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Extreme intense itching

Discussion in 'Peripheral Neuropathy' started by Chrissie, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Chrissie

    Chrissie

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    Hi I was wondering if anyone has any advice, over the past week or so I've been experiencing extreme all over body itching.

    My itching is so intense I have broken the skin and caused bleeding by scratching. It's mainly at night but today I've been scratching almost all day.

    My mattress is new so I'm ruling out bedbugs, nothing in my diet has changed and I haven't used any new products.

    It's driving me insane!

    Does anyone else have this? Are there any creams I can use that may help?
     
  2. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Did you look into the possibility that it is your new mattress that is the cause of the problem?
     
  3. Chrissie

    Chrissie

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    Hi Nielk, It's not brand new had it for a couple of months so I don't think it's that.

    Also I stay at my mums quite a bit and still itch there. Thanks for the suggestion though!
     
  4. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    Have "they" changed the formula or "perfume" of something you're using? :rolleyes:
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    I've suffered from something similar for over 15 years, and never got any medical explanation. I've ruled out everything obvious like dust mites and conventional allergies. The mattress would be my guess too - whatever you're in contact with that is new in recent months, even if not direct skin contact. I'd suggest experimenting with avoiding things like the mattress that are new, and bear in mind that it may take a couple of days for skin sensitivity to subside. There may be lots of triggers, some worse than others.

    There are several threads about itching here which might be helpful:

    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...nsane-itching-somebody-make-it-go-away.18410/
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/itching-and-high-appetite-symptoms.17815/
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/itching-driving-me-crazy.14641/
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/itching.11338/
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/itching-all-over-what-the-he-is-going-on.7167/
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/wth-is-going-on-crazy-itching-and-twitching.5236/
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/rash-itching.1793/
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/ear-itching-mms.390/
     
  6. Chrissie

    Chrissie

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    Thanks Mark, there is some really useful info in the threads.

    I'll try avoiding synthetics and see if that helps. If not I think I'll try and see my GP.

    Do you mind me asking what your itching is like? Mine is like intense episodes, feels like almost crawling on my skin and scratching doesn't soothe it (also my nails alone aren't good enough i've been using sharp objects to scratch with).

    Is yours similar?
     
  7. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    The very first episode I had was like millions of insects crawling under my skin. Since then, I've had 3 different types of (neuropathic?) pain. Burning sensations in particular patches (particularly on my back), numbness and lack of feeling (some tingling) after prolonged contact with (?something?), ad the most common is a tickling sensation, which is ever-present, little itches, that build up and build up on prolonged contact, up to the level of sharp stabbing pains about the strength of a pin-prick or bee sting which start happening all over my body.

    Once this has built up to a level where it is happening all the time all over my body, it is basically constant and not relieved by scratching; it feels like it is more under the skin than on the surface. Initially, I never really noticed it building up, and it took me years to identify all the triggers and get it to subside. Now, I sleep on a leather sofa and only wear 100% cotton, and avoid all contact with any of the many things that set me off (washing up liquid and most soaps and cleaning products - I use all natural products now; lots of different foods make the sensitivity worse and give me digestive problems; and most fabrics like sofas, cushions, most clothes, most bedding). By avoiding all these things it is now just a fairly low-level tickling most of the time. Whenever it starts to build up, I stop everything and eliminate stuff until I figure out what's causing it.

    Now that it's relatively low level, the tickling sensation is such that if I lightly brush the area around the 'itch', it will go away (but generally re-appears somewhere else). I don't need to scratch it, just touch the skin lightly around the area that's itching. It is as if the pain sensations in my skin have lost all ability to 'cancel' out background noise, and actually I do suspect that is fundamentally what the neurological issue is, for me. But when it was constant all over, touching and scractching didn't really relieve it. Hot baths have sometimes been helpful - just in water, in a bath with no salts or foam etc, of course, and I can really tell if such products have been used in a bath by somebody else.

    You haven't said very much yet about your own itching so I don't know if it's the same or similar to mine; lots of us have this but everybody's pattern seems to be slightly different. I do think that it is probably all some kind of neuropathy (look up "neuropathy" and "allodynia"), and I think B vitamins, especially B12, are often helpful with this. It can build up very quickly and can take a long time to subside, so it can be very hard indeed to figure out what is causing it for you. My main suggestion would be to pay close attention to how and when it improves or gets worse, and what you have been doing in the previous 24-48 hours before a bad episode, and do lots of trial and error and elimination of triggers, try to find or create for yourself a 'safe haven' clean environment where the itching subsides and use that as a benchmark to retreat to and figure out what is setting you off. Small and subtle clues can be very helpful but you have to be aware that it can take a long time (maybe hours) to subside after a trigger, and can build up very subtly, starting out as numbness or tickling and building up over days to full-on all-over itching. So it can be difficult to figure out what the triggers are, but ultimately that is the only way I have ever found to get control over it all.

