yet.  During the bad times I take about 1800 mgs a day.  Also, during real intense times, I gob mineral ice on my arms before going to bed.  I also carry it around with me in the event I have an "itch attack" while I'm out.  It's messy but it does the trick for me.
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I too have just the same symptoms. About 6 years in. 48 year old woman. Very seasonal for me, roughly August to February. Active, fit, eat well, not perfect! Love the sun. Live in the north (west coast of Canada). It seems I've tried everything, including several accupucture  treatments and a years-worth of chiropractic and spinal decompression. My back is feeling much better after a lifetime of suffering but the itch, no different! Three years ago I resorted to drugs, Lyrica the first year but that made me way too groggy and out-of-it. Over time it didn't work anyway. Now I take gabapentin (Neurontin) like those above. My doctor prescribed up to 300mg three times a day but what I do is take 400mg all at night (the pharmasist says this is fine). It knocks me out for the whole night so I feel well rested every day which I believe is key. When I don't sleep the itch is worse and very difficult mentally, to put up with. I may have the odd tingle during the day or evening but nothing I can't ignore with a little effort. Perhaps taking the prescribed way would alleviate this? No side effects for me.
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I am sitting here totally amazed ! A couple of years ago both upper arms had the same itching, it went on for ages. I put it down to the menopause, as nobody could give me another reason. Then it just stopped. For the last couple of months it has started again, I am sitting here with an ice pack on my left arm, I couldn't sleep and picked up the laptop. Like everybody else I am amazed that I am not on my own ! My doctor sent me for an ultrasound because a lump has appeared on my elbow, but they said nothing was there.Has anybody else had a lump appear ? They have tried me on various creams but to no avail. I don't think it is sun related as I live in England and we haven't seen that much ,this year ! The itch is about 6 inches above to about 6 inches below my elbow joint and the lump seems to be on the muscle. I can't wait to show these comments to my doctor as I thought I was going crazy. Any feedback over the lump would be appreciated.
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I too am amazed at how many people like myself share this condition!   I have suffered from this condition for 30+ years.  My grandmother and father suffered from it and I have 3 sisters currently with the condition.  I was the first of the siblings and I was in my 20s when it began.   Over the years my problem sites have changed.  When I was younger it was more from my elbow to my wrists.  The worst is when it is located near a boney area but I seem to be past that.    Now it is shoulders and back of my neck area.   I live in RI and I get it in late summer through January.  I refuse to see anymore doctors or use any more creams/pills ICE Packs are the only relief.    I'm convinced scented candles/oils aggravate the condition (have you ever been in a boutique with lots of scents and found yourself with your hand down your shirt scratching your shoulder like a monkey??) I have also come to believe that the seasonal nature of the itch may be somehow contributed to dead mold spores given off by dying flowers/leaves in the fall, so if you are doing any fall yard work, take a cool shower as soon as you go in the house - it can't hurt.  Lesley54, regarding your lump, I  often get  several pea size lumps beneath the skin of the affected area.  They come after the initial onset of the ITCH and when I get them I know I'm in for a bad bout.    Nobody who doesn't suffer from this can possibly understand what we are going through!   I have actually called out of work once or twice after going several nights without sleep (felt terrible guilt all day), one day I left work and went to the Dr.'s for a cortisone shot.  Steroids in shot/pill form do help me alot, but obviously it is not the best thing to do.    I have so many blood stained sheets/pillow cases, etc. however I have stopped wrecking my mattress covers by putting a towel under my sheets!  Good luck everyone and stock up on dry ice packs!   By chance, do any of you get cluster headaches?
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Well, the neurontin worked during the outbreak and I and on Friday, my nurse practioner said to cut it to once a night for a couple days and see how it went.  She said we would re-evaluate this week.  She only gave me a 7 day supply.   It is not working at once a day but does seem to work at 2 times a day.  Unfortunately she had to have emergency surgery on Sunday and will be out of work for awhile, so I have an appointment next week with my PCP.  We'll see what he has to say or if he thinks I am crazy!!  I will speak to him about the seizures, that's scary!
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No cluster headaches for me. Here's another question to the masses: Does anyone think they could be (or have you been) a candidate for carpal tunnel diagnosis?  I've thought for years that I might have that (though not a severe case), and recently had an "aha moment", since BP is thought to be related to nerve issues. Seems like it would make sense, but I've got nothing other than a hunch.
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Just to answer a few questions ... Never had any children never mind an epidural, no carpal tunnel, no headaches, no lumps and no side effects on Neurontin.
I've never had allergies before but I'm pretty convinced this is brought on by something in the environment. It is VERY seasonal for me (August/September to February/March). A long time. I live in a moderate climate where it's never really hot and it rarely goes below freezing (Victoria, BC, think Seattle). It's kinda like two seasons, spring and autumn. So the entire "autumn" I itch. Those of you who have a shorter autumn due to the onset of winter seem to start itching around the same time but stop itching earlier. There's another woman in my region that I communicate with and the two of us start itching within days of each other.
If anyone plans to see a neurologist soon can you ask them if anything in the natural environment is know to affect our nervous systems? Like "itchgitchie" above I suspect it's something that becomes active in the late summer or early fall. More than a doctor we need a biologist!!
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I've been taking Gabapentin/Neurontin for over a month now and the itching is totally gone.  I started on 100 mg 4 times a day and I've reduced it to 100 mg 3 times a day and no itching at all.  My husband has been taking 1,800 mg Gabapentin (for a different condition) for several years now with no side effects.  When I discussed the good results with my doctor she said it sounds as if it has absolutely nothing to do with the skin so any ointments, salves etc. would be of no use.  She said it sounds 100% like a condition affecting the nerve endings, probably due to sun damage therefore drugs such as Gabapentin are indicated.  That's also why the application of ice helps, because it temporarily "numbs" the nerve endings.    
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If it is solely a nerve issue, IS THERE ANY WAY TO REPAIR THE NERVE ENDINGS so one is not resigned to take such a strong drug for the "itchy season" for the rest of their lives? Although it may help relieve the itch for some, I would rather not HAVE to take it IF there may be a way to repair nerve damage??? Can someone ask their neurologist? I have  moved to Austin since my condition began 10 years ago, and do not yet have a neurologist here. Thanks! Keep talking......
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So after 4 years of this I FINALLY decide to actually Google my symptoms and I find this forum!  SO thankful! I honestly thought I just had an allergy to something. I think deep down I suspected sun as well, but was never really sure.

I am (almost) 34 and live in Alberta, Canada. My itching seems to effect me during the same times as everyone else here, Aug - Feb. I am very fair skinned and I am bad about sun screen. Usually it is only my arms that get the sun too as I work out in the yard a lot or I'm outside with my kids a lot so my arms see a lot of sun all summer.

A few thoughts, responses, questions:
I have 2 kids but have never had an epidural so although that can't be a cause for me specifically, reading some of the posts I don't think you should discount it either. It could be just one form of spinal trauma that could be a cause. I am a former competitive diver and I have always suffered from really bad cervical back pain and sciatica as a result of some of the training I did.  A lot of posters here seem to have some sort of back issues and an epidural may just be another form of that.

Also, if it IS a nerve issue then why is it seasonal?  I just find that so odd! If nerves are damaged they're damaged, why would they only flare up at certain times? I do believe it's a nerve thing, just find that weird is all!

I also suffer from an odd sensation that runs from the middle of my back and across my shoulder blades where it almost feels like my skin is crawling. If I itch any area between my shoulder blades it actually feels like the skin is a bit numb.  Has anyone else had this?

So glad you all mentioned the ice! I hadn't tried that!

I have not gone to my family doc about this yet even though it's been 4 years because I always think it will go away or I'll figure it out. Plus with 2 little kids I feel like I'm there all the time and I'm always afraid to be one of those people who's at the doctor for every little thing!! After reading all this I'm almost scared to go though as it sounds like it's hard to get the doc's to believe it?

Anyway, I'm glad I found this and I'll keep checking back to hear how others are doing.
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Itchers---check out this link!  After reading Tracey's last post, I Googled "neurology brachioradial pruritus" and found this----GREAT INFO----a case study with LOTS of supporting info for much of what we've been posting here!  I think it can only help our case when we present to our doctors!  Here's an excerpt (maybe someone has seen it before--?---it was published May 08):

BRP is a rare disease, usually restricted to the forearms, that was first identified in 1968.2 It is most prevalent in individuals between the ages of 39 and 72 years, and it preferentially affects women.3 BRP usually develops bilaterally and involves the area overlying the brachioradial muscle, although it can spread to the back or chest.3 Patients with BRP report having an itching sensation, usually combined with a burning or painful sensation.2, 3 Owing to ongoing scratching, secondary skin changes such as prurigo or lichenification can develop.

Here's the link:
http://www.nature.com/nrneurol/journal/v4/n6/full/ncpneuro0807.html
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thank you for that link.  I too think that its nerve related. Mine started out seasonally but became continuous.  I do battle back aches and migraines although the migraines only started after a car accident.  The continuous itching started prior to the accident.  I am not a sun lover at all even though I am in California.  I too am searching for commonalities among all of us posting on this forum in hopes of tracking down the cause having done diet changes and lotions to no avail, I truly thinks its neurological.  Keep posting please!
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Finding this website was both good AND bad for me.  I was hoping to find some answers here for my recently diagnosed bronchial radial pruritus, but not feel even more depressed.  It doesn't look like there are any cures for it and no treatment that really works!  I'm so tired of not sleeping at night and sometimes the extreme itching & tingling burning sensations make me cry!  Nothing seems to work.  My dermatologist gave me a steroid cream to use and Hydroxyzine pills to help me sleep.  They worked the first night, but for some reason since then have not worked at all.  I'm exhausted and frustrated with this horrible ailment!  I can see from reading all of these comments on this website that I'm not alone in this, but I just want some answers as to how to get some relief and sleep!!
  Come on you doctors out there!!   More research please for all of us suffering from this!!
  Thanks for listening everyone!

    Frustrated in Ohio
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Get yourself a prescription for gabapentin.  It works.  Everyone is so concerned about a cure.  I don't think there's one out there and as far as I'm concerned, I can live with it if I can take something to help me with the symptoms.  It's sad, I know, but most of us have been dealing with this for years and still we know nothing more than we did 10 years ago.  This is an anomaly with out bodies and lets face it....there's not a cure for every single ailment that human beings have and there never will be.  Just treat the symptoms and you'll feel a hundred times better.  
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Doxepin is helping me.  I have the same diagnosis as you can tell by reading all the previous posts.  I truly think it neurological.  Having jumped through way too many "doctor hoops", I really hope that you can find a doctor that will work with you.  Keep going.  You're not crazy.  In the meantime,  ICE!  My theory is that it confuses the nerves.  Keep posting especially if you find something that seems to be working for you even if only temporarily.  A
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I find that for short term something with menthol in it like Vicks vapor rub or Deep Cold muscle rub will work. I put it on my arms right at  bed time and it last long enough for me to fall asleep. I do have to get up in the night and repeat if the itching wakes me though. But it's a quick fix when nothing else works.

I just read a bunch of stuff about Hazelwood and Amber necklaces. I bought one to try. What wil it hurt, right? I'm crossing my fingers anyway!  Here's the site for anyone interested in the info:
http://www.hazelaid.com/Home.html

I'm still waiting for my necklace but I'll let you all know if I notice anything!
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Hi folks. Just checking in to see if anyone else has seen a significant reduction in their itching in the past few weeks. I haven't itched much since about the first week of October; I'm in Southern CA.  I haven't been in the sun nearly as much, but I do still end up outside at baseball games for 2-3 hours at a time.  
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My itching stopped for about six weeks, it was heaven ! It came back the other day once again with no apparent reason. I see a homeopathic doctor and I explained the symptoms to her. She has given me "Graphites ". I swear by Lachesis for the menopause so I am praying the Graphites will sort the problem.
I will keep everyone posted with the results.
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   I am 61years old and this started in maybe July of this year. We had very few sunny days this summer---I used my pool 3 times--so did not have a lot of sun exposure.
    A thought just popped into my head---tanning beds?? I use them occasionally in late spring to tan my legs and arms mostly. Hm-m-m.
    It started with a lesion above the wrist on my right arm--nothing startling-thought it was a bug bite, but never any rash, etc.  Then I began to have ceaseless itching followed by waves of horrible burning pain---and all the other symptoms all of you mentioned. Nothing much helped.  Then 90% of it eased up--and I thanked God.
   Then it started on my left upper arm and included a rash, bumps which turned black and blue when scratched, and red bleeding dots.
There are also dark pigmented spots, like tiny beauty marks or flat moles.  The pain feels like slivers of glass under my skin---or a wet wool sweater.  The waves of burning pain are not present, but the itching is awful.
  I went first to a dermatologist--went through the steroid creams, antibiotics, etc.  Waste of time.
I have my 2nd app't with my family doctor today, but I can tell he's clueless. He thought it was possibly scabies (!) or a mild case of shingles---sorry, wrong.  I don't know why I'm going back there, but
but maybe it will make him aware of brachioradial pruritus.
  The following worked a little---poison ivy natural colloidal oatmeal scrub, which I used even in the middle of the night, and a couple other creams with the oatmeal in them, foille [probably misspelled]-which was the least expensive cream in the store, and Burn Jel Plus, a WaterJel product for emergency burn care , that has 2.5% Lidocaine in it.  The antihistamines, hydrocortisones, menthols, camphors. etc. did not work.  I am going to try other numbing items, maybe the stuff for toothaches, next. I wonder if there is a Novacaine salve??
  I have been under extreme stress also, but I don't know if that is a contributor.
   I am glad not to be alone.  Thank you.  
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I thought we could try a survey of suffers of BCP:
1. back problems ? (I had back surgery in 1981--seems too long ago to be a contributor)

2. medication for depression?  (I take Zoloft and Trazidone and have for 15 years)

3.  tanning beds?  

4. stress?
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Yes to three out of the four. I've never taken a med for depression.
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Here is something a little odd though. Or perhaps completely coincidental! I got the H1N1 flu shot yesterday and my arms have not itched even once since. It was the first night in ages that I didn't need to ice them or put something on the before I went to bed and they're fine today too!  

Just thought it was weird! Anyone else get the shot notice anything?
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only one answer to your survey -  an occasional achy back and "computer neck".
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Hi,
1. Yes, had back problems for years, worn disc they say, never had operation.

2. No

3. I haven't used tanning beds for about 2 years and when I did only for short periods and
    no more than once a week.

4. Yes, I have often felt that it was a factor.

I hope this helps.


