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A Phantom Itch??
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A Phantom Itch??

    I am and have been wondering if anyone either has or has had (what I call a Phantom itch) where you have an itching sensation that needs to be scratched then when you go to scratch it it does not have feeling there (numb?) and so you are therefore not able to relieve that itching feeling?

   I hope that makes sense and someone can relate :) It is not all the time but when it does happen, I try to relief the itching so much, but due to it being numb, I wind up scratching WAY To HARD w/out realizing. And of course like I said, the itching will not stop.  Is this just one of those things not ralated to MS or is it a part of having MS and one of its many weird things that go w/ it?  Just makes me wonder how I can feel an itch but cannot fell me scratching it.....Things that make you go Hmmmm!

   Thanks and have a good week everyone.
~Tonya
ps, has nothing to do w/ injection site reaction. Have had this for a couple years before definite dx.
Thanks again
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21 Comments Post a Comment
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667078_tn?1316004535
I get it between two fingers it feels like when I used to work construction and get fiberglass in my skin.

Alex

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560501_tn?1383616340
  Weird HUH?  So is it part of having MS? Another 'thing" to add to the list?

~Tonya
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Avatar_f_tn
Itching can be a maddening part of MS, providing it's not the kind of itch that moves around. From what I've read, there isn't much to be done about it. I do sympathize with you--I hate itching!

ess
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1220551_tn?1269115778
Hi Tonya

I just wanted to tell you that I don't have a dx but I get that feeling quite often- so... on the one hand you're not alone but on the other, I can't tell you that it's related to MS because I just don't know.

I have scratched my leg 'till it bled and not realized until I go to the bathroom and see the damage.That feeling drives me crazy and there's no point in scratching because it's numb- I slap and scratch anyway though- can't help it.

Stella
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1126418_tn?1326169592
It probably is another MS thing. But I don't know. I know I've never experienced it before having MS. Now it's in my fingers, palm and it was also in my boobs of all places! Scratching doesn't relieve the itch. Couldn't even pin point where the itch was exactly because of the numbness. I just go crazy still trying to relieve the itch by scratching till it decides to go away on it's own.

~Myra
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560501_tn?1383616340
Ess;
  So my thoughts were probably right on as far as it being an MS thing.
Yes, it is sad that nothing can be done but to wait it out!


Stella;
   Yes, I too have scratched so much that it either bleed or left terrible scratches on
whatever part of body it was at the time.


Myra;
  I too get it palm, fingers, abdomen, and yes...I also have had it on my left boob a few times. It is madenning!  years ago when I mentioned my itching (numb) palm to my PCP, he just shrugged me off by saying...oh maybe your going to be coming into some money (old wives tale). I said to him, "Then whats it mean when your left boob does the same thing?"  He had no answer and looked at me like I was a NUT!    LOL

Thank you all for the info. Now I know I'm not alone on this one either.
~Tonya




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211940_tn?1267884866
Yes, I know about the "itch" that comes with numbness.

My thighs often have numbness, but also random itching.

I had (until it ran out) anti itch medicine, because of my allergic reaction, to my pain medicines, so I do take anti itch medicine, when I have it, and when it itches.

-- Socrates
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1070610_tn?1279278010
Yes I get this.  A patch on my back, an area on the sole of my right foot and two toes on right foot. Always the same places every time. Argh!!!  Not DX .....maybe its all in my head??? lol

Mistylee
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429700_tn?1308011423
I have a really bad problem with this.  I do scratch myself until I bleed.  There's a place on my right shoulder blade.  I will get a hair brush or comb and scratch and scratch.

Plus, there's another place which is too embarrasing to mention that causes me the most problems.  I've had this itch for over six months now with no relief.  I've not called the neuro's office (embarrasing).  I'm wondering if anyone has had an itch in places that they'd rather not mention and what do you do about it?

I'm sorry to interject my problem into your thread, but I can't bring myself to starting a new post about this . . . LOL

Deb
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Avatar_f_tn
Do any of you use cream or some sort of lotion for this? It's very possible that the skin is getting really inflamed by all the scratching, and that causes more itching, on and on. Scratching actually tears the skin.  I've wanted to slug the dermatologist who tells me not to scratch, though. Gee, no kidding.

"Winter itch" is also very common, and that too feeds on itself. I've had it a few times, and it's miserable. I find prevention if the best strategy, and that means loads of moisturizer. Not so easy when the site is below my left shoulder blade! Benadryl spray has helped me by 'sealing' the site so it can heal.

Anyway, what I've been talking about is rather ordinary itching. It does respond to treatment, so if you're not sure what's causing what, try these approaches first. There certainly is such a thing as MS itch as well, and that's much harder to deal with. But remember, we still get other ailments too.

ess
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1040373_tn?1273691088
I had a few days where the insides of my wrists were extremely itchy. There were no hives, no rash, nothing to explain the itchiness. And when I scratehd them it burned to no end so there was never any relief. I'm convinced it was some wort of nerve pain but when I called my neuro they said it wasn't related to the MS.