    And finally, you mention you'll try avoiding synthetics, which has been very positive for me (100% cotton only, but even some of that is treated somehow and still sets me off and it's hard to figure out). And you also mention you'll try and see your GP - I have to say that has never been of the slightest use in my own case, and really it has just been a distraction from figuring it out for myself, because GPs have tended to just express bafflement or suspicion or even outright denial of things I know to be true; they will go through all the known things like allergies and dust mites etc. but this phenomenon is something new and they don't seem to know a darn thing about it in my experience.
     
  8. Tito

    Tito Senior Member

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    I have the same and it happens that this weekend I read about demodex mites. I have now ordered some tea tree oil and shampoo. I'll see if it improves.
     
  9. Levi

    Levi Senior Member

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  10. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    Have you ruled out fall allergens? That can make you itch all over. Ragweed pollen and molds have been climbing in parts of the US. Probably something similar going on in Europe.

    I sometimes itch all over if I change laundry detergent or other laundry additive -- especially if I wash my sheets with it.

    Have you tried antihistamines and/or oatmeal baths?
     
  11. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    Itching is a sign of histamine release. Look at the first post on this thread and see if it fits the totally of your symptoms: ME/CFS is a mast cell disorder (hypothesis). Taking a histamine antagonist such as Benadryl (one hour or so before going to bed) might be a useful test/treatment.
     
  12. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Anti-histamines have never had any effect for me, because the reaction does not seem to be a 'conventional' allergic response. However, I would say it is definitely something worth trying to see what effect it has: some people here have reported that this has been effective for them, and it would be a good thing to rule in or out at an early stage.

    I've been pleased to see you looking into the mast cell hypothesis, Nanonug, as this was something I came across quite some time ago and thought it looked like a potentially good fit for the way this itching behaviour seems to work. In particular, a sensitivity reaction in one part of the body seems to increase sensitivity throughout the body, and the way that mast cells communicate with each other might provide some kind of explanation for this.

    I don't know whether you have looked into the loss of integrity of tight junctions, and the promising research into that in relation to eczema, but if not, I think you might find some interesting connections there. As a very crude summary, the research I'm referring to suggests that, in eczema, there is breakdown both of something within the skin (for genetic reasons) and also breakdown of the sub-cutaneous tight junctions. For us, it might be (my hypothesis) just the tight junctions that are breaking down sporadically, creating permeability to certain substances (this potentially includes ions so might even be an explanation for certain kinds of electrical sensitivity, although that's just a layperson's speculation). The tight junction breakdown could also be linked to weakening of the stomach lining and the blood/brain barrier, and could be induced by certain types of viral infection - all of which is a good fit for ME/CFS aetiology. I don't have the time or expertise to follow up and learn more about all that, but I think you'll find it interesting, especially if you can find a connection with mast cells...:)
     
  13. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Chrissie. sorry to hear that you have this symptom, it can get horrific, it almost drove me to suicide at one point it was so unbearable. *Note..fortunately I no longer have that symptom.

    My itching was so much like what Mark described. Scratching didnt help a lot.. I think I used to just press hard on the area of the itch and that worked better then scratching it.. as the more I scratched, the worst it often seemed to get.

    Mine started out worst in certain places of my body, then over several days.. spread out so all areas of my skin were involved (thou some were worst then others), to finally as Mark had, the addition to feeling like one is being bitten by something like a spider. I'd actually jump and yelp whenever that happened.

    Unlike Mark.. hot baths didnt relieve my issue unless I'd added certain things to the bath water. I used to add in 1kg of table salt and 250g bicarb soda, sleeping in a bath of this was the only way I could sleep as otherwise the itching was hell. This in the bath could make it itch worst for a short while (like if it drove whatever was in and UNDER my skin crazy) but then would bring me relief as it felt like it was making things fall out of my skin.

    My case went worst around a certain time of the night.. eg it may of been around 11pm... it was like whatever it was surfaced more at that time and felt like it went into a feeding frenzy. (result of a parasite?? or result of a chemical/hormonal body change which happens at night). Anyway.. in my case there was also a clear cycle to the issue. You say your issue happens at night..so Im wondering if you are experiencing the same.