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None apply to me except for occasional stress---and my stress doesn't seem to coincide with my itching episodes at all.
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upper arm itch since moving to florida seven years ago, same symptoms, glad to find this page, no skin lesions just itch for weeks on end, don't know if seasonal as had not paid attention to that, only thing helping is ice.
very fit and healthy, age 53, only other symptoms are migraines, go to a chiropractor now which found a loss of neck curve which is probably causing the migarines, i wonder if it's worse at night because of the neck position when lying down.
i guess i'll find out if it goes away as my neck curve improves
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I've had this problem for about 3yrs now. I only have attacks about 2 times a year. It drives me crazy. I have it in about a 3-4 inch spot by my elbow(left arm).I've tried all the anti-itch creams with no luck.  The only thing I've found that relieves the itch is a high spf sunscreen. I'm using coppertone kids 50 spf. It has always worked for me from the beginning since my wife figured it was sun related. I deliver a newspaper 7 days a week and that arm is out the window 5 hours a day. I hope this helps someone.
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I have had this same problem.For some reason I think it is related somehow to hormones too.  Mine started before I found out I was pregnant with my first.  My right arm was itching to the point I wanted to cut it off.  Few days later I found out I was pregnant.  I had episodes through out this pregnancy, to the point I would just cry. Next time I had a bad episode was when I took the pill for 2 months to help make me ovulate.  Then the third was when I got pregnant with my second and had episodes through that pregnancy too.  But, now I have been having episodes alot and I am not pregnant.  I thought maybe I was going through menopause until I found this thread.  I was a sun worshiper growing up to the point I had 3rd degree burns sometimes (I know, I look back at how stupid I was)  I also have a problem with two vertebrae on my neck and my chiro wanted a second opinion to see if he should even touch it.  This website has helped.  Mine is always on my right arm, it gets warm and red when it itches and the hairs stand up like static during these episodes.  If there is no cure I don't even want to go to lots of doctors to try and figue it out.  It is frustrating.
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Ok, I"ve been wearing a hazelwood and amber necklace now for about a week and a half. I have had NO ITCHING AT ALL this entire time! I wasn't sure I believed in all the hype over the wonders of amber and hazelwood, but figured for $17 what does it hurt to try? Coincidence? I don't know. All I know is that I can actually go to bed and fall asleep now and I haven't wanted to cut my arms off!

Give it a try! I'd love to hear if it works for anyone else or if it's all in my head! LOL!
Here's where I got my necklace from:
http://www.hazelaid.com/Home.html
And no, I don't work for them! Don't even live in the same country!
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Hello fellow itchers, I’m so happy to find you all. I started with this last year and thought I was out of my mind. My husband searchd the Internet and was able to give a name to my disorder - BRP. Of course, that didn’t help much since none of the Dr.s I’ve seen have ever heard of it. My GP went with it though and referred me to a neurologist. He had no knowledge of this disorder but I had a nerve conduction study and had no abnormalities. When I had my MRI, it was noticed that I had a bulging disc between C-4 and C-5 and C-5 and C-6. I am absolutely convinced this is not related to the sun (though I AM a sunworshipper) but is a nerve thing. I was on Lyrica for a while and it helped a little but did not take care of the itching totally. I found out about ice last year and it was a life saver (though it’s not fun to get up in the middle of the night and go sit in one’s family room holding ice packs on one’s arms for 20 minutes!!). I have found that if I lay FLAT ON MY BACK with no pillow, I don’t have the itching at night. It's hard to alawys sleep on your back though!!  I ended up taking a steroid pack last year and the went away and silly me……… I thought it was a fluky thing I was cured of. I thought I had done something to my neck at the gym and would not have the problem anymore. I cut way back on what I do at the gym and life went on perfectly fine until a few weeks ago – almost the same time it started last year!!! What’s up with that seasonal thing???? Then, I thought maybe I did something at the gym again but I no longer think so. I think it’s stress related (very stressful time at work for me) but also, everyone seems to say it’s seasonal. The latest thing my Dr. is trying is myofascial massages concentrated on my back and neck. When the masseuse massages my back on my left side, (it’s only my left side so far this year but last year it was both) my arm itches. I don't  think the massages are working. WHAT IS THE ANSWER FOR US?? A lot of people have mentioned Gabapentin. I will try it but I don’t like take drugs on a regular basis. There is a link to a study in Germany about a woman who had surgery on her neck and was cured. I’m not ready to go there yet but it’s out there if we need it. Here’s the link http://www.nature.com/nrneurol/journal/v4/n6/full/ncpneuro0807.html Read after the MRI part. It says: “The patient recovered completely from the itching and burning sensations within 1 week after surgery.”
Ther was also a man who had BRP and had the following:  "Treatment consisted of 2 cervical epidural steroid applications that resulted in clinical disappearance of the itch and improvement in C-fiber function on quantitative sensory testing."  This, too, sounds liek a possible "cure".  Does anyone else have any ideas???

skrina - keep us posted about your necklace.
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Just found this info on line.  Just more of the same old same old.  

Brachioradial Pruritis: Scratching Makes the Itching Worse
February 24th, 2008
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Leave a comment A 45 year old woman presented to my office complaining of a burning itching rash on both her arms.She had seen several doctors and tried various creams and oral antihistamines without relief. Only applying an ice pack seems to alleviate her symptoms. She is frustrated. On exam she had a few subtle excoriations (scratches) on her forearms, but no other signs of rash or disease.

Brachioradial pruritis is a condition characterized by intractable itching on the top of the forearms (overlying the brachioradialis muscle). Patients often report that the itching actually gets worse with scratching instead of better. It affects mostly middle aged women (which all my patients have been) and presents as a burning and itching sensation on the arms. The symptoms can sometimes be described as tingling or even painful. It can involve one or both arms.

Unfortunately the cause is not well understood. Current thinking is that it is associated with sun damage and/or with cervical nerve root impingement. The sun damage theory is that deep penetrating ultraviolet light (UVA) damages fine pain nerve fibers in the skin of the arms. The cervical spine theory is that impingement (pinching) of the C5 to C8 cervical nerve roots leads to nerve damage. The nerves that emerge from these roots provide sensation to the arms, so damage to them might cause the burning and itching symptoms. Although studies have found that cervical spine disease is more common in patients with brachioradial pruritis, no study has demonstrated that cervical spine disease causes the condition.

Treatments for brachioradial pruritis include:

•Avoidance of sun exposure (probably most important)
•Topical capsaicin (hot pepper oil)
•Gabapentin
•Cervical spine manipulation
•Anti-inflammatory medications such as naproxen (Alleve®)
•Above all, I think it is helpful just to have a physician who understands that the patient’s symptoms are real and who is willing to try various treatments until a satisfactory remedy is found.
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hi all, I've had this for 8 months. Gp took me off cholesterol meds , ? side effect, no change. Gave me steroid creams in increasing strength, no help. I found vaseline type based creams somehow made the hairs on my arms sensitive and caused more itch. Dermatologost told me within 2 minute what I had, I was so relieved to have a diagnosis, everyone thinks you are crazy , because theres nothing to see. Ice is always my last resort when its bad. Dermatologist gave me a menthol based cream. I carry a tube of ice gel in my handbag. I also find that voltaren gel helps at times. I am currently seeing a chiro and chinese acupuncturist. I am taking chinese pills for skin detox [ I don't think they are working ]. I am also trying a chinese cream I think it may be of help. I have fair skin and have developed lots of 'sun spots'. I think they are related to the B.P. It may be my imagination but I think they are fading. I take anti depressants, have allergies , just reached 50 yrs, have neck and shoulder aches and pains, never had epidurals, have 3 children.
Ladies with itch in 3rd trimester shuold be aware that there is a specific pregnancy related condition affecting the gall bladder, this goes away after childbirth.
My itch is both arms and can alternate between arms, I live in Australia, not a sun lover but tend not to use sun screen either. I have spent most of the winter in short sleeves because anything touching my arms can set off the itch. Heat seems to be a trigger, and bedtime warmth and sheets touching me can set it off. Like others I try to knock myself out with pills. Antihistamines don't work.
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I have had arm itch for about two years, it started shortly after a 2 week trip to Cuba - someone said it could be to do with a parasite in the Cuban seawater.  The itching is like things trying to get out - or in - dreadful.
From all of you that have written on this Forum, is Cuba a common link ?
I have cervical prolapsed discs - any connection?
No creams really work - cooling does.
I had a cocktail of injections in early August 2009 in my lower back to do with sciatica and unstable bottom 5 vertebrae - pain went and no arm itch  - 2 weeks ago pain returned to my back (but no sciatica pain) and the arm itch returned - any connection ?
Hope we can find an answer - Cuba likely ???
Adrienne

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Don't think Cuba will be the common thread.

I had surgery in 1981 on those cervical disks though--lumbar 5-6.  Could it have taken this long for nerve damage to occur though?  I noticed many in this forum mention that.

I went to my GP then to dermatologist then to neurologist. No one really knew anything, but I suggested I be put on neurontin because a friend who has this takes it and says it helps a lot.

  I take neurontin ( gab---generic version)  600 mg day and it really helps!  I still feel the sensation a couple times a day,  although mild,  and I panic 'cause I think the itch is going to start but USUALLY it doesn't and when it does itch, it is nowhere like before. I'd say it's 95% better.  I can actually forget about it and live normally for hours at a time.

I also take naproxen sodium tablets  [sp??], a pain pill bought OTC.
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My itching started on the region of the skin of my left arm just below (toward the wrist) the elbow. I surmised it was sun-related, because I get the most sun on that arm when I stick it out the window as I drive.

I am asthmatic and have taken predisone, though I don't think this is related. I hardly sweat at all and when I do, my sweat sometimes itches my temples.

The itch gets markedly worse after I eat.

I was treated by a chiropractor for a neck pain, and I think the chiropractor made it worse. This is the first year I have not practiced yoga, and my neck and back are feeling stiff. I am wondering if this may have exacerbated this condition and if yoga could help relieve it.

I don't know if this is something that is true of the rest of you, but most people can touch their chin to their chest. My neck is not that flexible.

I am wondering if this maddening itch is brought on by a series of causes- first, stress in the neck, next, overexposure to the sun, and lastly, some physiological stressor. I hear it ends in December. I pray that this is true, because I can't sleep. I'm wondering if B vitamins would help.
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I want to add that for now the itch is localized in the left arm, occaisionally travelling to tiny points on the cheeks, temple and right arm.
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I never have been to Cuba, but I lived in Argentina for years, and drank water straight out of the river. I don't think it's connected, though.
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After following this thread for quite a while, it seems that one of the most common symptoms is some form of back pain.
How do other people feel about this ?
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Wow. I have had an itchy right upper arm from July-December for the past 5 years now...actually was sitting here itching at my desk and my co-worker (who has been debating with me over the past 3 years about what in the world could be causes of this strange affliction found this link and sent it to me)   :)  So great to know I am not the only one, and to read suggestions/comments.  I am 36, very active, live in southern OH.  2 common causes of this seem to be sunburn and back issues - I am a readhead and grew up on a farm, so suffered a lot of sunburns at an early age before the whole sunblock era came along.  I also have been to a chiropractor for some different back/hip/tailbone issues.  Just hard to understand the "seasonality" of it, if it is in fact related to either or both issues.  For instance, why would I not itch earlier in the summer when I am actually in the sun more, or why does it continue after being adjusted and symptom free from back pain?  I am a little worried after reading everyone else's itches that it may start spreading both in duration and skin area....hopefully more of a cure/exact cause will be discovered before then!
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i've been searching and reading and the itching is driving me nuts. i too have been diagnosed with "general skin rash" "scabies" "dermatitis allergen" or even the "perhaps its a reaction to your various meds" and reduce me down or eliminate the meds, but not the itching. i have been taking pics over months - it appears below my left elbow ... then there is the "deep-seated-want-to-cut-my-hand/arm-off itch" where i've scratched layers of skin off the palm of my hand, then the itch appears on the left with a small rash, then the head .... now i've got a "necklace band of rash" and it burns like "burning nettle" - the littlest wisp of a hair against the skin can set off a scratching episode. i've tried mixing everything from vagisil anti-itch cream with the topical steriod with acne cream ... i can't sleep ... the prescription strength antihistihmine doesn't work ... aveeno or diaper rash cream helps some ... i take antidepressent citalopram hydrobromide ... that is the only change in the past year that i've had this itch problem - i was weened off depakote, lorazapam and simisivan (for cholesterol). i do have sciatica/low back problems and just recently began receiving shots .... so the shots isn't it. my face itches ... anything that i can scratch ....if there is a scab anywhere, i will scratch that off too .... i take extend sleep ambian - and i scratch and wake up from that too .....on to doctor number 3 tomorrow and then wait to see a dermatologist ....
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Hey,  I'm interested in the amount of Gabapentin you are taking.  Do you take more at night like "alltogether" does?  Currently, I've upped my 100mgs at night to 200mgs and still I don't see any difference.  So far this year, I can deal with the day, though I'm suposed to start 100mg in the am tomorrow.  I just want to be able to sleep on my side.  Last night i tried it adn had to get the ice packs out.  I hate that!

I totally think the cervical disc thing between C5 and C8 is the common thread.  Some people may not know that's what they have.......... I didn't know it until I had my MRI last year.

Cuba is NOT it Adrienne......
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I'm wondering if 400mgs of Gabapentin at night bothers your stomach in any way.  Can you sleep in any position when you take it?  Are you drowsy when you get up?  If I can't get the itch to not come with the Gabapentin, then I'm going to get off of it.  I'm disappointed at present because so far it's not working for me but I'm thinking i need to up my dosage.  My Dr. wanted to start out slow though.....................
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Hi gone.......... I'm not sure you have what the rest of us have.  Yours sounds like more of a rash type thing.  I haven't heard anyone say anything about the palm of their hand or their face itching.  Also, the brushing of a hair does not trigger it.

Good luck in figuring it out!
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I started out on Gabopentin 100 mg 3x day for a week---like another said, dr. wanted to start with low dosage---then starting week two 200 mg 3x day.  I also take the Naproxen sodium pill.   I sometimes take another dose as it seems 3x daily is not enough. I notice I need it every 4 hours.  My friend takes 900 mg a day.  I read that someone takes 2400 mg daily. I also take an antidepressant-Zoloft-but the neurologist knew that, so I guess it's okay to take both, although I think all the doctors do it put together your symptoms and make a stab at the meds.   I don't think the itching of the face, neck, etc., is brachioradial pruritis; that involves the arms only.  

I tried the steroid creams, poison ivy washes, toothache medicine, severe burn ointment--lidocaine did help a wee bit--sunburn sprays and gels, etc.   Aveeno intense relief overnight cream with natural colloidal oatmeal helped some.

When I was really suffering, though, applying cream gave me a really unpleasant sensation, too.

I was having a facial once and asked the lady to run the laser she uses for acne over my arm---it did not help.
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I have many posts on this thread relating to some of the most recent comments, BUT I WANT TO TELL YOU ALL:
This is the first year (after 10 years!) my itch has stopped early! It started at the beginning of July and ended in mid-September. The things I did different this year are: I had my first child in August. I did end up having to have an epidural. The itch was crazy bad during labor (as if labor isn't bad enough! I was having to rub ice all over my arms and concentrate on breathing thru contractions at the same time-ridiculous!) and it continued for weeks after I came home from hospital. BUT, knock on wood, it stopped altogether in mid-September. The new remedies I tried this year, as noted somewhere earlier in this thread, are: Elidel (which I got while I was in the hospital--from hosp. pharmacy) and then I tried White Flower Oil, which is a natural oil I bought at Whole Foods. I still itched when using the Elidel and the oil, but not as bad, and ultimately, the itch subsided altogether. So I am not sure if I can attribute it to those, BUT that's all I did differently this year, and now my only excuse for not sleeping thru the night is my sweet little newborn! ANYWAY, I recommend trying those for those of you who haven't. I was especially partial to the white flower oil.  Let me know how it goes...

