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Itching.... everywhere... all the time


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#1 Eos

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 02:59 PM

Hi,
I have been so itchy lately. I cannot stand it anymore. I scratch myself red and/or bloody and I cannot get the itch to stop. I actually dreamt about scratching/ itching and woke up doing it. Suggestions... what is helping? I cannot handle this too much longer. :temper-tantrum:

#2 annkd

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 04:23 AM

Hi Eos - have you spoken with your doctor or dermatologist? Your situation sounds pretty awful and I'm sure many of us have a variety of suggestions but this really should be discussed with a doctor. I feel your pain! My itching has eased up and for that I am grateful. Hang in there and keep us posted. -Ann

#3 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 12:25 PM

Hi Eos,

I agree, itching this extensive is something for your primary care doctor and/or dermatologist. You might be suffering a serious side effect from medication, or an allergy, a liver or kidney disease (etc.), or other skin condition of some sort.

Itching from literally head to toe is not necessarily scleroderma; in fact, it is very unlikely, unless you have very rapid onset diffuse scleroderma, in which case you need to be seeing your scleroderma expert, pronto.

With scleroderma skin involvement, in my personal experience, the itching has only been in areas that were soon to be affected by skin tightening. For example, if skin tightening was about to occur on a portion of my forearm, I would feel the itch (and other odd skin sensations) only there, in that exact area, and not from head to toe. In my case, visible skin tightening (that my doctor could see) would happen very shortly after the itching, most of the time.

Scratching is the worst possible thing that can be done to an itch; it makes our body release chemicals that actually increase the itch factor, not decrease it.

Please see your doctor asap to put a stop to this suffering and get to the bottom of it! And let us know what you find out, will you?
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#4 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 09:38 AM

Hello Eos

I hope you've been able to get a handle on the itching as well as a medical opinion on it.

I have diffuse sclero and indeed had the itching in areas prior to the skin tightening and for a time afterwards. I can tell you that the itching brought me to tears at times, usually at 3a.m. in the morning when I couldn't sleep because of it. At the time I didn't know it was sclero and not knowing just made it worse.

Shelley's right about the itch scratch cycle, the more you scratch the more you itch! :emoticon-bang-head:

Take care.
Amanda Thorpe
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#5 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 02:56 AM

Eos, I'm just checking up to see whether your itching has stopped, or whether you saw your doctor. And if so, what have you found out?

Thinking of you. :flowers:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#6 JustME

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 09:42 AM

Hi,
You should see a doctor to get your blood tested. You want to have a liver panel done and an Anti Mitochondrial Antibodies test done. Sometimes associated with Scleroderma is Primary Biliary Cirrhosis. There is medicine that helps with the itching. In the mean time your should take an antihistamine. I am not a doctor this is just my advice.
Kim

#7 debonair susie

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 10:04 AM

Hi Eos,

I'm so sorry to read that you are experiencing this, as this happened to me several years and I was also very miserable.

In MY case, I ended up in the ER and a shot of epinepherine took care of mine. What a relief!

In any case, I hope that you are feeling better now.

Please let us know how you are?
Special Hugs,

Susie Kraft
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#8 Eos

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:31 PM

Hi,

Yes I went to see my local rheumatologist and she said my skin is fine and she has no idea why I was itching. Am I sure it was not just anxiety?... She did not want to give me anything. Have to see allergist, who I know he will say its my sclero.

I am scratching and scratching, and no avail.

#9 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 03:22 AM

Hi Eos,

Have you checked with your primary care physician on this yet? I find that having a good internist for primary care is essential and a huge help. They can review each symptom against all the usual things first. Like, to see if your liver and kidneys are okay, check for other signs of allergies and so on an so forth, before laying it up at the feet of anxiety (or even, scleroderma).

Even when we itch like crazy, it still pays to do our level best to not scratch or pick, because if we do, the whole thing could be chalked up to psychological problems. Especially if/when the blood tests and exams are otherwise negative for a known cause!

There are things like neurotic excoriations, or dermatitis artefacta, so we have a fascinating page on it. Here's an excerpt from that page:

Dermatitis artefacta means that somebody has injured their own skin, by any method. They may injure their skin by:
  • scratching it, with their fingernails or a knife or other sharp instrument.
  • burning it with fire such as cigarettes, matches, or candles.
  • burning it with caustic chemicals, such as bleach.
They may or may not be aware that they caused the damage themselves, but they typically deny having intentionally inflicted the injury.

Dermatitis artefacta means self-inflicted lesions of the skin. The lesions are in sites readily accessible to the patient's hands. The methods used to injure the skin include deep excoriations with a sharp instrument, scarification with a knife, the application of caustic chemicals and burning, sometimes with a cigarette. Elastic bands may be used to produce oedema (swelling.) DermIS.

Dermatitis artefacta is a condition in which skin lesions are solely produced or inflicted by the patient's own actions. This usually occurs as a result or manifestation of a psychological problem. It could be a form of emotional release in situations of distress or part of an attention seeking behaviour. In very rare cases there may be an underlying attempt to secure an insurance claim. Patients present with lesions that are difficult to recognise and do not conform to those of known dermatoses. (Photos included.) DermNet NZ.

***

Anyway, this is why I typically suggest that we see our primary care physician for new symptoms, when possible, so that we can be screened (and possibly treated) for all the usual things, before we see our rheumatologist, who may or may not have the time to go through the whole check list of possible causes of itching/scratching (weeding any gardens with poison ivy lately; using any new soaps; medication side effects?)...and so the merry-go-round for answers continues!

Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.