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Phantom itching
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Phantom itching

I am a 62-year-old male and I have two spots that itch constantly. Neither of them display any rash or color change in the shin unless scratched. The one on my right forearm can be subdued for a short while by Tea tree oil and this was at the suggestion of a friend’s wife. The other one is on the right side of my back between the bottom of my shoulder blade and spine. The Tea tree oil seems to have little effect on it and when scratched moves around in that area and cannot be satisfied. Simply put it is a hateful itch… I read the article about phantom itch by Genie__0,Jul 01, 1998 12:00 AM and MS was mentioned in it as a possible source of the itch due to the brain receptors problems.

I personally do not have MS???? But I have a younger (by 9 years) sister that has been diagnosed with MS for about five years and a brother three years older than me that was just diagnosed with a “type” of Parkinson’s. He does not shake as typical Parkinson’s patients do with this disease. Two of the main problems he has are very little energy and he becomes very hoarse when he talks for just a short period of time. He and my younger sister are making it on their meds but not under control like I would like to see.

My Grandmother on my fathers side chocked to death with MS some sixty years ago so I am not going to rule out the possibility that I may have a mild case or the beginnings of either. I have however had Shingles, only once, on my left side but was not saver as I recognized it and sought help before it got to that point. The thing that puzzles me is that I had the indications of Shingles several years before I actually developed them and did not know at the time that I was exhibiting early signs. How ever they mostly appeared on the opposite side of my body form where I had them, the raw, sore or feverish feeling skin. I know it was where the itch is now on my right forearm but not sure about the area of my back. I wear an under shirt all the time so the outer shirt does not rub and irritate the skin as it would with a long sleeved shirt and a bracelet around the wrist.

I also, not to make things more complicated, have severe food and inhalants allergies which are some what under control now with meds and shots for the past twenty eight or so years.
I spent six years in the USAF and most of that time was in South East Asia. I have learned to control a lot of things, emotions being one of them. I can control the nagging urge to scratch these spots most of the time and would revel in the idea that I could get rid of the itch altogether.

Your help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Bemer



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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hi,
Itching can be caused by many conditions. Sometimes the cause of itch is stress, anxiety, nervousness. Stress may also aggravate itch from other causes. Other causes include infections like Fungal infection, Measles, Shingles, metabolic and endocrine disorders (eg. liver or kidney disease, hyperthyroidism), cancers like lymphoma, CNS disorders like MS, drug reactions, diseases of the blood eg. polycythemia vera, food allergies and many others. The causes of your itching could be nerve damage due to Shingles and/or Food allergies or the effect of medications used to treat food allergies. Please consult a physician and dermatologist for complete check up and investigations. Symptomatic relief can be achieved by using OTC antiallergic and antihistaminic drugs. Hope this helps you. Take care and regards!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you Dr Rajgopal, medications used to treat food allergies, been on them for years, hyperthyroidism, I've been on meds for 10+ years and haven't had a problem, Fungal infection, in my toe nails 8 or 10 yrs and can't get rid of it. My brother-in-law said he got rid of his by soaking his toes in a water/bleach solution. Don't know about that. My liver is fine, I just had a blood test for that because of the Mobic I'm am on for Authorities. Shingles, had them about 8 (?) + or - months ago. I have just started in the last 4 or 5 months itching. So I guess there in lies my problem. Where do you go from there? I really don’t want to go back to the Neurologist Dr. again. I want to go to a dermatologist that knows a lot about shingles and I know this because she treated a friend of mine. But is not taking new patients due to patient work load.
Oh Well, I'm 62,,,,,,,I'm half way there,,,,,,,maybe I can stand it for another 62 years.
I mean no offence, but I'm sure glad you don't type with an Indian accent! I have one heck of a time understanding any one with an accent. :, )  
I will work on getting this looked at.
Thanks. Bemer
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Avatar_m_tn
Check with a Neurologist. There is something to this as I also have a sister with MS and am experiencing the same. I have a bruise like spot on my shoulder blades that itches...like a phantom itch as there is no rash etc....my dermatologist gave me the name of this and it is NOT fungus, it is neurological...but of course the fungus needs to be ruled out. It is a rare condition...but apparently not anything to be overly concerned about. If I find the slip of paper where I wrote down the name I will publish it here.
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