Aa
A
A
A
Close
Dermatology Community
53.6k Members
Avatar universal

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.  
818 Responses
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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 ....
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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 :-(
Avatar universal
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?
Avatar universal
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.
Have an Answer?
Top Dermatology Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions