Avatar universal

Extreme Itching Throughout Body

Asian Male of 20 years of age.

Symptoms: Extreme itching all over body if exerted in any way. The itching seems to be almost within the skin.

The problem seems to have started around 2 years ago. I would run or excercise and when my body was a little exerted or I sweated I would become very very itchy for about 20 minutes, and then the itchiness would disappear for the rest of the day. Ignored problem is trivial or even a normal symptom of dried skin.

Now: The itchiness seems to have elevated to another level, although it is the same itching, it does NOT go away, and starts with anything as trivial as taking a walk, to even moving my arm or stretching out. It seems to be associated with heat, because if my body is cold, it is not itchy whatsoever.

Tried: dove soap,all types of lotion (seems to make it worse), consumption of large quantities of water (seems to help a little but might be psychological), stopping the eating of fried foods/sodas/etc, even allergy pills and vitamin/nutrition pills. Regular doctor checkups and Dermatologists shrug it off as nothing but a dry skin problem, but this CANNOT be normal.

Time: The itchiness seemed to almost stop at the beginning of summer, but slowly growing it again has reached it's peak at the end of summertime. It is completely ruining my days with endless scratching and embarassment, as well as making it hard to workout/run/ or even socialize.

Please help with this problem, because it is truly ruining my life.

Thank You.
76 Responses
Avatar universal
Chronic itching like you describe can be a symptom of a liver problem. Liver issues can be very hard to diagose until they have advanced to a more critical stage. Often early symptoms are blown off as nothing or as something else, like a skin condition when really there is an underlying liver issue. I'd have a complete blood count done and have a hepatic panel done on your liver to make SURE you are't dealing with a liver problem that is causing systemic itching. Do you have any other symptoms?
Avatar universal
Other then the itching there seems to be nothing abnormal about my body or health. Will contact doctor for more blood tests =[, thank you. Do you know of any other serious symptoms or side effects of liver problems?
143952 tn?1237864541
have you tried antihistimes such as benedryl?
Avatar universal
It could be something else entirely but it has gone on pretty long and itching like that can be liver related. The only other thing I can think of would be some type of parasite but that doest seem likely since it comes and increases by the season. Maybe something in the water? It must be such a hard thing to cope with hope you get answers soon.
143952 tn?1237864541
there are several conditions which include itchy skin as a symptom, but i don't think it's isolated to legs or to one season of the year.  the fact that it's so seasonal is why i thought of allergies.
Avatar universal
20 m
I have the exact same problem but mine doesnt only occur with physical exercise but also when i get embarassed or angry or any sort of emotion like that. its been driving me crazy i have no idea what it is and ive been searching online nonstop trying to figure it out. SOMEONE HELP!
Avatar universal
I have the exact same symptoms as you and i also get it when startled too. Are you by chance on any meds, such as prevacid(lansoprazole)or any other gastral meds...my doc says it's not likely the cause but i am thinking it might be.
Avatar universal
This is too odd.  The itching finally drove me to a search engine and I find others with very similar symptoms.
53 year old male probably drinks too much and has a pot belly has recurring redness with itching (not big hives) and no apparent trigger (like an allergy). Tender skin areas itch furiously for 30 min when I overheat, stress, laugh, get mad, etc.. then all is returns to normal but the incident can recur several times/day.
Lots of travel in Central and South America, lots of exotic animals in environment, recently quit smoking due to shortness of breath and coughing issues.  No antihistamines in use and aside from shrimp, no allergies.
I have an otherwise stable and boring life and a good relationship with GP.  Hepatic panel on the next visit?
Any other itchy people recognize something here??  Should I go back to smoking just in case??
Mom died of scleroderma but I see none of her symptoms yet.
Any ideas??

Avatar universal
I have also been experiencing exactly what everyone in this forum has been discussing for the past two years and I am getting sick of it..It is affecting my thoughts and every part of my life that involves motion and interacting with people. I have trouble holding down jobs because I am constantly worried that I might have a flare up and then the worry causes me to have a flare up. It's almost embarrassing and I am not able to talk to anyone about this. I've been doing some research and it might be linked to MS(multiple Sclerosis) the symptom is called "Uhthoff's Symptom"...which is and increase in body temperature caused by exercise, hot baths or showers, hot weather, hot food or drinks, cooking, stress, anxiety, anger, fatigue...I've been researching MS and I find myself in alot of the categories and exhibiting alot of the symptoms since I've been aware of the itching(more so within the past year) I will go now and seek some more medical help because the antihistamines, corticosteroids and allergy pills are really a waste of time and money.