The good news everyone, is that it is December, and it should be going way this month anyway. It is an awful awful frustrating unfair condition, and I'm sorry we all have to deal with it. :(

To Racinaimee, See my posts at the top of thread. I don't understand the seasonality either, but thats the way it works. I don't know of any spinal issues I may have, but I do think the causes are that and/or sun.  My itch would always begin in July, yet I'd been out in the sun since April/May (in Colorado). And it ends in December, long after I am bundled up in long sleeves. I'm sorry to welcome you to the group. :(

To Gone380, I'm sorry, but I too think you must have something different :( We only experience BPR in the arms.
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Hello everyone! There used to be an 'itchy arm' forum started in 2000 on PiA, but was disbanned today. Anyway, I was a member there since 2008 and have had itchy arms for 8 years myself. Thank goodness I found out what was causing mine after 7 years. I did ALOT of research and found out about brachioradial pruritus and it's various causes. Many of the "Deep" itches talked about are actually nerve related which is why neurontin helps. It's also why ice helps...ice over-rides the nerve impulse being fired (the itch sensation)...often the icy hots, topical pain ointments etc do similar things.....and sometimes for many of us, actual pain will interrupt this itch signal. I suggest getting xrays of the cervical spine...followed by MRI's of the same and EMG's if necessary. Typically brachioradial pruritus will have some kind of nerve compression, damage, lesion etc. on C5-C6 levels. Should a disc or something else be compressing the nerve roots at this level, you could get this false itch sensation instead of pain, tingling, numbness most often associated. Look into everyone and good luck!!! I just posted this in the allergy section also as there seems to be another similar 'itchy arm thread' there too. Good luck everyone!!
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After more than 10 years of itching I finally decided to google this condition and WOW...I can't believe you are all out here.  I spent the morning in Urgent Care because I never know what to do when the itching starts and I can't get it to stop.  This is the 5th year in a row that I have ended up in the ER room (for middle of the night itching) or in Urgent Care and no one knows what this is.  None of the doctors have been able to diagnose this and all have given me a steroid shot followed by the pack of steroid pills.  My itching has always been on the left arm just above the elbow or on the top of my left hand.  Just like all of you, there is no rash or any visible sign.  It always happens once or twice a year in the fall.  This year I was so happy that I didn’t get it – after all – it’s December, right?  Not so lucky – I guess  my itchy season now extends into the Michigan winter!  I had my steroid shot at 10:30 this morning and right now, at 6pm, as long as I don’t scratch it or touch it, the itching has calmed down but I still know it’s there. Some quick info about me – I was hit by a fork truck in 1989 and got a neck injury in the C5 C6.  I started having left arm pain and tingling in my left fingers right away but the itching didn’t start until about 1997.  Until I just read all your posts, I never thought there might be a connection.  I am a 63 yr old woman, active, in the sun a lot especially my arms – I am a piggy bank artist and I paint outdoors during the summer.  Even with a tent over me at craft shows, the sun usually hits  my arms.  As I mentioned above, I always get this awful itching in the fall and have always attributed it to stress. I am super stressed in my business starting in September because that is when all the big shows are,  The Christmas online orders for piggy banks also start coming in and the closer to Christmas it gets, the more stress I have. I hope I haven’t rambled on too much.  I am so glad I found you and sorry that I wrote so much.
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After more than 10 years of itching I finally decided to google this condition and WOW...I can't believe you are all out here.  I spent the morning in Urgent Care because I never know what to do when the itching starts and I can't get it to stop.  This is the 5th year in a row that I have ended up in the ER room (for middle of the night itching) or in Urgent Care and no one knows what this is.  None of the doctors have been able to diagnose this and all have given me a steroid shot followed by the pack of steroid pills.  My itching has always been on the left arm just above the elbow or on the top of my left hand.  Just like all of you, there is no rash or any visible sign.  It always happens once or twice a year in the fall.  This year I was so happy that I didn’t get it – after all – it’s December, right?  Not so lucky – I guess  my itchy season now extends into the Michigan winter!  I had my steroid shot at 10:30 this morning and right now, at 6pm, as long as I don’t scratch it or touch it, the itching has calmed down but I still know it’s there. Some quick info about me – I was hit by a fork truck in 1989 and got a neck injury in the C5 C6.  I started having left arm pain and tingling in my left fingers right away but the itching didn’t start until about 1997.  Until I just read all your posts, I never thought there might be a connection.  I am a 63 yr old woman, active, in the sun a lot especially my arms – I am a piggy bank artist and I paint outdoors during the summer.  Even with a tent over me at craft shows, the sun usually hits  my arms.  As I mentioned above, I always get this awful itching in the fall and have always attributed it to stress. I am super stressed in my business starting in September because that is when all the big shows are,  The Christmas online orders for piggy banks also start coming in and the closer to Christmas it gets, the more stress I have. I hope I haven’t rambled on too much.  I am so glad I found you and sorry that I wrote so much.
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Hi there!
Glad to meet you, but sorry it's under these circumstances. Go get that neck checked! From the location of your itch, it sounds like predominantly C6 right now. That's the location of the C6 dermatome (area of skin designated by a nerve root) and with your history of injury to C5-C6 I'm surprised your doctors haven't checked it yet....did you have surgery to repair the injury?? Have you had cervical xrays yet? Good place to start....then I'd move on to an MRI and EMG. I certainly hope you find out and get some help!! Take care!
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HI Tracey,  Questions about your white flower oil.  Do you use it everyday?  Once a day? Does it smell?  It sounds great if it works!

I loved hearing how it is Dec. and should be going away soon.  That's what mine did last year.  It's so weird, isn't it??

To DesrtDove: You talk a lot about BRP - waht it is and waht causes it (nerve damage aroudn C5 and C6 which is right on target with me) but, I already knew all this.  So, I'm wondering if you've found something that works for you. Let me/us know.  Thanks!
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Hi Erin,
Brachioradialis Pruritus is essentially 'itchy forearms'. Brachioradialis is the area of the arm and pruritus is itching. There's a lot of controversy about it's causes. Some of the research states that it is caused by sun damage...where the sun damages the nerve endings. Could be. Other research states that it is caused by damage to the cervical nerves from about C4-C6. My experience with my own BRP tells me it's more about the nerves stemming from the cervical spine. I have a severe disc herniation at C5-C6 with central protrusion compressing the spinal cord. My itching was constant...starting on the left arm at the wrist and moved it's way up to just above the elbow...then went to the right arm following the exact same pattern. I first got cervical xrays, then EMG, then MRI which showed active denervation at those levels. I tried everything to heal the neck/disc and get the itching to stop...Ice worked the best, but stopped working after about 8 months. I did cervical traction 3X week, chiropractic adjustments, massage, electric muscle stimulation/microcurrent, TENS units. Nothing really worked until I found a product that is very expensive, but I was facing surgery and certainly didn't want that.....so I tried it and it has worked for me. I'm thrilled because now I think that my disc can finally heal on it's own without the amount of chronic inflammation I had. I haven't had itching since the 3rd week of being on the supplement.

I work in allied health so I'm also familiar with White Flower Oil. I use it in my practice ;) It's a topical analgesic. It has peppermint, wintergreen, menthol, eucalyptus, camphor, lavender. I find that it smells like a cross between Listerine and mint. It's kinda nice :) I found that topical analgesics worked for me for a short while. They work by over-riding the nerve impulse much like ice and pain do. I didn't mean to answer someone else's question, but thought while I was on a roll, I'd keep on rolling....hehe. Sorry.

Since you already are aware you have damage to C5-C6 area, your's could be caused by that as well....what happened to your neck?? Did you get surgery?? Have you had recent xrays, MRI, EMG??

I know when my itching started about 8 years ago, it would come and go...sometimes lasting a few weeks, sometimes a few months...but it didn't follow any pattern....but always came and went. Then it was constant for over a year. I thought I would go 'mad' before I found out what was wrong...fortunately I was persistent in my research and insistent about my own health care. I had to pay for all my tests out of my own pocket because my Primary doctor said I was crazy and wouldn't help me.....I KNEW something wa seriously wrong and thank goodness I'm strong willed and hard headed! I found it and helped myself. I wish you much luck and success, Erin!!!! Hang in there and find what works for you!!!! Peace.
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Hi,
Although my itching has subsided for now it is just a case of waiting till the next time ! I am really curious, what treatment have you had which has made it go away ?
I have a worn disc and I have chronic pain with it and the pain killers just make the itch worse !
I take Serrapeptase for my joint pain ,which is the enzyme from the silk worm, This works great at getting rid of scar tissue and helping inflammation but the itch remains.
I would love to hear what product you have found.
Kind Regards,
Lesley
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Dove,  Thanks for all your info.  I'm not sure how I hurt my neck.  It doesn't even feel hurt, which is why it took me a long time to realize it was a neck thing.  Only after I got the MRI did I know.  I can only think of two things that might have happened - 1. I work out at the gym, lifting, on a regular basis.  Nothing major, I'm not a builder or competetor or anything but I may have casued stress to my neck (why doen't this happen to all the other millions of people that work out though?  Truly, I do a fairly simple work out).  Or, it may have soemthing to do with being in front of a computer a lot at my job.

So, I too, am curious about what you found that works.  Please do share.  We all want something (this Gabapentin isn't doing it for me so far and I was so hopeful for it) that works.  I, too, have looked into surgery and know my options with that.  Mine isn't bad enough to warrant it yet though.  You mentioned inflammation....... that's what I thought took care of mine last year......... the steroid pack to reduce the inflammation.  Mine went away after I took it for  a week.  That occured in Dec.  When mine started this year, I went right away to my Dr. to get the steroids.  This time they didn't work so I'm thinking maybe it was a coincidence last year and that it was going away anyway in Dec. like everyone seems to say.

Anyhow........... let us know what is working for you.  I understand you may be hesitant to do so because you are in the medical field and have to CYA or whatever but...... everyone is just sharing what has worked for them and looking for help so........... don't worry about that or use a disclaimer if you feel it's necessary.  I'm just so curious and am hoping it's not the steroid pack because that didn't work for me this time :(

Thanks again!
Erin
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Well hello there,
Cool to hear from you both. Perhaps we can continue to offer support and help each other! Let's see, where to start.....well, I use a product that decreases cellular inflammation and helps increase cellular glutathione. A friend (also in allied healthcare) told me about it about 4 or 5 months ago and I blew her off. She asked me to remain open minded and do my research. So, I did...I researched for about a month and decided I had nothing to lose, if it didn't work, it simply didn't work...so I began taking the supplement and into the 3rd week, ALL my itching disappeared! I have been on it for about 3 months now and have only had a slight indication of the itch starting at a time when I ran out of the product. I became distributor of it because of what it's done for me, BUT I do not push it and don't want people to think that's why I'm here...there is no magic bullet. It worked for me because I had extreme, chronic inflammation. I think it can help many people, yes. But I don't advocate it for everyone....if you'd like to hear about it privately, I'm fine with anyone emailing me at this nic at msn.com but please don't think that's why I'm here. I really want to get the word out that BRP is probably more about cervical damage at C5-C6. Too many people don't know that especially doctors! And to answer your other question, no it is NOT a pharmaceutical steroid. It's a supplement full of good things....enough said :)

I, too, work out a lot...I was a body builder in my 20's (20 years ago). I snowboard, ride motorcycles, waveboard (2 wheeled skate board) and am very active....but I've also taken a lot of falls and had many concussions/whiplash. I have no doubt my disc herniation is from something like that....repeatedly. Erin, there are many reasons discs herniate....could be degenerative, could be a fall, could be overuse-misuse, could be simply genetic (thanks Mom and Dad...hehe). If there's nothing specific you remember, it could be any combination of those. Lesley, I hear you have a lot of pain with yours...that's actually what you should have with this. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong, however the nerves also fire the pain signal when they are healing....if your itch remains, you still must have a lot of inflammation compromising the nerves. That's what it sounds like anyway. Is it degeneration of the discs?

You know, I did traction 3X a week and it did help for a while....have either of you tried that?? Intermittant traction helps to pump out the fluid (inflammation) while allowing the constant tension on the disc to be a bit relieved. Worth a try too!

Anyway, so nice to hear from you both! Thanks for the questions. I hope we all continue to heal and have better days and nights without itching!!!
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Hi ,
Thanks for the quick reply, I will try to contact you regarding the product you use. I have had problems with my back for years, I put it down to being taller than average and having to bend all the time ha! ha!.
I had sciatica a few years back as well ,which put me out of the game. I too have done weights, diving, caving etc, so when the doctor says wear and tear you fight back the urge to scream !
I have had an MRI scan on a few occasions and they just keep saying I have a worn disc and offer me injections in my spine, which I really don't fancy !
After mentioning the Serrapeptase ( which I have just started taking again ) I have wondered if that has stopped the itching. I get them from my local small alternative medicine shop. I first took them for carpeltunnelitis ( not sure of spelling ). It was in my wrists and then started in my ankles and I had to have cortisone injections. Due to taking the Serrapeptase I was able to sign off the hospital, it was fantastic !
Apparently, it is the enzyme which the silk worm uses to break out of its cocoon and it gets rid of scar tissue and therefore aids inflammation, I swear by it ! Due to the price I had stopped taking it for a while and now I am starting to wonder if that is when the dreaded itch returned !
Wow, I am sorry to ramble like this, It feels really good to talk , as when I mention  "the itch " I just get glazed looks and everyone trotts out the usual suggestions like washing powder etc.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to ramble and I hope my rambling helps someone out there.
I will be in touch,
Thanks,
Les.
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I just responded to your email, but the postmaster said it failed to go through....don't know why. I'll try to send a 'note' through this forum. Look for it.

Anyway, didn't want you to think I was rude...hehe. Yes, it sounds as if the Serrapeptase is working for you! That's great!. Unfortunately, the supplement I'm speaking about is very expensive as well. Appears they all are, but to me it's worth it because I may be able to avoid surgery too! Gotta love that!!

Oh, yes, that glazed look when you talk about the itching...I know it. If my arms didn't look like I 'cut myself' repeatedly and have the feel of thick leather, I would have gotten more I'm sure. Until you walk a mile in someone's shoes........as the saying goes. Hey, have a great non-itchy day!!
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saw another doctor and agreed on giving me the gabapentin 100 mg x 4 a day, plus a shot of steroids and then pills of prednisone 20 mg x 3 a day for 3 days, 2 for 7 and 1 for 7 days. then i also got a topical cream of triamcinolne/lubriderm to put on areas of itch/rash. its only been two days ... but have to wait til at least early january  to get into a dermotologists office. soaked in aveeno oatmeal bath - that kind of helped. next is to wash my sheets and pjs etc in "no-scent laundry soap" - she said it is possible to get allergies to laundry soap even if you have used for a long long time. so i'll check back in a week or so and see how it goes.
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Hi,
I hope it works for you ! Have you had any back injury/pain in the past ? One idea is to show this blog to your doctor, I think most of us have been down the road of washing powder etc.
I really hope you find some relief.

Hi DesrtDove,
I have replied to your note and will send you another email and try to adjust the settings, Technology !!!!
Have a good day,
Lesley
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Hi gone,
Like Lesley suggested, have you had any injury to your neck?? Specifically C4-C6...if you don't know, you might want to suggest that to the doctors as a place to start. Xrays, then MRI and EMG as necessary. Could save you a lot of time and suffering. Good luck!!!! I hope the steroids work for you!!

