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Help! I'm so itchy I want to rip my skin off

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Hello again smile.gif,


I have been on Prednisone for two months and just came off of it and I am going crazy with itch. Is this normal? it is mostly in two spots under each arm, the creases of my legs on the bikini line, and an area on my belly. I just wasn't sure if it was normal, due to the end of the prednisone or if maybe the prednisone was keeping it at bay. There is minimal relief. I am keeping my skin well hydrated with lotions but it only helps a bit. Does anyone have a solution or answers?


I go see my scleroderma expert a week from Friday. I have emailed him about this but haven't heard anything yet. Thanks for any advice.



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Since prednisone is an anti-inflammatory, it may have been suppressing skin inflammation.


You might try:

Oatmeal baths (they have the ingredients at drugstores)

Hydrocortisone anti-itch cream

Anti-itch body powder.

Ointment containing benzocaine


The last item on the list works best for me, and it is available in "extra strength" version.


Good luck,



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Hi Marsha,


As Craig has said, the Prednisolone might have been suppressing the itching and since you've come off it, it's returned with a vengence! sad.gif Just a thought, I don't know how long you were taking Prednisolone, but if it was longer than 3-4 weeks you should come off it gradually, rather than just stopping it, as that can cause nasty side effects.


I've included a link for Itchy Skin which I hope you'll find helpful. I really sympathise; I developed itching when I first started taking Azathioprine, although that did settle down after a short while. It's a good thing that you're seeing your scleroderma expert in a week or so; meanwhile, I hope you can find some relief from the itching before that.

Jo Frowde

ISN Board Member

ISN Secretary of the Board

ISN Assistant Webmaster

SD World Webmaster

ISN Sclero Forums Manager

ISN News Manager

ISN Hotline Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi Marsha,


I may be wrong (I often am!) but I think it would be simply impossible for anyone to properly diagnose and treat a rash or itching (or both) via email and there's no sense waiting over a week to deal with it, since its driving you up the wall.


In my understanding, rash/itching are the sort of thing that always need to be evaluated in person. So if it were me, I'd contact my primary care doctor about it, especially since this is not occurring in areas affected by scleroderma (or lupus). Also, this rash is mostly in warm, moist areas that are very popular hiding spots for fungus (but not even in the least bit popular spots for scleroderma or lupus, etc.). If that turns out to be the case, an over-the-counter (OTC) anti-fungal cream could provide relief.


I always keep a tube of anti-fungal cream in our first aid kit. Only once did I ever confuse it with the antibiotic cream, and wouldn't you know, it was when I was mending a wound for our oxygen delivery guy. Only after he left did I realize it -- and he'd so kindly never said a word -- because, get this, I had left the back door wide open when I ran to the front door to let him in. So while I was tending his wound, he was distracted by the friendly little chipmunk who was eating the scattered nuts from our parrot!


I wanted to run after him yelling, I'm not crazy, really I'm not! And that's not my pet chipmunk, honest!

But some cases are hopeless and you just have to chalk them up as a lost cause. :emoticon-dont-know:


So if you do end up the proud owner of a tube of anti-fungal cream, be careful when and how you use it so that you don't have to live with such embarrassment, as well.


I find that it's very important to have a good internist for my primary care doctor, and I contact them first with any new or worsening symptom. When my primary finds/diagnoses/treats anything then it is all wrapped up in a neat little package and tied with a bow to present to the proper specialist -- and meanwhile, I've cut short the useless suffering stage, totally to my benefit. If they say it needs to wait for the specialist to handle, well then, fine, but that's very rarely ever necessary.


It's time to show that itch the door, Marsha! Do you think we could do the Sclero Happy Dance over this? Okay its not happy to be itching out of your mind, but there is at least some hope on the horizon for it. And I really feel like dancing this morning! You game, let's go now:


Okay and some warm anti-itch hugs to top it off.


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.

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Hello Marsha


Girl get to the doctors and get ridda that itch! In the beginning of my scleroderma journey, when it began its relentless takeover march, itching was my number one symptom that was driving me mad! Steroids helped as did a steroid ointment but my itch was scleroderma and yours may not be. Either way, boy can it drive you mad!


Take care.

Amanda Thorpe

ISN Sclero Forums Senior Support Specialist

ISN Video Presentations Manager

ISN Blogger

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Assistant Manager

(Retired) ISN Email Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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