I slathered them with Gold Bond medicated lotion, took a Benadryl just so I could get some sleep and held an ice pack between my wrists.

Thank God it went away after a few days because I was miserable.
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152264_tn?1280358257
What Ess said. I've had terrible itching all over my legs and yes, the "fronts" too (as they were delicately called in one of my favorite movies, "Thoroughly Modern Millie"). I figured out that this was due to dry skin in the winter (even though it doesn't LOOK or FEEL dry), because when I started using moisturizer regularly--right after my shower, when the skin still retains some moisture--it went away, and that strategy prevents it from returning, too.

That said, I did have some terrible itchy spots that were NOT just dry skin, and I do think they were nerve itching. One spot on my right shin and several on my face over the years, most notably a vertical line above my right eye. Drove me nuts and nothing helped. The shin spot lasted for many, many months, maybe years, and it took a long time for the resulting skin damage to go away.

I would not think that itching on both palms would be from MS. Lots of other causes.

I once had a spot in the middle of my back that felt numb, itchy, and sunburned all at the same time. I would try to scratch it, but I couldn't feel it! My right lower back also goes completely numb for weeks at a time--but still itches somehow.

Nancy (note: I am not diagnosed with anything)
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes.  Just yesterday my finger on my left hand itched all day!  There was no relieving it.
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1221035_tn?1301004108
I never thought about it being related to anything until I read  your post. I get and have gotten an itch on my back....like under my bra...but never sure where. I tell my kids to scratch my back....but they never seem to get the right spot. Interesting!!
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560501_tn?1383616340
Thanks again for all the replies.

  while I am sure that folks do get the "Winter Dry Skin" and it does itch...but at least when you scratch that...It "FEEL GOOD" to scratch it!

   This however is different in that it itches, you scratch, it's numb, no relief, and NO..."ohhh that feels good to scratch" because it is actually numb.

  Perhaps as someone stated, it has something to do with the nerve endings in that particular part of the body??  What I do know is that I would much rather have dry skin, throw some lotion on it, and scratch it, then it go away.......

~Tonya
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Avatar_f_tn
Here's a thought----- Could you try using some Icy Hot or something similar on the bad places? I know that's not an itch product, but I was thinking that possibly the itching could be masked by some other sensation that's not as bad. I wonder if you'd even feel anything if the areas are really numb, but it might be worth trying. Can you feel heat or cold at all there?

ess
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1230912_tn?1273496370
This is such an interesting topic because I have had that sort of itch on my palms, the bottom of my right foot and on the uppers of my arms so bad that I literally had scabs across the whole arm.

I actually went to the dermatologist for the itching arms because they were so bad and looked terrible - no lotion no matter how many times a day I put it on helped. The doctor barely looked at it and determined it was eczema and put me on a steroid ointment. This was about a 1-1/2 years ago, before any diagnosis, and the steroids did work to take the itch away. I should try using them again the next time I get one of these goofy itches especially the one on my foot - it drives me crazy.

Thanks for the interesting topic - good to know that it could possibly related to the MS and other people are experiencing it also!

MeLissa
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Avatar_m_tn
So I have had similar but a bit different experience to this - I have phantom itches in the way that I will have an itch that can not be satisfied/moves and I have scratched my whole body and found that there is actually a spot on my leg that satisfies the phantom itch on my arm. I have been able to do this a few times but not everytime. Is this weird? It is definitely not an everyday thing but I'm writing this because my chin has a phantom itch right now that I can't find the origin anywhere. Not sure if there is one or I'm experiencing some other numb spot people have talked about.

Let me know!
Thanks,
Kenz
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Avatar_f_tn
I had some awful itching that just couldn't be itched away.  Also had the feeling I was covered in fire ants in the same spot that itched, it just seemed to alternate.

I used sarna lotion, which helped quite a bit.  It didn't take it away completely, but it has a cooling effect and it made it feel better.  It stinks a bit, reminds me of summer camp, lol.  But it feels good!  

Also I had been put on Lyrica and that too care of the itching and the biting feelings.  So I know it was a nerve related itch.  After I stopped lyrica (side effects), the itching didn't come back.  But I do have a lot of numbness.  And I have a spot between my toes that feels like I have a wade of paper stuck between them that never went away.  

Not diagnosed yet, just with unknown nerve damage.  
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6943044_tn?1386304658
Yes! I have such a hard time explaining this to people. I've always said it's like an itch under the skin that you can't scratch. Mine is on my torso around my right rib cage. It's maddening! I was just diagnosed with MS in September.
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1831849_tn?1383231992
Sorry to hear that you're now a member of the club :-)

My phantom itch got bad before I was diagnosed. I even went to the dermatologist! I was diagnosed a couple of months later and 5 days of IVSM fixed the itch :-)

Kyle
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