Hi again Lesley,
Thanks for the info!! Looks like my email went through!! Take care and hope you are well!!!
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Gosh, it's so good to hear from you all.  It's almost like this is a life line :)  My itching doesn't sound as bad as other people but last year it was.  I've only had to do ice a couple times this year.  The worst thing for me is that I have to sleep on back and sometimes that makes sleeping difficult.  I also still wake up with itching but it is a small amount and I usually can get through it by changing my head position and waiting.....

Dove, Thank you so much for taking the time to send your emails and info. I will email you also to yoru other address.  The Gabapentin just isn't working and I don't want to keep upping the amount.  I'm interested to know what "very expensive" is but I'm willing to try something more natural

Lesley, I will keep the Serrapeptase in mind too.  

I keep hoping this is going to go away soon since it's December!

Good thoughts to all.
Erin
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Hi there Erin,
Yes, it sure is to have this forum!! I was a regular member of another forum for over a year and really enjoyed interacting with everyone!! I think it's important for all of us to know that we have others who share our experiences and have someone to lean on.

Thank you for your email and I will answer that as well:) I understand about not wanting to increase your Gabapentin.....my sister-in-law was on that and hated it! I think sometimes the side effects are just as bad as the problem it's supposed to be helping. I don't know.

It does sound like the Serrapeptase is great!! After hearing about it more from Lesley I did a bit more research and it sounds successful at helping to decrease inflammation. Worth thinking about too!

When my itching stopped, I was blown away! Hasn't come back for 2 1/2 months or so....my arms are finally healed and I can sleep! :)
Hang in there everyone...find what works for you!! Peace.
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Hi.  I just read how you have taken steriods too.  I am on my 6th day of taking the pack.  The 3rd day I was on them the itching was gone.  I don't know why, it just has worked for me.  I only have this happen in the fall - early winter, and the steroids have worked every year for the past 5 years.  I always start with a shot in the ER or Urgent care, followed by the 21 pack of Methylprednisolone - 4mg.  Just thought I would pass this info on to you and hope that you find something that works for you.
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This is amazing!  I have had this itch on my right forearm for a few weeks now, which my primary care doctor brushed off as "eczema". There is no rash whatsoever and no sign of dryness,scaling or ANYTHING - just incredibly intense itching.  I'm 56 years old and had surgery for a herniated disc at C5-6 in 1994.  I also have been a sun worshipper for most of my life - not so much in recent years, though.  I am so glad to have found this forum.  Thanks to reading this, I tried the ice pack and have finally found some relief!  I am definitely going to print these posts and take them to my doctor.  Thanks to all of you.  I will keep checking in here.
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Welcome!!
Yes, definitely print this out and take it to your doctor. Could have scar tissue building on your old surgery of C5-C6 compressing the nerves. Did they do a fusion and discectomy??? I'd be interested to know! Thanks for posting! It helps to have us all meeting and talking about our difficulties and ESPECIALLY the similarities in C5-C6 problems!!! There's the connection! Take care:)
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Hey Spark,

Thanks for the info on the steroids.  I was really surprised they didn't work for me this year since last year it seemed like "magic".  Maybe now I need the shot too or something.  I'm going to try something else for the inflammation that Dove says works for her and if that doesn't work, I might try the steroids with shot next time.  Knock on wood but my itching MIGHT be slowing down on it's own as of today............. we will see.  I'm going to wean myself off of the Gabapentin.  I was mainly using it for the night, so I could sleep on my side, but it hasn't allowed me to do that so what's the point?  Dove and Lesley talk about the Serrapeptase so that's an option too.  Isn't it great to have this forum so we can help each other?  :)

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I have been dealing with this, very severe right now, but on and off for ? I can't believe all the other's with this, when Dr of all sorts, look at me like i am crazy- looking for pills. acually the oppisite. rarely fill perscriptions, esp. for any pain pills. so the quick answer to this is? thank you all for being "one of us"... btw- I was in a severe auto crash 28yrs ago. have dealt with shoulder injury, scoliosis, crushed forearm, frontal lobe damage, severe facial lacerations=forehead above eyes to temple, lip to chin, almost complete- just lip not cut thru, broken jaw, hairline fractures thruout face, teethroots, yea.. a real BLESSING to be alive, suffered thru much, but hard to deal with if no rash, evidence, reason, support from others- Until now! hope this makes some sense!
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Hi Brenda and welcome!!

Wow, you've been through a lot and do sound lucky to be alive!! Hurray!! I would suggest looking at what neck injury you've had from that accident. Xrays might show a narrowing of the disc space in the cervical spine...particularly C4-C6. Then an MRI concentrating on those areas and perhaps an EMG to find if there is nerve damage to that area. Good luck!!
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Found it!  Thanks for the guidance here...  so for anyone reading this I have more clarification on my "itchy arm" condition.  I do have no space between C5-C6 discs, which is causing pinched nerves.  So besides tingling on the neck shoulder areas, the doctor that did my nerve test said it could definitely cause itching!  Yay, someone positive for once!  So I'm having an epidural cortison shot under sedation to calm the nerves and inflammation. I do still take 100 mg of Neurontin at night but have not used ANY of the Prudoxin medicated cream OR haven't used an ice bag for literally weeks now!  It's so wonderful!  But I have not forgotten the months, weeks, days, minutes of being so miserable that I wanted to cut my arms off!  I just keep saying hang in there to all of you folks out there!!!  k
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Well hello there!!
So happy you found it!! And sooooo soooo happy that you have finally gotten conclusive evidence that the discs (or lack thereof) at C5-C6 are what's causing yours too!! If we get enough people all stating the same thing these doctors just have to finally put 2 and 2 together! Geeeesh, we should become doctors ;) Good seeing you again and thanks for sharing your news!!
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I was recently diagnosed with this lovely little afflication, fortunately not to the extreme cases that some of you seem to be suffering from. According to my dermatologist the application of capsasin(hot pepper oil) to the affected area has shown to be effective in eliminating the itch. I haven't tried it yet but will hopefully be getting some from the dr. Will post an update when i see the results.
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Watch capsasin -- if you are really having a flare-up or have open sores it could be a horrible experience for you.

I DID NOT EVER HAVE DAMAGE IN MY NECK---sorry, but I don't think that's the common bond here.  I  did have lower back surgery but that was almost 30 years ago.

Gabapentin is the only thing that helps, yet there have been a couple of times when it flared up horribly anyway!
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I live in Denmark, female 63 years old. In the last 8-10 years I got a horrible itch upperside my hands and arms mostly the left. It starts ultimo August and last until January. I love being outside, lives near the beach, summer and winter bathing. I am sure it is Brachioradial Pruritus and my doctor agrees. I do have discus degenerations too C4-C7 and got a titanium cage operated in 2006. I believe BP is a combination of too much ultraviolet light in the summer and a nerve pressure.  But why is the itch seasonally. Why not in the middle of the summer og Spring? When the itch is bad I put 3 tablespoon salt into half a liter water and wash the skin, do not wash the salt of again. You can use the saltwater many times.      
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Hello Danigliano, WetwoolSweater and ettie4-
Welcome! Danigliano, Yes for some people Capsasin does work. For me, the topical pain relieving ointments including capsasin only worked for a brief period of time. I hope you get longer lasting results:)

Wetwoolsweater-No one is saying that YOUR itch is due to cervical spine damage. I know MINE is.....I would have never known that I had damage to my neck either, I did notice a ganglion cyst on the back of my neck in the C5-C6 region and thought that was the cause...I personally, don't remember anything specific to injure myself, but have certainly had enough falls due to snowboarding, waveboarding etc to cause such....but never had any pain or any other symptoms...it was only until I got xrays and the DC noticed a narrowing of the disc space that he suggest an MRI and EMG. I paid for both out of pocket and my results were conclusive. I have since done oodles of research and I am comfortable in what I now know....you can do your research as to what YOU personally have causing yours.

Ettie, it does sound like yours is due to nerve compression....I know my itch came and went, but was never seasonal...didn't follow any pattern at all...it is possible that sun/heat irritates the nerve and causes it to increase the firing of the itch signal that makes it seem seasonal. If salt water works for you, I would continue with that. I used salt scrub for a while and then realized it was the pain/burning from scrubbing so hard that created pain that overroad the itch sensation.

Good luck to all in finding what works for you!
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I know all caps means you are yelling or angry. I used them because many of us in the earlier months of the forum did not have what you suggest and that it may or may not be a common thread.  

As for my doing my research, I have done plenty, Dissatisfaction in my findings is what led me to this forum.

I did not appreciate your sarcasm to me.
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Please don't make this forum about attacking other people who are really here to support others and get that same support back. I'm sorry you are dissatisfied about your lack of answers, but attacking someone who has found a common link isn't the answer either. I do not deserve your hostility. And seeing as how you chose to yell distinctly, I thought I would show you how it feels. If you do not appreciate the sarcasm, please do not use hostility yourself first. By the way, how do you know you don't have it, if you haven't checked?? And aren't even willing to. It's none of my concern why you are so angry, that's on you. You can lead a horse to water, as the saying goes.

You can choose to be motivated to help yourself and find answers or live your life angry at everyone else especially those who have found answers, matters not to me, that's up to you.....and STILL I wish you well....I really do hope you find what's causing your itching and find a solution that truly works for YOU! Much peace and blessings to you just the same! =)

Take care everyone....haven't heard from you in a while Erin, hope you are still itch free, Kathy so happy to hear about your findings as well....please let me know how your treatment works!! Yay, we are on the right track!!
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Hi to all,
I have just read all the comments made recently and have been really shocked by them.
Most of the people who have found this web site, including me, have come out of shear deperation. We have had this horrendous itch and have found nobody to talk to about it. The medical people seem to provide little help, and the feeling you have when you know those sleepless nights and if you do sleep waking up to blood on your sheets is a nightmare.
The hardest thing to bear is the isolation, when even your best friends and parteners cannot fully comprehend what is going on.
We have found this site from all parts of the globe and it is so good to find that you
are not alone.
I feel in my heart that it has something to do with the back, I have a worn disc, I don't know if it is C4, C5, and I believe that backpain is a definate contributing factor.
I am even more convinced after reading that Kathygorlick had an epidural crtisone injection and the itching stopped, they have offered me that and I was too scared, how was it ?
Please can we remember how important this site is and how we felt when we first found it and knew we were not alone !!
There is a saying, you cannot change the past you can just take the lessons learnt in to the future.
Best wishes to everyone out there,
Lesley
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I apologize sincerely.  

I used capitals to emphasize a point, not to show hostility.  I guess I am just so frustrated about this problem.

You are right that I don't know about my C5-6.

I go to the neurologist again this week--do you think she did any research on brachyradial pruritus??  I would say she did not.
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Hello Miss Lesley!
So good to see you again. It's been a while...I hope you are well! Perhaps you should think about the cortisone injection. It does take out the inflammation thus reducing pressure on the nerves creating the itch. Look into at least....I know they don't/can't do them frequently, but maybe 1 time will do it for you! Good luck! And yes, we are all here to find solice and support.

Thank you, WetWoolSweater...apology accepted. I understand the frustration. I work in allied health and couldn't get anyone to listen either...it is horribly frustrating. That's why I think it's so important to arm yourself with all the information you can find. YOU have to help you because doctors simply have too much on their plate to look into things considered 'obscure'...if it's simple and 'old hat', the symptoms fall into categories they are familiar with...good. If not, they don't have the time nor the interest to research. If THEY had it, sure, it would be a whole different story, but if it doesn't effect them outright....they chalk it up to us being 'crazy' and call it a day. So please take some information on Brachioradial Pruritus with you into your Neurologist's appointment...It might help. Don't get too frustrated if she/he still doesn't listen though.....I was armed to the gills with information and still was called crazy. It was ONLY when I paid for my own testing and had the proof, was I listened to.....but by then I wanted to help myself. I didn't want help from people who didn't listen to me in the first place.....afterall, I knew more than they did about the subject. Perhaps you could start with Xrays of your cervical spine....specifically C4-C7. If it shows some narrowing, that's a good place to start. ANd perhaps yours is truly dermatological and not at all neurogenic. I do wish you well and hope you get some answers soon! Hang in there!!

Peace and blessings all around!
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well it is now the 12th of December ... i've been using the cream i mentioned earlier, the steriods and the gabapentin ... the itching has been less and fading, i don't have the patches below the elbow or on the wrist areas or the neck like i did have, and can almost make it through the night without an itch episode. i find that excessive heat or material irritation sets it off, but between the aveeno bath, aveeno diaper cream (which seems to block the air to the pores) and the pills i'm doing pretty good compared to when i first started. so to those that mentioned the gabapentin i thank you. i've been through the steriods before .... am hoping this combination will help more. i'm not having any side effects from the steriods or gabapentin and it doesn't interfere with my sleep...the itching interferes with my sleep. i will check back in a week or so and see what changes people are finding...the doctor moved my derm appt til march ... they just don't get it that doesn't fix me in the meanwhile ....we itchers have issues and they just seem to think "just don't scratch it !!!" for me this has been since january ... and some of you have had so much longer ... it takes its toll on you mentally and THEY don't get it!!@! that makes getting this point across to a doctor so hard ... this itch is REAL!!@!!!!!
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Hi,
I have thought long and hard about the cortisone injection and I feel it has to be the very last resort for me.
I have been itch free for a couple of weeks now and it is magic, you feel kind of guilty aswell because you know other people are still suffering. I know I have mentioned this before but I will give the web sites out for anyone who wants to look ,I really think that it has something to do with my itching stopping. Serrapeptase, I buy them in a local shop for £18.99 for 90 tablets, I take three a day to start and then drop it down to one a day when the symptoms go.
Natures Aid do one aswell and there are lots of other web sites but the one I get is
SerraEzyme.For people in the UK 08702414237 or www.GoodHealthNaturally.com and for the US 800-4559156 or www.GoodHealthUS.com
All that info off the back of a pill bottle !
I told my consultant at the hospital that it had worked and surely other people should be told and he said they could not promote anything not on the national health !
The world is crazy surely if something can prevent suffering it should be passed on.
I know how could anything be that simple !
I really hope that this info helps someone out there, it got rid of my carpel tunnelitis and eats away scar tissue and stops inflammation. I promise I will never mention it again !
My thoughts are with you all,
Lesley.
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Lesley,  I am going to look into the things you mentioned.  

All--thought things were going well, then 4 A.M. it started in left forearm---pain shooting out like I was being electrocuted.  Took more Gabpentin and a Benadryl and managed to get back to sleep for a couple hours.  I also dabbed the spot with Severe Burn GelPlus.

I liked the suggestion about the Aveeno Diaper Cream (can't believe we are into diaper creams now, but I'll try anything). I thought also about ambesol [spelling wrong I'm sure] or toothache meds.  Might numb the pain.

P.S.  I did notice that when I discussed this with the neurologist, she didn't perk up until I emphasized the pain.  

My husband says when I go to  doctors I shouldn't suggest things, but otherwise they are like robots: They put together the symptoms you mention, think, then come up with something it sounds like to them.

Silly as it sounds, I have a satiny pillow that I put by my slightly opened window at night and if something starts, I put my arm under that pillow---it is soothing.

One last thing--I agree about tactical things touching my arm, such as wool.  I have a comfy flannel shirt that I like.