some examples of other symptoms that I have, linked to MS, are; problems with memory, depression, mood swings, shortness of breath, dizzy after physical exertion(in the summer after being constantly exposed to heat I am able to exercise but I sweat profusely!!!), Anxiety, heart palpitations and it goes on....for more info google " Multiple Sclerosis symptoms"...I will also look up the whole liver disease thing because I've been drinking for about 8 - 9 years now so it might also be a cause of it...hope I was any help to you and hopefully I will someday soon be able to rid myself of this ****!

ps: I also read that some MS medications are successful in treating what they call "dysesthetic itching" such as; anticonvulsants, the antihistamine hydroxyzine and antidepressants (I have always thought that maybe it was a psychological or neurological problem and I really hope I'm not right but it sure would put and end to the worst couple years of my life!!)
Avatar universal
I have also been experiencing itching for several years, but last year (August '06) I had a very bad episode that lasted several weeks. It started after a long hot bike ride. I have experienced it in the summer, in the winter, for only a few minutes or for several hours..and it will just about drive you crazy! Mine is often accompanied by a very acid stomach. I describe it like there is acid in my body and in my veins, causing this terrible systemic itching, burning flushing thing.
My GI doc checked out my liver and stomach and a rare cancer (carcinoid?), all negative. He found an ovarian cyst which turned out to be low grade/borderline cancer, and I thought it might be the cause...but not so...itching persists after surgery! I did discover that opiates like morphine and oxycontin will bring on the itching. I also talked to a neurologist about it and any possible link to MS and she said no, but I'm not so sure. Now on top of the itching I have hot flashes from total hysterectomy. All in all though, I am feeling better than before the tumor was removed. 2006 was a lost year for me, now I would like toi tryto address itching and acid stomach thing. I ahve given up all meds but acetominaphan; doesn't seem to be diet related, so what can it be??? Thyroid, allergy???
Avatar universal
I have had itching of the neck and head on and off for the past few months, but now it has accelerated to all over. I am sitting here at 3.30am in the morning as I am itching from head to toe and unable to sleep. I have been taking Lansoprazle as mentioned above for the past eight years and have considered that this may be the cause but I take it every day and don't have the itching all the time. Although since being on the medication I have developed allergies to certain foods and medication that I did not suffer with before including going in to anaphylatic shock after a flu vaccination. However I am also menopausal so don't know if that is the problem. I did mention it to my doctor but was only given ointment for theitching.
Avatar universal
I suffer from somthing similar, I'm not sure if it is the same. But here goes. I am 15 almost 16 years old, Male, 6 ft tall, about 140 lbs., used to be very active, all summer played football and had basketball camps going on too. In mid June I hurt my back, I played all summer and 5 weeks into my football season to find out that I had 4 spine fractures. (Your probabally wondering why this is important but trust me keep reading.) I haven't been active for about 3 1/2 months now...Probabally the longest I have ever been off of sports. Usually I have about 1-2 weeks between sports. I am hypoglycemic (whatever that means). I have been diagnosed with A.D.D. and I take Adderall XR 20 mg and have problems eating becuase of it (might be a factor). I also have asthma (probabally not a factor but.....). Ever since I was old enough to play basketball in grade school (since about 4th grade) it has been in the winter, and for the first 2-3 weeks of practice I would get itchy on my chest only. And it would turn red. Well for the last few months I have had to wear a brace (for my back) that extends from my waist all the way up to my armpits. It's a snug brace. So I get hot but it's not so bad. But since roughly the 2nd week of november (before I had to wear the brace), I started having this itchy problem. It happens when I get hot, nervous, after (Limited) physical activity (not the class) or sometimes just randomly. It will start as anywhere on my back, leg, neck, chest, etc. as a like a prickly tingly itchy, that is slighty painful, then I'll itch it and it will spread quickly throughtout my body and it hurts a little more. It will make my muscles twitch. I don't swell up or get hives, I just turn a blotchy-red where the itching is with out scratching it. I don't know why this happens but it's really annoying and I think it is a nervous thing. But I am not for certain. Please Help?

Email your comments to me at ***@****

Thank you for any and all help, suggestions, comments.
Avatar universal
Yes, I've come on this forum in search of the same answers.  Started about 18 mths ago, not long after getting sterilized (not a hysterectomy).  Thought it very strange, never experienced anything like it, always quite enjoyed exerting myself then suddenly my skin feels like I want to claw it off with the itching and blotching, with hardly any exertion (vacuuming or something).  Also, happens when stressed, a bit of a rush or anxious and nervous.  I have been to the doctors, had liver and kidney function tests and hormone tests (thought may be menopausal), all came back negative.  

Now, I find that I get severely hot for no apparent reason out of the blue, my skin radiates heat and I look flushed and red without doing anything at all.  I too have been trawling the internet for answers, hence, arriving here.  I don't wont to be paranoid but I cant believe this is normal.

Anyone has any new thoughts, keep posting.

