View Full Version : Itchiness

08-20-12, 12:42 AM
(sylvie's husband) Since I was about 12, I've gotten bad itchy skin attacks. I'm really not sure if this is physiological or psychogenic in nature, but thought I'd see if anybody else experiences it here.

It can vary in how it feels. Sometimes I'm just, well, itchy. Sometimes it feels decidedly sharp, like I'm being lightly poked with a needle. If I purposefully resist the urge to itch it gets worse and worse, eventually feeling like insects crawling under my skin (I have to stress that it feels *like* that, I don't really think I have skinsects!) I have NEVER successfully resisted itching for the whole duration of an episode.

When I first started getting it, it was limited to my legs, and would occur exclusively after I showered. But over time, it has spread so that although it's often primarily in my legs, it affects my torso and arms too.

When an episode begins, it usually starts with a particular area, but then often spreads to other areas, kinda like a chain reaction. Often I'll scratch one area, only for another itch to pop up somewhere else.

It makes me very irritable, and often the best thing that I can do to reduce the symptoms is, strangely enough, to hyperfocus on something. If I play a video game or something like that, sometimes I can draw my mind away from it to a limited extent.

It can get really bad at times. I used to love showering as a kid, but since then I've gone through stages where I've avoided showering for as long as possible (I've gone a month at times). It seems to wax and wane to some extent - these days it's not so bad (this might be to do with having moved cities lately, but might not.)

Another thing that I've noticed: there's no visible sign at all. And it doesn't respond to antihistamines. I was prescribed moisturizer to rub into my legs as a teenager, but I found it highly objectionable - the rubbing, the oilyness, and the way it frothed up on my leg hairs! Also, doing it right after a shower was a SURE way to trigger an episode, so it seemed especially counterproductive.

Here's some of the things that seem to trigger it:

Rain (might be the dampness or the stimulation of having rain land on me)
Getting into bed (I feel like even a tiny speck of dust or grit could trigger it off, but I'm not actually sure that dust or grit really has anything to do with it)
Exercise (when I sweat, or get overheated even)
Feeling stressed
Resting my arms on a desk, e.g. when using a mouse
Possibly even thinking about it - I'm getting itchy right now, for instance.

Does this sound at all familiar to anyone?

08-29-12, 01:50 AM
Hmm interesting. I relate to what you describe though not the spreading. I can feel it on the right side of my back now. With me it's in patches all over my body.
I've always associated it with dryness and coming into contact with dirt, dust, animal fur, certain materials and certain texture exacerbates it.
If I've been in the Sun for over 20 minutes my chin gets itchy. Any spot with hair regrowth gets itchy and just makes my sensitivity to anything coming into contact with it worse.

Rain isn't so bad but remaining wet is. When my skin comes into contact with a chemical like dish washing liquid certain parts of my skin start to sting like a wasp bite.

I also don't like to remain in sweaty clothes, or clothes that were once sweaty or wear the same clothes the next day.

Could just be tactile sensitivity.

I'm sensitive to hot showers too and even on the coldest days have to have lukewarm showers, usually so my skin doesn't turn red. My legs get itchy after a shower too but I do shave them regularly. Sometimes the regrowth is like ants crawling up and down my legs and have to shave them. I feel dirty even if I had a shower and didn't shave them.