Desrtdove,  I am going to do the neck things.  Last night I tried massaging the back of my neck, and just moving my head around, and lying flat without a pillow.  I swear the manipulation of the neck eased the pain!  
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Hello everyone,
I love this site! We can communicate with each other world's away!! Cool!

Lesley, I for one, appreciate that you've shared about Serrapeptase! Please don't apologize or feel badly. I think that's another great thing about sites like these, we get to share what's helped us and hope will help others too. I see that your heart is in the right place and accept it as such. I've done a bit of research on Serrapeptase and think it's a great idea!! Decreasing inflammation (which is what cortisone injections do) naturally is a wonderful thing!! Thanks for sharing and I'm happy that your itch is resolved!!

WetWoolSweater,
Sorry you had a bit of a rough night. Perhaps trying the Serrapeptase, Lesley mentioned would be a good thing to try. I looked up the one she suggested and in the US it costs like $30 for a bottle of 90......my understanding is you want a brand with at least 80,000 UI (which the brand Lesley suggests does). Man, if it works for her, it could work for you too! GoodHealthUSA currently has it on sale....buy 3 get one free! Worth a try. Let us know how your appointment with the neurologist goes.....when is your appointment again??

Good to hear from you again, Lesley! So glad you are well!!
Take care everyone!!
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I see her Wednesday.  Should I print out all the posts here and give them to her??

I'll see if she will write me an RX for the Ser.---maybe insurance will cover it.

This is fun!  And consoling in a special way.
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Wow, Wednesday is right around the corner! Cool, the sooner the better.

Yes, I think printing out these posts are a good idea! There's actually a lot of really good medical information out there, you just have to dig for some of it. A few good more recent sites are:
http://www.dermnetnz.org/site-age-specific/brachioradial-pruritus.html
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1355312-overview
http://www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/6824345

These sites note the effects of sun, but also include information about the cervical spine and nerve impingement/damage which may be crucial. Perhaps good to print those out too. I had originally brought in several sites based out of China and Germany that were very good, well documented cases...but they are older and aren't on the first few pages of searches I've done recently.

Anyway, that should give you plenty of information to take with you! Gosh I hope she or he listens and gets you closer to answers for you! Good luck and please keep us posted!!
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Wow, just finally had a minute to sit and read that latest posts.  So to clarify, I haven't had the injection yet.  12/23 and I'm mildly sedated for it.  I'm not nervous, I'm anxious to have it.  I still take only the 100 mg. of Neurontin at night.  NO cream, NO more ice packs.  NONE ladies!  All I get now is a tingling to the right of my neck up on my right shoulder area, which is from the C5-C6 nerve compression.  The shot should take down the inflammation and irritation.  I think it's the Neurontin that's stopping the itch.  I am truly blessed if just one 100 mg. pill can work for me.  Others have to take so much more and the side effects are not pleasant.   I fully agree that this is a combination of Brachioradial Puritis from over, over, over soaking in the sun.  When you do that all summer, by the end of summer, when mine always started, the nerves are going crazy.  Add the nerve damage from the pinching and boom!  The doctor that did the nerve test said she has heard of many people itching from the nerves.  She said the words "you're not crazy".  Halaluyah!  And I'll keep sounding like a broken record but for the most part YOU have to do the foot work for the medical field.  They WON'T take the time that we will.  Just don't give up.  I know how horrible nights can be and I stay on this site because it could always come back and I don't want to get so cocky that I think I'm in the clear.  I'm just feeling good that I didn't give up on myself or you out there!  Sleep well all, and remember how many friends you have out here in cyber world!  k
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Hi,
I am really sorry you had such a bad night. That is the thing with this itch you never know when it is going to strike again. I totally agree about fabrics next to the skin, it makes all the difference ! I hope the appointment goes well some medical people are willing to listen, others think they know it all.
Am I right in saying that it is mainly women it affects ? When mine first started I put it down to the menopause, you tend to blame everything on it, and then worry that one day you could be wrong !
If there are men out there suffering I apologise, but it would be interesting to find out.
Desrtdove, hi, I haven't emailed you but I will do later, I have been doing some research about the product you use and it looks like you can get it in the UK.
mduck, I agree with you wholeheartedly, I have always been terrified to say it has gone it is like tempting fate. As for someone telling you ,you are not crazy they must be the words we have all longed to hear and why this site is so important !
Take care everyone,
Lesley
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Hi there!
So nice to hear from you! I've heard of a few cases with men....one in China....I think it's more common in women because our neck is smaller and less 'bulky' than men's. Easier to get injury and certainly more prone to degeneration due to changes in hormones etc.

Let me know about finding this product in the UK. My company says it can't distribute there yet, but they are working on it. But it's currently only available in the US, Canada and Phillipines. I know someone who did get it in London and is NOT getting the same results I've gotten......makes me wonder if it's even the same stuff since my own company says they can not distribute there. Let me know what you find out and where you get it from if you decide to do so. Again, it's nice to see you again =)

Hiya mduck!! Nice to see you. Yes, nice to hear those words isn't it! I'm glad you got confirmation! We all need that! Please keep us posted on your injection! Yay for you!!

Well, I better start my day.....peace and blessings to all!!!
H
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Today I was actually diagnosed (after 7 years) with brachialradial pruritis.  I went back to the dermatologist I saw 4 years ago.  He was unable to see me so his PA did and diagnosed it immediately.  She gave me the exact information I've been reading here.  She basically explained it as spine compression leading to malfunction of the nerves in the arms.  
Throughout the years I've been humiliated and embarrassed as I scratch, until I bleed, at parties, restaurants or where ever I might be when it strikes.  I am 56 years old, never had an epidural and went through menopause at 43.  This didn't begin until I was 49.  I have had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands though.  I love yard work so I'm outside alot but I consider this normal sun exposure.  My arms itch the worst in the folds around my elbows and wrists but also in other areas of the arms.   My arms are badly scarred from the scratching.  I now wear mostly long sleeved shirts which is very hot, living in Texas.  
The PA prescribed Zonalon cream, generic is Doxepin.  She cautioned me that it is known to make you very sleepy so she advised me to use it before bed.  The fact that it makes you sleepy will help if nothing else.  I will use it tonight so I will keep you posted as to how it works.  Also, by the way, I have been told I have issues with my spine but no two doctors have the same diagnosis.  I am currently experiencing my arms "going to sleep" very easily when I am trying to sleep.  Anyone experiencing this also?  I'm so glad to at least know this has a diagnosis, people were beginning to think I was just crazy!!
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So glad you found us and have some diagnosis to go on as well.  I wonder if Doxepin is similar to the Prudoxin I am prescribed, as it says may cause drowsiness as well.  I'm just frustrated that we can't seem to get anyone in the media, even a newspaper, to take some interest in this.  I think I mentioned this before but last week on our Los Angeles news station they did a story on a young girl that had hiccups for a week!  Really?  Seriously?  And our story is not even getting a listen to!  Go figure!

Anyway, my arms do fall asleep at time, like now my right arm/hand is tingling like before it goes to sleep.  But that's the side that has more affect from the pinched nerve and I did have carpal tunnel surgery on that hand.

Well, a good day to all of you.  We'll keep trudging onward!  k
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Hi,
Yes I have had that problem of my arms going to sleep ! Recently, when I hold my book in one hand, reading in bed, my hand tingles and goes numb..
It's all starting to make sense it's just trying to get people to listen, as you say. It doesn't bear to think how many people there are out there suffering with this with no help !
Best wishes,
Lesley
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Desrtdove--sorry, mistake--my neurologist app't was today (not Wednesday). I didn't get much satisfaction from her--I could hear the attendant briefing her on my condition--don't these doctors keep a file?? Anyway, she insists I go back to my dermatologist and see her not the PA.  She scheduled me for an MRI on my neck.  She increased my Neurontin / Gabapentin to 900 mg per day with 2 refills.  I asked if I had to come back in for more refills and the answer was of course, so she could see how I'm doing--as if she knows.  

She feels if there were nerve damage then there should be other symptoms, such as weakness, shooting pain (I told her last time I had shooting pains, as I think most of us do.)  

I took a few of the comments from this forum--she read maybe two of them then handed them back to me.

Truthfully,  if Gab. keeps working,  I think I can deal with it, but as we all seem to know, the pain and itching seen to be lurking always just beneath the skin.

I'm not disappointed in my visit, pretty much what I expected.  These doctors just want to pass you off to someone else.  
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Thank you for letting us know how your appt went. I am so sorry to hear, however that she left you feeling dissatisfied. Please don't get discouraged. My doctor did the same thing (and worse) when I brought the information in to him. At least you are scheduled for an MRI of your neck!! That's a good thing. When you go, please tell them to focus on C4-C6 disc interspaces (especially on your itchiest side).

Also, not everyone has pain, tingling, numbness, weakness from nerve damage/imgingement in the neck. MOST do, yes. I baffled my doctor, Chiropractor and neurologist because I had no pain, tingling, numbness and only one or two incidents of weakness in my arms. A bit of background: I am a very muscular woman who works with my hands all day long in allied healthcare...I am very strong with an average grip strength of 110pounds (very strong for a woman). The one or two occasions when I did notice weakness, my grip strength would go down to 70 pounds (still strong for a woman) so it didn't appear to be problematic. I had absolutely no pain...I only had pressure in my neck, I stated to the doctors that I could feel something sticking on my spinal cord or 'it feels like someone is standing on my spinal cord'. Of course they thought I was nuts. Then I pay for my own MRI and the results were shocking. I have central spinal cord compression into the first third of the spinal cord itself due to disc herniation. When the doctor looked at it he said, "Holy crap, it's fuc**** mammoth! I can't believe you don't have pain or paralysis." It's rare to have none of those symptoms, but then again it's rare to have this itching....my research shows that 80% of people have pain without complication, 20% have pain with complication and 2% of that 20% have only itching.

So, if you do have shooting pain, that is a very good indication that you have some kind of cervical damage. I hope they find it soon!! When is your MRI scheduled??

Above all, please hang in there!! Be persistent, be strong and be patient =) They will find it! You just may have to direct them a bit...remember that they work for you, don't be too put off by their status or apparent apathy. They only show what they don't know when they get condescending etc. I'm sure they feel helpless and they don't want you to know that they don't know. Play their game and direct them...feed them the information so they think they found it for you =)

Welcome itchity!! Sorry it's under these circumstances, but glad you found us!

Hi again Lesley54 and mduck, so good to 'see' you again!!

Take care everyone!

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I have never met anyone else who suffers with itchy arms, so reading all these comments has made me fell less abnormal!
My Dr has given up on helping me, so I have tried all sorts of remedies. One remedy which helps sooth my arms is Tea Tree lotion, and on bad nights I use deep heat - it helps minimise the itch.
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Thank you for all that information. I found the statistics especially interesting.

Yes! I agree with "They only show what they don't know when they get condescending."   The doctor I see is not like that, but I know several male doctors who are.  

I pushed for the MRI and she agreed because she said we could then eliminate a factor as being the cause or source of my [our] problem.  

Anyway,  I took my 300 mg of gabapentin this morning---I could feel that feeling in my left arm as I was awaking, although I don't seem to panic as much as I once did; I am fairly confident that the meds will help it.

Talk to you and everyone else again soon.  
Best wishes for a better day.
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I just started with "itching arms."  Occasionally it's both right and left, but the last month it has only been my left arm. Some points of interest:
1.) I am 65 years old...and never had this before now.
2.) I am finished with menopause
3.) I did have neck surgery (removed neurofibroma tumor) in both 1966 and 1974.  no problems since.
4.) I am very allergic to insect bites.
5.) It is Dec. I live in North Carolina and my itching is worse than ever.

I have not yet called this to my doctor's attention.
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So the night before last I thought I would try skipping the Neurontin... remember, it's only 100 mg. Well, yesterday afternoon, late, I started to feel more of a pin ***** sensation than an itch, but just a little bit, around my left elbow area.  I knew that feeling was the calm before the storm.  Dang, thought I could do without it!  So it didn't get any worse than that little electrical "sting" here and there, but I did take the Neurontin and all is well. Maybe after my cortisone injection next week I WILL be able to go without the pill...  Still grateful I'm where I'm at with all of this so don't want to sound cocky about it!  You all have a good weekend, I will hope and pray for an itch free one for all!  k
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Thank you all for your information.  I was up in the middle of the night with the most severe itching attack I have ever experienced and ready to drive myself to the ER but thought I should google (I don't use the comp much) itching arms first just to see.  I have seen chiropractors, acupunturists, massage therapists, neurologist and doctors for years of back, shoulder, elbow and wrist pain for several years now.  The itching started a few years ago mid summer time I thought it was a prickly heat.  It would flare up when I got hot.  I have taken benadryl during these times and it has helped until recently.  I have problems especially at night while lying on my sides.  I wear mostly sleeveless things and if have to cover use silky/satiny things on my arms.  My doctors have prescribed Gabapentin for arm pain with cortisone injections all temporary I stopped the meds because it made no difference for pain.  Once I read this I started again using 3 tabs daily.  I also started using the icy hot during severe itching and has helped.  I did have a MRI and they found multilevel cervical spondylosis with disc protrusion at C3-4, osteoarthrosis with mild central stenosis at C4-5, mild stenosis with mild bilateral neural formainal encroachment at C5-6, left paracentral disc protrusion which abuts and mildly flattens the left ventral aspect of the cervical cord at C6-7.  (Sorry I did not know how to shorten that up).  I do tan all year long in tanning booths and love the sun and pool during the summer.  I do not have another appt. with the neurologist for 3 months but will show all this to him and my GP for refills of Gabapentin I hope they go along with this and will share any other info they may have.  I only saw a Dermatologist a few years ago when the itching started and they gave me some cream and said they did not see anything so I never went back.  I really thought all these years I had a prickly heat or allergy to something.  THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!  I look forward to finding a solution for this and will continue to search with all of you and include every person I run into about this horrible problem.  Sorry for the length but there was quite a history of info.
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Good morning,

I am taking 900 mgs Gabapentin daily now, yet awoke with the tingles and shooting pains in both upper arms this morning.

Not complaining, just thought I'd note that the increase in Gab [or maybe taking it at all--don't know yet] is not always a sure thing.

Maybe one of those TV doctors would like to cover this thing we all suffer from???? Itis certainly an enigma.
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Hi, I have sent more emails to more tv doctors, tv shows, newspapers, magazines, etc. to no avail.  I don't get why someone wouldn't want to pick this up and make some news with it, if nothing else to help others that I bet are out there feeling like they are crazy!!!  Just write your story and start sending it out there like I did, and included links to all of these forums.  Someone must want to do some groundbreaking work!!!  Hanging in with all of you,  k
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I am going to assume that there is not enough people complaining of the problem and a doctor or his family afflicted with this specific problem.  Drug companies won't fund research if there is not enough potential money in return. But it is true if our stories get out there more people will hear it and think "hey that's what I have I am not crazy or allergic". I thought I had a prickly heat, crazy or was allergic to something for years before I found your site.  I knew when I read your comments that you could not be making these specific things up.  I have the exact same symptoms and they are unique all together but doctors want to concentrate on just one of the problems instead of all together.
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Hi everyone!!
Wow, I have just been looking around on this Dermatology forum and there are a bunch of people creating threads about itchy arms! I've left messages on a few to tell them to come here and start reading everyone's comments as we have all been through a lot and can probably answer their questions. Whew,

So, how is everyone?? Been a few days since I've been on. Hope all is well! Take care,
H
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Hi,
I haven't been around for a few days, haven't turned the computer on, itching still gone, fingers crossed.
Running around, it's that time of year !
Wow ! snow blizzard here, that will slow me down.
Thinking of everyone, I hope more people follow your lead to this site the more people that do not feel islolated the better. This site has been so important to so many people.
Best wishes,
Lesley.
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So great to see everyone again and especially all the new people.  I haven't been on in a while.  Like Lesley, it's that time of year and I'm busy with a lot of things.