Avatar universal
Oh boy, have just been reading everyone's posts. I have been suffering from extreme itching for the last 3 or 4 months. I am a 30yr old woman. At first i thought it must be hives but I have never in my life suffered from hives. When I was pregnant with my last child.. 3 yrs ago..the dr's discovered i was suffering from cholestasis of pregnancy.. because I started itching like crazy.. Cholestasis of Preg affects the liver and apparently the toxins from my liver could not go anywhere so went onto my blood stream.. the levels were so high my baby had to be induced 6 wks early so he would not be still born, or have intercranial haemhorraging (forgive spelling) or me, bleed to death because it stopped me producing vitamin k.. the blood clotting factor. Well, 3 yrs down the track.. I have started itching again..have been a bit worried it might be my liver as apparently it was very scarred after the cholestasis.. I took my little guy to the Dr today, and I was itching like crazy.. again.. It has been very severe in the last week.. And I am out of telfast.. but the Doc who knows me quite well.. said I don't think it is hives, I want you to come in for some blood tests without your kids.. he thinks they stress me out! But now I am worried because 3 weeks ago i got rushed to hospital with suspected heart attack and since then I have been having lots of attacks of super ventricular tachycardia which was diagnosed in my first pregnancy almost 10yrs ago. After reading all the posts now i am worried I might have Multiple Sclerosis. My itching can come on at any time.. and affects my whole body. It drives me insane!! Any thoughts please send them. I am booked in for full bloods next Friday.. when little one at pre-school and the older ones at school. I will post my results when they come in.
Avatar universal
My itching started  about 10 years ago. I woke up one morning and my skin felt like bugs were crawling all over me. And I was getting tingling itching all over my body.My itching is all the time. Mine never goes away.  Went to the doctors and It took several doctor visits before my doctor would believe me. First went to the dermatoligist and he said my skin was fine and he recommended a neurologist. I went through test after test. From a brain scan to  taking fluid from my spine to check for ms. Tons of blood tests and was even sent to UCLA and they recommended to go in and actually have surgery and take a biopsy of a nerve.  I was actually loosing my medical insurance due to a divorce and so the neurologist put me on doxepin. I have been taking this medication for 11 years now. Started at 10 ml and now currently taking 100ml. I still itch all the time and still feel bugs crawling on my skin but it's very mild now due to the meds. I actually feel somewhat human now. I still would like to know whats causing this?  Would like to know if anyone has my symptons?
478342 tn?1241369352
My itching started about 5 years ago. I would walk to school during the winter and the longer I walked and the more my body got heated up I would start itching uncontrollably all over my body including my face. Then there would be little bumps over me that I guess are hives. This happens every winter in to the beginning of Spring. I can't workout because I can't get hot thats when I start itching and my skin gets flushed red. I also do not sweat and I even get the itching in my sleep when I dream about something strenous. It also happens when I get emotionally stressed, suprised, or angry. I can't get emotional without the itching affecting me. I went to the doctor and she told me to take over the counter Zyrtec because she thinks I might be allergic to the winter because of the point that I can't step into warm buildings without myself itching because of coming outside from the cold. The Zyrtec is not working and I need a solution to my problem because I can't even hold a job during the winter because of the itching problem. I haven't worked all winter and now its spring and the itching still isn't gone. I am 6'1" 185 pound black male. If someone has any kind of solutions that would be helpful to me I would be most grateful.
Avatar universal
I am struggling with the itching problem al over my body. It started last week. I ahd shrimp and my lips selled that evening. i was never alergic to shellfish before. I am stil not sure it is the cause. I began itching the next day. I began taking Benedryll as I was told to. I have had the problem al week. I went to the docor and all they said was continue with Benedryl. This morning I could not stand the itching. It was all over,,,in my hair, hands, estremitiet and eyes. My tongue selled up. I went to pharmacist as it is Sunday and there is nowhere to go other than Emergency. They alos said Benedryll. Is there any posibitity to be allergic to nuts from this. I am very worried as I read all the blogs and no one is finding a remedy. Please suggest anything as I feel I am itching my life away and I am in early 60's. Ann
Avatar universal

You may have new allergies. If your tongue is swollen, I would consider going to the Emergency Room.
410943 tn?1202262442
I found out the itching (feeling of bugs crawling under skin) can likely be caused by candida. I don't know who knows about it but it is farely common, but more so for women. Candida is usually contracted after coming off antibiotics. It can also have increased itchiness after eating (especially sugars and carbs). I also found tanning to be the only way to releive the symtom of itching, I don't know why but it does work.

Additional Reasons for Itchiness!

Itching after exercise can sometimes also be the salty sweat on skin.

Parasites for some people also usually after antibiotics.

Alergies definately a posibility so yes, try antihistamines.

