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Undiagnosed Symptoms Community
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For years I thought I was literally damned by God or something, there came a point in my life (when I was around 9, when this excruciating uncontrollable itching began) that I literally wanted my skin on my legs and arms to fall off.
My mother has always said it was so difficult for me to take a shower, and now I think I have found the answer. Today I am 20 years old and still have not been able to control this skin condition, or whatever the hell it is.
For a time this itching on my legs and arms got so bad I just wanted everyone around me to leave. I would cry and even scratch while I did it, it was very and sometimes still is depressing.

Since I had no answers to whatever was happening to me I began to make a list in my head of things I could do to make the itching stop or at least go away faster.
Lotions immediately after showering (like a dermatologist recommended) did not work. I had to relax and let the water on my legs and arms dry by itself then apply baby oil.
I have tried different water temperatures varying from a 3-5 min exposure to hot water and then 1-2 min exposure to ice cold water to soothe my arms and legs.
Shaving? Just the thought of it drove me insane. I literally have fear of shaving, so its pretty embarrassing to have to wear jeans or long skirts because of the issue of not wanting to shave.
For years my family thought I was being dirty for not wanting to take showers, it was humiliating to be seen as unclean in front of various family friends because they would laugh of how many days I could go without showering. My record so far has been during heat waves in New York (which is where I live) which has been 5 days without showering. Obviously my life has depended much on baby wipes and soaked Bounty sheets.

I once did visit a dermatologist who also recommended I drink lots of water and reduce my intake on sugars and caffeine. Since I also suffer from eczema, I already have to be extra careful on the lotions I use, which means no perfumes or fancy body sprays. Just baby oil and deodorant.

Showers at night and then jumping into bed right away, have usually stopped this itching attacks from lasting to long, even soothing music (thank you Sigur Ros). I use only dove unscented bar soap for sensitive skin soap, reduce my showers for less than 5 min and let the bathroom humidify before opening the door to a rush of cold air which helps, A LOT.

I also avoid even letting my towel dry up my legs or arms, I sometimes pat it down and try to ignore the fact that the itching might start soon.

I never put on leggings, tights, or jeans immediately after I get out of the shower, it only causes the effect of wanting to rip my skin apart.

I will dress in front of a fan in order to keep myself cool. Tie my hair up, the feeling of even hair on my legs or arms drove me crazy.

I vacuum my home once a week (since I have 2 cats) to keep the cat hair and dirt clear off my body.

I use Aveeno Skin relief overnight cream on my face and chest. Avoid anything with a flowery smell. Hope this helps you guys! I am really happy to know I'm not alone in this (though I would never wish this skin condition to anyone)

2 Responses
6726276 tn?1421130268
I have Granuloma Anulare. My mom has exema but it has gotten better now that she's in her 70's.
  Right now my nose looks like Rufolf red nose rain deer.
  I had 9 weeks of IV treatment 90 min each day. Cubisin. Pamela.
144586 tn?1284669764
You need to get a second opinion. Purchase the excellent book "A Second Opinion" by Dr. Jerome Groopman. Systemic itching of the type you have is often brought on by liver failure, among other potential etiologies. Differential diagnosis is difficulty. Topical preparations are often not the answer. You need a physician(s) who digs deeper.
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