I've quit the Gabapentin.  I'm happy for those that it worked for but I have to say, seflishly, that it made me feel better to hear that wetwoolsweater upped her amount and it still didn't work.  Wetwool, I'm not wishing you ill will at all............ I just was feeling so alone that it didn't work for me.  Dove, I've ordered what you are doing and am waiting for it to arrive.  Like Lesley, I live on the East coast and we got 20" of snow yesterday so no mail yesterday and probably not today.  Im anxiously waiting...................  my itching is still here and it's Dec. and I'm bummed.  

Kaysseven....... welcome!  I was happy to read what you said about not being able to sleep on your sides.  I've said that a couple of times here but no one else has commented or has that issue or has "figured that out yet".  It has to do with the position of your neck and the C-5, C-6 stuff going on (at least that's where mine is) when you are on your side.  Those of you that don't think it's a neck issue, let me reassure you - it is.  Even if you don't feel that at all.  I didn't and have any neck issues and have never had surgery on it.  I still don't feel anything in my neck and had no idea that's what it would be until I had my MRI due to this condition last year.  Anyhow........ I'm SO tired of sleeping on my back!  I just said that to my husband this morning.  And, I'm talking flat on my back, no pillow.  It gets uncomfortable and I wake up a lot.  Plus, I can't spoon with my husband and that's a bummer :)  Kaysseven, have you tried the ice packs when you feel like calling the emergency room?  They really work (though sometimes you have to do it twice and for 20 minutes) but aren't pleasant, especially in the middle of the night!

I'm very happy for Lesley and am hopeful.  If I don't have success with what Dove is doing, I will try what is working for Lesley.  I'm happy there is still hope and options out there.  There's always the steroid injection too but I'd like to avoid that if I can.  And of course, I keep hoping it will go away on it's own soon because it's Dec. though I know I've read that some people have gone until Feb. and I think Dove said she had it all year on and off.

Anyhow...........so glad to be a part of this with all of you.  It helps so much to know you aren't alone.

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I too have not had a real neck problem my neurologist ordered the MRI because of the arm pain and he did not seem to worried about the results.  He started the injections because he believes the arm pain is bursitis.  I do think that it is all related somehow I don't believe I do much to cause bursitis and that it would stop me from laying on my sides.  The night I found this sight and read all the messages I tried the ice packs like they said and it did stop me from driving to the ER.  I am taking 300mg of gabapentin daily with the icy hot and the itching is still there but down to a  dull roar.  I am praying (like all of you) that the end of the year brings relief.  I too  wake up a lot and toss and turn during the night I automatically roll onto a side (while I sleep) and then my arms hurt, tingle and then start to itch.  Thank you all for being there it is a great relief just to talk about it.
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Hello everyone,
Hi Lesley, good to see you again. Glad to hear your itching is still gone and you are well. I understand this time of year being hectic for many. Glad you took the time to say 'hello' here =) Take care and have a great holiday!!

Hi Erin! So excited you ordered the supplement. Wow, 3 feet of snow??? My goodness. I hope it makes it to you soon! Hang in there with the itching. I know it's a bit of a bummer that you still have it in December. I did have mine all year long...didn't follow any pattern....came and went, but it could 'come on' for a year or better then suddenly disappear or come on for 6 weeks and then go. I envy those that had a distinct season...but now that I understand it more, I think I get why many people seem to have it seasonally. I'm also glad you stated the cervical connection to kaysseven. I think that's a terribly under-rated connection and people simply aren't paying attention. The more of us who get diagnosed with neck issues and are vocal about it, the sooner the general medical community will 'get it' and finally do something to help people. Anyway, have an excellent holiday!

Welcome, kaysseven....I really hope you get your itching under control and find out what's causing yours. We'd love to hear more about your findings and will certainly be here to encourage you! Have a great holiday as well!

Mduck, Wetwoolsweater and everyone else. Please continue to let us know how you're doing and have a great holiday as well!!
Peace!
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First, a technical question--- how do I switch the order of the messages in the forum so that the newest ones are first??

Second,  if this itch is caused by nerves, which I think it is,  it will happen all year round.

Third,  a thought-----do you think that the way our necks are slightly bent to view our computer screens could be a cause of the problem there?

I've even wondered if the curve of my hand on the mouse causes nerve damage.

I do not think it is Bursitis---that's a different kind of pain--an ache actually.  

The only good thing about all the doctors'  misdiagnoses is that the meds  prescribed for something else might work on our pains and itches!

I am continuing the 900 mgs daily Gabapentin---my itching seems to have subsided--now just severe shooting pains that actually make me cry out.

Let's face it, we are desperate!  We have tried diaper rash cream, toothache ointment, burn ointment, etc.  I probably would try drinking Anti-Freeze, if that would work--just a joke.

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Just had to tell you that I got my call back from my neurologist's office and the MRI on my neck was denied by my insurance company, at least until I go to physical therapy [3x week, 4-6wks]!  

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Would just like to thank all of you for sharing your stories -- nice to know I am not alone -- I noticed my arms itch every time I spent time outdoors about a year ago, and assumed I developed an allergic reaction to the sun (I live in Central America where the sun is STRONG), from what I thought was overexposure. It has helped A LOT to use sunscreen (30) on my arms before I go out. My condition could very well be related to neck problems... will start looking into it ASAP.
Will keep you posted,
Thanks again!
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I have been experiencing severe itching in my arms for several years now.  It comes on in the early fall and lasts until the end of the year.  It is absolutely excruciating and debilitating and tends to be worse in the evenings...forget about sleep!  When to dermatologist, neurologist, had MRIs, etc. Can't identify the cause.  Fits all the symptoms of a syndrome called Brachioradial pruritus. The only relief I've found is to numb the area with ice packs.  Not very convenient to walk around with or sleep with. Finally found the answer!  CAPSAICIN! Sounds crazy and I was very skeptical at first.  It is an extract from red hot chili peppers that's available over the counter (CVS even has there own brand) and it causes desensitization of nerve endings. I used it 2-3 times a day for 2 weeks and the itching sensation practically disappeared.   It was recommended that I continue application through the season which I did.   The down side is that for the first week or so,  it causes a pretty intense burning sensation every time you put it on (its still better that the severe itching!) This lasts for 10-30 minutes. Be very careful not to get in uneffected areas (especially eyes). I prefer the roll on to the cream so it doesn't get on your hands. If you workout,  you need to apply it afterwards, NOT before.  Sweating will increase the burning sensation 10 fold!  This was a miracle drug for me.  Good luck!
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Okay, first report after my epidural cortisone injection. Went yesterday.  It's weird because they prep you like you are having surgery.  IV and all; but they had me lay on my stomach with a bunch of pillows under my chest so my neck was the highest point.  The plan was to do the shot while watching the xray.  All I know is she asked if I was ready for a "cocktail" and then I woke up in recovery!  Great!  Left and just slept in the afternoon but no side effects.  Now just waiting to see if one shot will calm the pinched nerves in the C5-C6 area, and if I can stop taking the Neurontin.  The doctor did say that sometimes people have to have 1-3 injections before relieft, so we'll see.  He said I can't promise relief but I CAN promise I'll get the cortisone in the right spot.  He was wonderful!  Wish me luck.  I'm still of the belief that it's the disc issue, along with the overexposed skin/sun issue. But I'm still open to ideas...  Happy holidays to all and a healthy, happy new year!  k
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I guess I am under kathygorlick AND mduck.  Anyone know how to get rid of one and just keep one so as not to confuse people?  It's early Christmas morning, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!  Please have an itch free day!  In my early morning boredom waiting for my house to wake up, I started to log everyone's name and info. (age, F/M, location). So far 42 names, mostly women, 2 or 3 males, ages ranging from 34 - 65 (of those posted).  So the commonalities?  Females between 34 - 65, many with sun exposure and many with the C5-C6 issue.  I'm sure someone else has looked into this too.  But the commonalitites are still pretty vague, widespread, and we live all over the map! But I am continuing to gather information.  Does anyone know how to get to earlier posts on this?  I was only able to bring up one page.  Anyway my friends, be well, keep trying to find the relief you need.  I will let you know if the Cortisone Injection does anything by next week.  k
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Hi, My husband (39) has had this itch for 10 years or more.  It drives us BOTH crazy.  He will scratch his arm till it is bleeding and ice seems to be the only thing we have found that works.  The Dr. just says change your soap, change your laundry det or tells him to use otc cream.... none of that works.  There has to be something that will work for him!!!  
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Today is January 1st. My last post was Dec 12th, and at that time my results from the steroid shot, steroid (predisone pills) and gabapentin and medicated lotion had started taking effect and reduced the itch and the itchy parts (above and below elbow, the wrist and hand) to a tolerable level - by the 16th, the itchy patches/rawness from scratching had faded and no ill side effects from the steriods or gabapentin. My steroids ran out, and because I itched less - I didn't keep up with the others .... by x-mas, the itching started up and three days ago the itchy patches came back and begins the cycle again. I've began my regimine of the gabapentin and waiting for it to kick in. In the meanwhile, I scratch myself silly trying to subside the itch .... going to try blood work again, and I still can't get in to a dermatologist until March 10th ... I met a woman locally here and she has the "itchies" too, but also on her thighs and ends up with welts... I don't have that, but I do have (and have had each time the attacks of the itchies takes place) little patches of tiny little bumps like a small rash. I wish I could figure out how to upload photos. No steroids right now - let's see just how the lotions and gabapentin works alone. I did get my "generic doctor" to get me some sleeping pills so I maybe can get some real sleep and ignore the itch during the night.
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Hello everyone,
Happy New Year! I've been down with the flu so I haven't had the opportunity to get on here and chat. Hope everyone is well. Erin, did you finally get the supplement and if so how is it going for you?? Kathy, please let us know how your cortisone injection works. Mcsteffi, welcome to you and your husband. I would suggest going to a doctor to get neck Xrays and tell them to pay attention to the C4-C6 areas. Perhaps there is narrowing of the disc space that would warrent an MRI. Good luck with your itchiness gone380. Take care everyone!!
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Hello, Desrtdove and all my fellow-sufferers---my insurance company rejected the MRI until I do physical therapy.  When you [Desrtdove] mentioned the X-ray,  I thought my family doctor could set me up with that!    The neurologist was pretty much no help / clueless.  She seemed to want to pass me off to the dermatologist ("You must see her again.").

Right now the 900 mg of gabapentin is helping me, although my left upper arm is uncomfortably tingling and sending out those little electric-shock type pains and has been since last night. I have pin-point pricks of scabs, some of which I must have scratched during the night as my sheets had  blood on them.

I also take an OTC pill for pain, Naproxen Sodium 220 mg., if I feel it coming on. You're not supposed to be on them more than 10 days, but as all of you know, we tend to grab on to almost anything when we have a "spell."

I am thinking that those of you who take several medications at once won't know which one exactly is helping.  
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Sorry to hear of your continuing struggles. Yes, Xrays are a standard place to start and your general practitioner should be able to take care of that. Where do you live and what kind of insurance do you have?? I thought we had a bunch of quacks where I live! I wouldn't worry so much about being sent to PT first as MOST insurance companies will do the same thing to try to avoid the cost of the MRI. I decided to avoid any hassle with my own insurance company because my primary care physician was being a jerk also....so, I went out and got my own Xrays, followed by an EMG and then to an MRI...I paid for all of that out of my own pocket because I knew something was wrong, did the research and wasn't going to take 'no' for an answer. When there is a will, there is a way. Try to remain positive and remain diligent....remember, it is YOUR itching, other's don't know how you/we suffer so it is up to us to take care of us. If any of your doctors had this very issue, THEY would be reacting to you very differently...but because it is still obscure in the eyes of the medical profession, we get the run around. Take care! =)
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Just had to post so we could move to the top of the line...with all this talk on 'other' dermatological issues, we can't be found.

Anyway, I'm still trying to mend from the flu....hope everyone is doing well this holiday season!!
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I was diagnosed with a pinched nerve in my neck(c-6) 2 years ago and since then, starting in the fall for the past to years I've had  itching mostly on my back and sometimes on the sides of my stomach and arms. Could this be the same condition your all talking about on this forum (BP)
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i joined this forum for the sole purpose of telling all of you what works to cure extreme forearm itch.  i've suffered w/it since the pregnancy w/son who is now 7.5.  my arms are scarred from the pure hellish itching.  upon reading suzanne somer's book, "ageless", where she mentioned extreme itch as a hormonal imbalance, i began bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.  (i also had a compete hysterctomy in feb of 09 so i needed the hrt anyway).  i have not had that insane itch since the bioidenticals starting working.  it has taken some time to get the hormonal balance right but i am sooooo relieved to not have that horrible itch anymore.  men can benefit from bioidenticals as well so this isn't just a cure for women.  i strongly encourage all of you to read one of her books and consider bioidenticals.  i can't articulate enough what a positive difference it's made in my life.
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Welcome to the both of you!
Axl, it sounds as if you may have several different things creating your itchy areas. The pinched nerve in your neck at C6 could very well create the itchiness in your forearms as that follows the dermatome for that level of vertebra. The back and sides of stomach probably aren't affiliated with that as the nerve roots from the neck don't feed those areas....perhaps thoracic nerve involvement that you don't know about. Or perhaps you have a hormonal imbalance as mamakat suggests.

Mamakat thanks for sharing with us what you found to be the cause of your itching and what worked for you....perhaps there are others on this site who could benefit from your information as well. I'm sure many would like to chat with you =)

Take care everyone and good luck with finding what works for you all!!
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I got my GP doctor to up the dose of gabapentin to 900mg a day it seems to help a bit better.  I have not had to add the icy hot, ice or capzasin but I can still feel it there especially if my arms get warm. I won't see the neurologist until spring but I have started a new chiropractor he specializes in Direct non force technique so I will see if this helps.  A little discouraged right now I was hoping January would bring relief from the "itch watch" that I now revolve my life around.  Oh well - still glad to have all of you and know I am not alone.
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HI everyone! I was also a visitor to the PiA forum. I am excited to share that my BP has really been much much better lately-- I have NO scabs or scratches on my arms--since I began taking Milk Thistle, 200mg daily (Silymarin content 80%). What a difference this is making in my life!! I just say "thank you Jesus!" every time I think of it.

We all know that many solutions are only temporary, so I'm just taking it one day at a time, but so far it's been several weeks and very little itching.