Another form I learn was formication which is sililarily related to drug addicts which is when the itching is created all in the mind.
Avatar universal
Intense Itching, my friends think I have fleas it's THAT BAD.
I take birth control pills (not sleeping with dogs - no fleas),
Atenolol (aka Tenormin) , and Prevacid.
I've read itching can be a side effect of all of those so
i will eliminate one by one.  I haven't taken the Prevacid
for 2 days, so far still itching but maybe still in my system.
I will wait 2 weeks and then stop the Atenolol.   Luckily
for me , these drugs are not necessity, I just get
slight tachycardia without it.

We cause alot of our own problems.  I had microscopic blood in urine for a year and finally solved it.. I read it can be from excess calcium, well I didn't tell the doctor I was drinking like a gallon of milk a week and taking vitamins, he didn't ask either.  i also was starting to form tiny kidney stones from the excess calcium.  Everything went away when I stopped the overdose of calcium.  
Avatar universal
let me start first with the description.i am a 22 yr old male..itching started a month n a half ago or so.thought it was the laundry detergent as per my roommate having it, my other roommate was itching too as well as my girlfriend.we changed the detergent and we still itch.tonight it was uncontrollable, i woke up at 315 am and have not stopped itching for almost an hour.i dont feel like my body is over heated, its most prevalent in my abdominal area, upper legs and thighs, i rarely drink at all, i do smoke though.its most common at night i may add, during the day its very slight and rarely occurs, but when i get to mine or my girlfriends apartment ( same apartment complex i may add) itching commences, not sure if time of day has anything to do with it.i put so much itching ointment on its not even funny, and it helped maybe initially but thats gone now.there are little red bumps on the left side of my abdominal area and since the itching has gone on for a small amount of time now my thighs have bruise marks from the itching.could it be the water for the same apartment complex? this does not happen when im at my parents or her parents house.or the air conditioning by chance???on my hip it looks like i busted two veins from itching. this is NOT GOOD!!!
Avatar universal
I have a similar issue which I originally diagnosed as scabies.  The doctor misdiagnosed it but I know, I know from the pics I saw online weighed against my issues that it was scabies.  Even the Dermatologist misdiagnosed it as well.  However, I used the common medication Permethrin and it appeared to work but it has come back.  This time I do not see the normal appearance of scabies but now have the feeling that "bugs" are crawling on my upper body, around the buttocks and on my face and head.  On my face they are just annoying but on my body they actually itch intensely.

Now, I do drink a lot of beer which does sound related to the candida issue.  But, I also lift weights and cycle every day as well and I do not suffer from any of the issues of Candida except the itching.  I never ever get sick which I attribute to the aforementioned exercise regimen.  

I did also notice that tanning does seem to help.  

I think to all who share itching with their mates or have recently encountered it after a sexual experience it will likely be some sort of parasitic infection.  Now, if one reads post on scabies it is heard over and over that scabies are misdiagnosed by both GP and dermatologists.  I have read often as well about scabies and other parasites that have become immune to common pesticides and medications.  If all the other viruses and things have become resistant to antibiotics and such why would not haven't the parasitic vermin as well?  

Just trying to provide as much info as possible to help here!
596426 tn?1219327718
Hi guys and girls.
I have been itching for weeks until I bled, ever since moving into a filthy house, so I was treated for scabies but I wasn't so sure - that was in March 2008.
Things settled down but in July 2008 it reared up again and I was again treated for scabies....it settled again until this morning.

It really is driving me round the twist....itching can be caused by many things, allergies, hormones, liver problems and I have also heard diabetes mentioned.
I think it is time for a blood test to try and establish what on earth is going on.

I find ice packs work really well.

Good luck everyone who has an itching problem, hope you get yourself sorted out.
Avatar universal

I'm wondering if you guys with chronic itching should try regular detoxing ? I'm sure it would make your symptoms a little worse at first, but perhaps better after that ? I guess it couldn't really hurt to try.

One thing you could try is taking weekly baths with 4 cups Epsom Salt and 32 to 64 fluid ounces of Hydrogen Peroxide (3%, as found in grocery stores). Also add 2 Tablespoons of Ginger (fresh grated preferably, wrapped in a thin piece of cloth or in a tea ball)

Soak in warm water for at least 20 minutes.

Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Undiagnosed Symptoms Community

Top General Health Answerers
363281 tn?1590104173
Nelson, New Zealand
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
19694731 tn?1482849837
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
In this unique and fascinating report from Missouri Medicine, world-renowned expert Dr. Raymond Moody examines what really happens when we almost die.
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
When it comes to your health, timing is everything
We’ve got a crash course on metabolism basics.
Learn what you can do to avoid ski injury and other common winter sports injury.
Here are the pros and cons of the top fad diets and weight loss plans of the year.