    I ended up diagnosing myself with Morgellon's... after like a heap of tiny hard like rice looking like grains started falling out of the pours of my fingers (on research after this incident I found out that some Morgellons cases instead of threads.. have experienced rice like grains)... more fell out the more i moved my fingers.

    There was also an incident in which i saw three little like spidery looking parasites about 3mm in size which actually moved and vanished when i tried to look closer and poked them, just under the fine skin on the back of one of my hands (undiscovered parasite??).

    Other things which those things didnt like were..... lavender oil (I almost poisoned myself with it and made myself quite ill as at one point I covered my whole skin in it). They hated white sage smoke even more then the lavender oil.. if you burn a white sage smudge stick and waft it over the skin.. it also would make the things go into a frenzy and it felt like they were coming to the surface more and like coming out of me. It brought temporary relief to an area.

    Anyway..if you try any of those, let me now as Im curious if you could have the same whatever it is.. (from what mine reacted too.. I think some kind of parasite.. maybe only a few bigger ones in the body which I saw only the once but maybe 1000s of babies which are too small to see. I never looked at my skin throu a microscope as I didnt have one or go to the doctor over my issues (as I only had terrible doctors anyway as far as ME/CFS and all the weird stuff goes, so had given up on them).

    *note.. tape worm eggs apparently can look like white rice grains and may come from the skin but Ive seen photos of those and mine didnt look like those.. they were so hard and smooth whatever they were.. smoother looking then the tapeworm egg pictures Ive seen online. After I had the incident with them coming out of my finger pores.. the whole itchy itching and this whole issue suddenly went away, within 24 hrs was completely gone. (maybe some life cycle of something had been completed). Now for the very weird thing.. I put the hard rice shaped things into a jar.. as I finally had something to show so at this point I was going to take to a doctor..covered it with gladwrap but the next day the jar was empty.. (so maybe it wasnt eggs but some chemical which dissolves to air?? Situation was soo weird that no wonder doctors think that those who have Morgellons are mental health patients... I could make no sense of it myself.

    Maybe all the salt and bicarb baths (id spend 4hrs per day in that for relief) and all the other things I did killed it?

    Another thought I had from reading different things.. Ive read that one can have fibreglass poisoning and the fibreglass can go into the skin pores and come out looking like small grains. (some maybe what my skin released for a couple of hours one day was fibreglass? I have handled it before way back in the past). *Note.. I had that itchy crawling/biting thing for a couple of years before the rice grain like incident.

    But that fibreglass poisoning thing wouldnt explain why I was experiencing a certain cycle to the crawling things in which they became far more active at night.

    When I had this crawling issue very severely and the things were surfacing at the time and coming off.. eg if I'd smudged msyelf with white sage earlier or put something on my skin they didnt like... I found that where I'd felt all the stuff dropped off of me, if another person came along and sat in that same place I'd been..they'd start itching a lot themselves (at times even to the point in which they'd get up and move from that spot). some of those peopole then were itching a bit for an hour or two but whatever it was.. didnt seem to completely infest them. (maybe due to the ME we are more suspectable to this parasiteor something??? .. why could others get it on their skin but it not then go onto being a big issue for them?).
     
  14. Chrissie

    Chrissie

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    Thanks for the advice everyone, I'm going to try all the suggestions on this page as the itching is driving me mad!

    I'm speaking with my GP somtime this morning too as I have been getting a bit of a temperature so I'm wondering if it might be something viral?

    Anyway thanks for the advice, fingers crossed I'll find an answer soon!
     
  15. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    I have, in the context of the gastrointestinal system, i.e., intestinal hyperpermeability.

    Tryptase, which is released by mast cells, is know to increase intestinal permeability. I wouldn't be surprised to learn it has the same effect of the outside skin - the GI system being the "inside" skin. (A quick glance at some research does indeed suggest that tryptase is involved in eczema.)
     
  16. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Good luck, let us know how you get on.

    The only positive test I've ever got through my GP is consistently elevated white blood cell count (he's tested that 4 times over a year now with the same result well above the reference range), and I had to explicitly ask for that test - he ordered a battery of tests previously but not that one. With your temperature, he might be persuaded to try that. I've found it helpful in convincing him there is something going on. Itching like this is attributed to psychological causes by some GPs, once they can't find an explanation; if I had a GP who started suggesting this I would walk out and go find another one...
     
    taniaaust1 likes this.

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