I also keep up the other things that help:
1. Keep sun exposure to a minimum
2. Keep skin moisturized so as to remove other sources of itch
3. Self discipline, mostly consisting of DON'T SCRATCH!!
4. Most important, a positive attitude

God bless!! And try Milk Thistle (aka Blessed Thistle) if you're looking for non-drug options! -Meredith

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Dear Friends,

I too am taking 900 mg of Gab. daily and it does help a lot. The BRP has been in my left upper arm and no where near the right arm problem, which lasted at least 5 months.  Now if I accidentally scratch, there is little reaction at all [as well as no difference in the itch, but oh, well!  It's not unbearable].  No violent waves of pain.

I will try the milk thistle too.  Thanks.  
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I'm finally catching up with everyone's postings now that I'm through the holidays.

Let's see........... mduck...... I still want to hear from you as to how your spinal injection went.  Do tell us.  

Those of you on 900 mgs of Gabapentin....... I'm glad you are better but I'm not hearing you are "itch free" so that is worrisome.  I quit taking it.  I am taking Dove's recommended supplement and it seems to be helping but so far, but can't say I'm cured yet.  I might be better but the tingly sensations still happens after my shower and at some other times.  Not bad but still - it's there.  For the first time in many weeks I tried laying on my side this morning when I woke up.  I took hope from the fact that I didn't feel anything for 15 minutes and then a very slight tingling.  When I can sleep on my side again, with no pinpricking sensation, I will know I'm cured (until next Fall of course).  I still have some time to give the supplement.  BTW - Dove's supplement has Milk Thistle in it so maybe she and deer are on the right track!  I hope so!!!

Lesley - is Serrapeptase still working for you?  I think I will get that too if it is.

Gone 380 - I'm sorry to hear your steroid injection along with steroid pills did not work!!  That combo was going to be in my bag of tricks for the future.

WetWool - I feel for you about the hoops you have to jump through to get an MRI.  I had a similar problem because my Dr. said that the ins. companies were a PITA (pain in the a**) about paying for MRIs so the Dr.s have to order you to do other things first.  I didn't have to do PT but I did have to have a CAT scan first and a nerve conduction study, both of which were a waste of time and money.  I say do the PT and then get the MRI.  Then you will know and have something to work with if you want to pursue something bigger like mduck's spinal injection.  That was going to be my next step last year when mine was so bad.  My Dr. was about to send me to John's Hopkins for it but fortunatley for me last year, the steroid meds worked.  Not this year though.  

It's certainly not fun to be going through this but like everyone, I'm glad I have you all.  I hope someone will not only be able to get through to Dr. Oz, but be brave enough to go on TV (I don't do well in front of the people) and get this talked about and solved.  

Take Care everyone and Happy New Year!
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Hello hello!!
Nothing really to share at this point, but this thread is so buried that several 'new' itchers can't find it.....so I thought I would post to move it back to the top of the pile for a few minutes. I just have to wonder how many penis problems there could possibly be in the dermatology section??! LOL

Anyway, welcome to the newcomers if they find us and hope everyone else is itch free!!!
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Hi,
I am another sufferer who discovered this site in the middle of the night, like other desparate people looking for help!  I live in in Australia.  I play golf and lawn bowls regularly and I find there is a definite link between the sun  (and getting sweaty) which makes my arm REALLY itchy.  I usually have a HOT shower which for some reason helps.  Also use ice.  I also found that chilblain cream helps.  As does camphor or menthol in a cream.
My physio also had it for a while but he was positive it came from his neck while continually having his head forward working on the computer. I do a lot of craft work with my head forward and I feel there is definitely a link there.  I cannot lie on my left shoulder as this sets the itch off in the night - again the nerve thing.  I am sorry to see there are so many sufferers but glad I'm not going mad - I think my doctor thought I was a bit  delusional !                                                                                            
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I have had this itching for 5 years. It normally last from September till sometime in December. I was so excited when December rolled around & by the middle of December it was GONE.......however just last week it came back again. This has never happened before. I'm so scared it will be with me all year long. I'm sure stress is a factor, but there is much more than that going on. We have tried to sell our house for a year and a half so we can move to a wonderful retirement community in Conway, South Carolina. I know this is really messing me up. I was quite intrigued by  the hormone theropy you mentioned. I had a complete hysterctomy 13 years ago.I will stop at the library to check out the book "ageless". Thank you for that post.
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My neurologist suggested Lyrica, butmy itching was going away at that point so I didn't use it.He gave me Gabapein, but when I took it my body was jumping & jerking like having a sezier. He said that's really odd because that med is good for treating people with a seizure disorder. I'm trying it again today to see what will happen, using a lower doseage. We all know when you itch constantly like we do you will try anything for relief. Has anyone used Lyrica for this?
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I've had itchy arms for 6 years. It usually starts in Sept. and goes away sometime in December. I was so excited when it went awat, but it started again last week. I sure hope this doesn't go on all year. I think I would go nuts The gab. really makes me sleepy. I stopped taking it when the itch went away. Now I'm taking it as needed because I sleep so much during the day, & when the itch strikes at night I get up and take another half of the gab. It's very interisting to see the things that we all have tried. I'm very interested in the hormone theropy. I also had a complete hyst. 13 yeasrs ago.( I was 48 at that time) I'm now 61 years old and thought things would be good and we could travel or whatever, but we havn't. I'm driving everyone else crazy too with the scratching. The cortisone injection is quite interesting as we.ll. I've had xrays over the years & have always been told I have degentrative disc in the area's everyone else has issues with. It's just so good to locate this forum. It gives me something to do and takes my mind off the itching  Thank's to everyone for sharing. Best of health and success to everyone.
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Hey,

I'm a fysician in Belgium and suffer from recurring severe itching on my forearms since 10 years.

It was diagnosed "brachioradial prurigo", which is nothing else than a "medical" trem for itching without any known diagnoses, limited to the forearms, coming in periods for a few weeks and disapearing without any reason. Mostly in winterseason, mostly in evenings.

Prurigo in other regions of the body, or prurigo linked to a disease like diabetes, insect bites, or other, are not brachioradial prurigo, and there treatments different and specific to the linked disaese (disease).

I, myself aplicated capseïne-creams for several years, but in my experianceit dosn't matter chich cream you use, as long it's an moistering cream and it is massaged into the skin.

So to al the people using expensive creams: yust use a moistering cream.

I also could observe that prior to the itching or in the beginen af an attack, smal red spots appear on the itching spot. Also I experienced that if I sleep on one side (with compression of the down arm, the itching started at this arm.
This can be linked to compression of the lymfatic region in this arm. Lymfatic problems can be treated by massages ...



j
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Welcome to the forum!
Yes, Brachioradial Pruritus means 'arm itching'. Many of us have found a common link with the cervical nerves being impinged in some fashion...typically at the C5-C6 nerve root, which corresponds to the area aflicted with itching (wrist to forearm or slightly above elbow)
Since you are a physician, you know that the nerve roots coming out of the neck feed the arms. Perhaps a good place to start would be Xrays of your cervical spine and then an MRI to see if you have disc herniation impinging on the nerve roots. Especially since you have problems lying on one side....could indicate there is impingement of the nerve root on that one side. I, myself, have a severe disc herniation at C5-C6 with central spinal cord compression causing mine. I have found since decreasing the inflammation in my neck, my itching has disappeared....hopefully the disc will now heal on its own without need for surgery. I wish you much luck in finding what's causing yours. Application of ice to the itching area tends to help as well for many.

Hello to everyone....it's been a while! Hope all is well. Kathy, Erin, Lesley, WetWoolSweater hope you are all well and itch free!!!!

Take care all!
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Dear desrtdove,

I, ofcourse, know aout the link between nerval iritation and itching or even pain in the body, like iritation of C5C6C7and C8 can cause itching in the arms.

I myself had an operation to correct cervicoradical compression in C5C6C7 wtch had no affect on the itching.

We may conclude that brachioradial pruritis "may" be caused by nerval compression, or other reasons.

greets
Dr. R. Toelen, MD
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Glad to hear you had surgery to correct the compression at C5-C6-C7.  Sorry to hear it did not end your itching problem, however. I have been trying to avoid the possibility of surgery myself and doing all that I can to heal my disc herniation.

For me, there is a direct correlation between nerve compression and brachioradial pruritus. Hearing that you've had the surgery for correction enhances that correlation even though you haven't found the surgery to be successful in reducing your itch. Could be a matter of continued inflammation.

I mean no offense here, just stating correlations that I have found. I wish you continued success in finding what works to end your itching permanently! Good luck!!

Ok, everyone......where are you?? How are you?? How were your holidays etc.???
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Hello,
First--please help me with this technical problem:
Please tell me how to see only the NEW posts so I don't have to wait for all of them to load.
WWS
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Hi I am sorry I haven't been posting, yes the itch has still gone. I started itching the other day but not the same ,but scary, your terrified in case it is !
Hi DesrtDove and everyone who has just found us and all our friends, too many to mention now.
I am still taking the Serrapeptase and I have always taken a high dose of Milk Thistle and I had the "itch " but if milk thistle works for you that is brilliant !
As long as we try the various things that have worked for others and if one person is helped that is fantastic ! The Serrapeptase seems to be helping but only time will confirm this but up to now its working.
Hi WetWoolSweater, when i come onto this site I follow the link from my email ( I am mailed when there has been a posting) and then I just scroll down to the end and work backwards ! I hope this helps you.
I hope you all have a great New Year and thankyou all for being there.
Lesley.
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Hi Lesley,
So glad you are still itch free! And so nice to 'see' you again!! Thanks for mentioning the Serrapeptase again......I think it will help a lot of people out! =)

WWS, I always get here by saving my 'forums' page in favorites....once on my forums page, I click on my last 'comment' posted and it pulls it up without having to scroll down through all the others.

Anyway, hope everyone else is well too!! Take care!
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Thanks for responding---I don't seem to have a last comment posted link.

I am still taking 900 mg gabapentin.  Sometimes I feel "it"coming on and I panic and run for the RX even if I have already taken it.  I don't think it can hurt too much because Ia friend of mine was on it once and took 2700 mg. a day. It is back to my right forearm now and it causes skin pigmentation  circles to form among the bloody-from-scratching circles.  When I go to the gym, I am so ashamed of my arms.  Regardless, if it was only gone 100% for sure I'd put up with the disfigurements.

No recent cycle has been as bad as the first, which lasted a good 3 months.
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I am new - but actually have read this many times.  Mine is the same as everyone's... The only thing I have tried is the MRI and what not.  Will be making appts. and will see what might come of it.  Thanks to all for the much need re-assurance.  My family hates this as much as everyone else.  My arms are so scared it is unbelievable.  
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Hi all,
Not much to add to what has already been written. I've suffered for about 15 years. Recently I discovered that two papers that had been written by a GP on treating the condition with Acupuncture. I've had my first treatment today, he said it may take 3/4 treatments before I find any relief or not as the case may be! But I'm willing to try anything!
Anyone else found relief with acupuncture?
Ruby
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just diagnosed last week - been suffering for 16 years (kids are 18 & 16); everyone thinks I'm crazy [can't you stop itching?], except my mother (she has it too); I've seen a chiropractor over the years for a neck misalignment and I LOVE the sun (okay, I used to, but am 47 now so I'm more careful).  I think I believe it's both SUN & Nerve.  My main season for suffering is Sept/Oct but sometimes extends into Dec/Jan, here in Maryland.
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I have this itch also.  However, I get red bumps that look like craters on my arm--left arm only..  I have been to 4 dermatologists, had 2 biopsies and tried lotins, creams, sprays, etc.  The last dermatologist dismissed me and told me to live with it and she could do nothing for me!  Loved her caring nature!
I am embarassed to have my arm show in public.  Does anyone else have these blister-like sores?
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Darlene,  I took Lyrica last year.  It worked slightly but by no means stopped the itch.  This year, I asked my Dr. for Gabapentin and she reminded me that it was similar to Lyrica.  I still wanted to try the G. because it seems from this forum that some people have had success with it.  I did not.  It was just like the Lyrica.  Of course, I wasn't willing to take the very high dosages like WWS but mine wasn't so terrible either. If it was, I might have taken more.  It's good to hear that WWS has some relief from the G.

Lesley, I'm glad your combo of Serrapeptase and Milk Weed are still working for you!!  I am taking Dove's recommended supplement, which has Milk weed and I think mine might be going away now.  Whether it's from the supplement or, just the end of this crazy itching seasonal thing, I don't know.  I'm glad for your report on the S. because I will keep it in mind for future.  I will know I am "cured" (until next Sept. that is) when I can sleep on my side all night again.  I've tried it in the morning recently for 1/2 hour and been OK.  I haven't yet had the courage to try it at night becasue I have PTSD about waking up an hour after going to bed with my arms on fire and having to get up in the night to go get ice packs. :)  

SunnyJo, I was surprised to hear that the hot shower helps you.  A hot shower causes my itching to flare up (I think other people have this too).  I'm just realizing that I haven't been having that for the last 2 weeks or so, which is another indicator that I am improving.  Yay!!

Jopic, I do not have sores but have noticed 1-3 little, tiny red spots, like a tiny little zit, in the upper arm/shoulder area that bleed.  I have no idea if they are related.  I'm thinking not.

luv, I, too, think it's a combo of sun and nerves since many of us do love the sun (I don't always use sunscreen on my arms but I will from now on) but there are some of us that have posted on this that do not ever go in the sun (like Lesley and Pruritus and a couple others) so, I, like Dove, really believe it's a neck/nerve thing.  

Ruby49, let us know how acupuncture goes for you.  Someone at the top of this tried it and it didn't work but she said it might work for others.  I've wondered about it too.

WWS, Like Lesley, I connect via my email MedHelp Notification and just scroll down.  Dove might have a better way.

DrRT,  I was disheartened to hear that surgery did not work for you!  Like Dove, I will avoid that drastic measure until absolutely necessary but I don't like hearing that it didn't work.  However, I did read a case study on a patient that it did work for so there is still some hope for me.  Hope you get better.

Dove, Hope all is still well with you.  I am feeling good about your supplement and right now, feel like I am getting over this.  

Will keep you all posted.  I'm so glad we have each other since it's such a crazy disorder that no one seems to know about.
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Hi,
It's fabulous that the itch is subsiding, like you I never know if something is working or it is the seasonal thing and unfortunately only time will tell. I am going to keep a little note book to say what I am taking and how the itch is behaving. This might sound crazy, but when you have the itch you think you will never forget ! Then when it goes the relief and the fact you live from day to day and sometimes get complacent means you don't write it down. Over the years I really wish I had taken notes, it first started on my thighs years ago ! It's a case of ," If I knew then what I know now ".
As long as we learn I say. So to all those people out there who have kept a record, fantastic, and to all the people like me who have just realised it might be useful, welcome.
I have been in hot countries on holidays in the sun, and was a sun worshipper here, but in the U.K does that really count ! ha! ha! As I have said before I have used sunbeds but not obsessively. I definately agree that it is neck, back damage and I have also noticed that carpel tunnelitis is often mentioned which I had. This once again is inflammation which DesrtDoves supplement should help.
I really hope you are itch free forever, which we all pray for and hopefully people can learn from this and we can all try the various things that work for other people and maybe find our own relief.
Ooops! by the way ErinVa it's Milk Thistle not weed, the only reason I am correcting it is so that other people know what to buy,sorry
Please keep me posted on how it's going and if I start itching again I can try to get the other supplement you are using.
Best Wishes,
Lesley
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Hello to everyone
. It's now 4:30a.m.  This itching is unberable. I just got a cold pack. Suppose I could open the door & use some of the 24" of snow we got (with 35" drifts). We have to go out to shovel tomorrow to find our driveway & they say we are getting more on Tuesday (I'm not a snow person)  I think the itch this time is much worse than before..My itch has gone on for 6 years, It's from Sept. to mid December. It came back & I'n just going crazy. I've never had it return till September. I started back on the Gabapentin 600mg. 4 times a day, but I suppose I don't have enough in my system to give relief. If that doseage doesn't help I take another one.  When I scratch I feel little bumps all over my arm, under the skin. Two weeks ago I had problems with my neck, felt like a pinched nerve. My family doctor sent me for x-rays. I'm supposed to go back to him on Monday morning (if his office will be open).maybe I can correlate something from my neck problem to the itching .  I just can't go thru this 2 times a year or a year round thing !!! I am very interested in the Serrapetast, and milk thissel.....where can  they be purchased, and how many people are really getting relief from it.? Just being able to talk with people who understand "the itch" is a blessing. Just needed to share since there's not a lot to do at 4:30 a.m.
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Hi,
I have just read your posting and I wish there were words that could give you comfort, it is so good that you have found this site. Serrapeptase seems to be working for me, I am in the process of stopping for a few days and seeing if it is the tablets which are stopping the itch. when I did stop the itch started to return and I was terrified it wouldn't go away but after taking them it has stopped again. ( Everything crossed !!! )
If you Google Serrapeptase there is a lot of information about it, it stoppes inflamation (inflammation) and eats scar tissue, just two of the benifits.I buy mine from my local healthshop but you can get them on line from www.GoodHealthNaturally.com or ring 0800 015 1580 in the UK and in the U.S.A 800 455 9155 or www.GoodhealthUSA.com. You get 90 Quad strength tablets (80,000IU ). I pay £18.95 but they are cheaper on line.
When I first started taking them I took 3 a day and then dropped it to one, but you can ring for advice.
Milk Thistle you can get from most health care shops, I get Kordells which I like .
I know what you mean about finding this site, I was at my wits end with ice packs on for hours on end especially at night ! Nobody seemed to understand and doctors gave creams and when they didn't work lost interest, I started wondering if it WAs in my mind !
If you read all the postings with a pen handy ( I lways forget ! ) people have had various things that work, trial and error but at least you can do something positive ,which helps.
I will keep you in my thoughts and pray you find relief as I am sure others will.I hope your Doctor can help, maybe mention findings on these postings ?
Please let me know how you are getting on.
Kind Regards,
Lesley
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I have been feeling better, with little itch lately.  I have been taking my anti-inflammatories everyday and my antihistimines also.  I believe my problem stems from my neck.  I also found that hormone levels seem to correlate with the level of itchiness (pain).  I have been on bio-identical hormones for sometime now.  The tricky part is to try to keep the levels right.  If I take too much progesterone (Prometrium) I get bad headaches and achey (achy).  When I am at the right level of Progesterone it seems the itchiness goes away.  ( I think possibly that the hormones have something to do with the inflammation in the body).  I am a wreck without the bioidenticals.  I also have been taking B supplementation in an easier to absorb formula as B vitamins and nerve-endings work hand in hand.  This could be helping also.  Hope everyone struggling finds there thing that works for them.  Take care
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Yes, Lesley, thanks for correcting me.  I don't know what I was thinking but yes, it's Milk Thistle everyone :)  I agree about getting complacent.  When mine went away last year, I thought I was done with it and almost forgot about it, until last Oct. when it zapped me again.  

Darlene, I am not surprised yours is back.  Mine has lasted way longer this year and what "fixed" it last year did not work this year.  I definitely would recommend trying either the Serrapeptase or the Milk Thistle and when Dove responds, you might ask her about what she uses (which is what I'm taking right now).  My one question for you is.... are you sleeping only on your back???  If not, then that is definitely contributing to your night itching.  The night time thing totally has to do with the position of your neck.  When mine is bad, I have to sleep totally flat on my back with no pillow.  Sometimes, because of this and when I'm not in my own comfy bed, my lower back hurts when I get up, but I'd rather have that than itching.  The back pain can be aleviated by putting a pillow under your knees.  I feel for you waking up with it in the night and having to get the ice.  I absolutely hated that and that's when I really felt crazy.  Know that we are hear for you because we do truly understand, like no one else can.  I'm a bit confused by your bumps under your skin.  That sounds like a different thing and I'm on another forum where someone ended up with an allergy.  Don't rule it out.  I'll try to find that person's info or, better yet, connect you with that forum.  Also, I had Xrays taken and they did not show a thing.  I also had a CAT scan which showed nada.  It's only the MRI that showed the bulging disc in the C5-C6 area.  I just wanted you to know that so you aren't disappointed if/when they don't find anything with the Xray.  Feeling for you....... (You must live near me because I have the same snow)  

Cottage style, thanks for sharing about the bio-identical hormones.  I'm 50 and not there yet but I will be in the next year or two.  Mamakat mentioned them too so I'm definitely going to get Suzanne Somers book.

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Hello,  
   I live in Pennsylvania and we also have 24-30" of snow on the ground. This is the first time in my life that I have owned a 4-wheel drive and it enable me to check on my very elderly parents.
   Anyway, coming back from my parents' yesterday, I stopped at K-Mart and the itch started to come on me in there.  I had taken my Gab. earlier and it was only maybe 5 hours later, but the itch was definitely there and I sort of forgot everything I was supposed to do in there, in my panic to get out of the store.  
   I have red spots/pin point lesions, too.  I think the rash just happens to some of us and that the pin pricks are actually at the endings of the nerves that are causing this.
   You would think that this would catch the attention of SOMEONE -- if I were a doctor, I would be intrigued and would look into it, but no one seems interested.
  I have what look like acne scars on both arms now.  The itching started on my right arm with maybe two lesions but otherwise no rash.  It ceased there, I packed up all my creams, ointments, ice packs, rubs, etc., and thanked God.  Then it started in my upper left arm, moved down to my forearm with those sores and bleeding and then scarring. It looks really bad when I am at the gym with my arms exposed. I think I said earlier that one lady went to squeeze my arm and I saw her look and back off!
   Then it hopped over to my right arm again, where it is now.  
   It makes me really irritable and short-tempered, but because I am not fainting, coughing, becoming weak, and so on, no one is concerned.
   I will try the Serrapeptase and milk thistle.  I take anti-depressants and don't like the idea of taking anti-convulsants, which is what Gabapentin is for (among other things).
   Thanks, all of you, for sharing and caring---oh, by the way, this hormone thing?  May be true, but there are a couple guys sufferering also.  I don't know it I'm ready to mess with my hormones right now!
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Went back to my family doctor today. He said turns out I don't have a pinched nerve in my neck . My c-5 and c-6 disc are deterating, but I have arthritus in my neck. He is an internest, but only says to take Tylenol or Aleve arthritus formula, & if it's really bad to take a pain pill. Last year I asked for a referral to a rheumatologist, & he said why ANYONE can treat that !!!  I used to go to a rheumatologist, but a couple of years ago he stopped taking my insurance.  I have arthritus in my hands right now & sometimes it's bad. I know I need special medication for it. My neurologist couldn't believe that comment. He said you need a specialist for rheumatroid arthritus. This year my insurance changed  & I don't need a referral, so I have a appt. for Friday with a rheumatologist  ( I know I have spelling error's ).
I live in La Plata, Maryland. We are supposed to get another foot of snow tomorrow & Wednesday.
I appreciate your note. It helps to talk to people who understand that you really are NOT crazy.
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Hi everyone,
Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. Preoccupied with life, I suppose....so if I miss responding to any one person, I apologize.

ErinVA, Hi there!! So glad your itch has gone away!! I'm glad the supplement is working. I hope when you stop it, the itch doesn't come back. You can always go back on, but it has to build up in your system again....but there's always Serrapeptase too!

WWS, I understand that your arms are scarred and awful looking. Mine used to be like that too. Fortunately, most of my skin has healed barring a few bad scars. But the skin is soft again unlike the shoe leather I was left with from too much scratching causing the skin to thicken.

I did have a fall about 4 weeks ago on the ice and jarred my neck badly so the symptoms returned on the left forearm. However, it is finally subsiding again. I am glad I am on this supplement or I think it would have been a lot worse. The good news is that I saved a woman's life who fell in the same place I did......she hit her head so hard and stopped breathing. I didn't even think about my fall, I just attended to her and got her breathing again, so my sore neck and forearm itching paled in comparison.

Darlene, I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and degenerative disc disease.....that stands to reason that you are experiencing these symptoms as well. As the discs at C5-C6 break down they compress putting pressure on the spinal nerves which cause the itching. I hope you can get that taken care of!! Hang in there!

Cottagestyle, Yes I do believe hormones are related in that if certain hormones are too low, you can have constriction of muscles with put more pressure on discs thus compressing the spinal nerves more.  Before I was on my supplement, I had an increase in itching as my neck tightened up from the lowering of hormones during a certain time of the month.

Alrighty, just thought I would check back in quickly to say 'hello' to everyone!!!

Nice to see you all!!! ErinVA and Lesley54 I am so glad you both are doing well!! Take care everyone!!
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I am using aloe vera gel with lidocaine after cooling down my arms with an ice cold washcloth. This helps soothe the itch temporarily. I have also been taking 800 mg of ibuprofin every 3 to 4 hours at night. This is giving me more rest. I am trying to avoid other drugs.
I have written to Dr. Oz in the past month. I am hoping he will bring this condition to the attention of most doctors who have never heard of it. Then perhaps more research may be done.
Radost
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Hi,
I just thought I would keep everyone posted. My itch definately came back when I stopped taking Serrapeptase and as soon as I started taking them again I have been itch free ! Has anyone else tried them yet I would love to know if they have worked for you.
Kind thoughts,
Lesley.
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I am very very interested in Serrapeptase. How much do you take daily and do you take anything else with it? I'm assuming this is from a nutrition store.
I went to a new rheumatologist last week. She started me on Voltaren. It's anti-inflamatory and pain pill. Havn't been on it long enough to know if it might help the itching. I thought maybe a anti-inflamatory might help that????
I do have to say the itch isn't as bad as when I get it in Sept. thru Dec....hope I havn't jinxed myself.
Thank's to everyone who is so willing to share. What works for one person may not work for the other, but at least you have another option to try.
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Hi, If you look back on the posts I have made on this site I have given the web address and all the info on the Serrapeptase. After checking that out, Google it, you really will be amazed !
I have given a few long explanations on this site.
I also take a Vit B Complex and Milk Thistle but I still had the itch when I was still taking them.
Please look at previous postings, as you say not everything works for everyone but the fact there is something you can try helps.
Kind Regards,
Lesley
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Hello, Lesley.

I googled Serrapeptase and WAS amazed at what I read.  The one that struck home with me was about the toxins that build up when the mind and/or body is under stress.  The doctor said that a person must work to get rid of the poisonous thoughts, surroundings, people, situations, etc. as well as treat oneself medically.

I ordered Serrapeptase and can't wait to get it.  I did not search for the least expensive,just ordered from a company that said it was the first to manufacture this, that it was all natural, etc.  

I still take Gabapentin, sometimes more than prescribed. The itch is back to my right forearm and there are spots, sores, scabs, and scars from scratching, but the itch is not what the first round was.  It is almost like it is a "strain" of something that is weakening.  I hate to reveal my arms at the gym, because they look terrible.  I mean, who gets outbreaks on their arms?  I bought an anti-scar ointment, but I don't have much faith in it.  Getting some sun would do it, but then again, we are all leery of the sun, aren't we.


I also spray my arm with Hospital Strength  Dermoplast antibacterial pain relieving spray and then hold on and wait. Active ingredients are Benzocaine 20%, a topical analgesic,  and Benzethonium chloride .2%, an antiseptic.

When I feel that tingling feeling, I become so short-tempered and impatient with my husband. I usually go upstairs, spray my arn(s), take pills, and brace myself until I can calm down.  

Best wishes and thanks for listening and for sharing your stories.  At least I find relief here!

WWS  my arms feel as though I am wearing a wet wool sweater!!
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I am considering the possibility of heavy metal toxicity... Chem trails and food supplies.. Barium and Aluminum are the two main metals from Chemtrails.. arsenic and lead from water.. mercury from fillings and fish.... etc.....
Chelation therapy and or detox protocal via homeopathic
Will keep posted on hunches
maybe a medical intuit psychic would be beneficial to seek too..
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some Side effects of ibuprofen are itching and rash of the skin.. I would be careful using it regularly...
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Hi, I also use Motrin, (ibuprofen) as my anti-inflammatory and so far 400mg coupled with one hydroxyzine HCL 25mg every 6 hrs has been keeping mine in check lately.  The only problem is that all these drugs seem to have different effects with each individual and as with all anti-inflammatory drugs; I have to be careful to take with a bit of food so my stomach does not get raw.  
I think it is great that everyone shares.  This gives us hope for an ailment that is very real.
Thanks to everyone and I am going to try the Serrapeptase when I get back home in April.

Wishing everyone wellness and thanks for sharing.
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I have NOT worn a sweater in a couple of years. I'm so afraid it will trigger more itching. I feel the material in the stores & some are so soft. I get tempted to get a new one, but my mind keeps flashing itch,,itch...itch ?????  Does anyone else have a problem with sweater's or the thought of wearing them ?
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I received my bottle of Serrapeptase. One pill twice daily on an empty stomach.
I took it twice and did not feel well at all. Does this have to build up in one's system?
I went back to Gabapentin--it makes the tingling tolerable.

Yes, I dread the thought of sweaters unless they are very very soft.  I do not think it makes the itching worse, but I don't like wool anyway.  

I, too, get so nasty when I think the itch is starting!  Very short with everyone--very little patience and great anxiety, which I think makes it worse.  Sometime when I am occupied and forget about it, it occurs to me that I wasn't itching, or maybe we learn to just go on with it.

I am so sad to think that this is, for most of us, going to last quite a while.

I've wondered if computer use casuse iot---the way the hand/ arm rests on the desk and mouse...the way the head is slightly bent.  


I wrote a lengthy email to Dr. Nancy then it wouldn't fly because it contained HTML --I musthave used brackets}---anyway it wiped the whole letter out and I just could not start over.  

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For myself there is absolutely a connection between the computer and my itching arms
If I am on the computer for an extended period the itching becomes worse.  Sometimes I will take my laptop and recline on the couch with a pillow behind my neck.  
When the condition is bad I also hate to wear anything with long sleeves, never mind a wool sweater.  
I can also relate to anxiety and shortness with people.  I am never that way normally.  I think it is due to lack of sleep with this condition.
Luckily, mine is done to a murmur these past weeks.  Yesterday was a bit worse again, possibly because I had been crafting a board game and my neck was really locked up from staying in one position for so long.
Hope everyone wellness
Take Care
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Just a question.  Has anyone been on digestive enzymes,in particular, bromelain?  I was on this in summer and fall.  In the fall my arms became progressively worse til late December.  I stopped taking this herb in January and I do not know, is this a coincidence or, I started a colon cleanse kit a few days ago and my arms are starting up again.  I looked at the ingredients and it has bromelain.  Putting two and two together, could it be the bromelain?
Has anyone out there tried this with these results?
Thanks
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