Discussions By Condition: Skin conditions

Painful Skin Itch

Posted In: Skin conditions 48 Replies
  • Posted By: Blue Ten
  • December 9, 2006
  • 10:32 AM

For over a year now, I've been having 'episodes', if you can call it that, where I'm overtaken by painful skin irritation. At first, it was just annoying, but as time went by, it became more and more painful... which is why I'd rather find a treatment for this than wait and see what happens.

It happens for very short periods of time, at least once a day. My entire body -- feet, legs, abdomen, hands, face, scalp, etc -- is affected by this (though more so in the upper regions). Whether or not I scratch, I start to develop small bumps everywhere, and redness in random patches that eventually just blend together. When it's over, the bumps and red color slowly fade, and I feel fatigued.

I'm not exactly sure what causes it, though I've had some ideas... Heat, stress, or anxiety. The strange part is, I can almost make it happen, if I think about it long enough...

It mostly happens when it's hot, or when my heartbeat accelerates. I have tried a few topical skin medications -- including moisturizers and one used for treatment of psoriasis; none have had any noticeable affect, even in the long term. I've also taken benadryl, in case it was some kind of allergy; it did nothing to prevent or calm it. Whenever it happens, I try to go outside during the cold, which seems to shorten the duration. Right now, that's the only thing that really works for me.

Still, it's been causing me to lose sleep, keeping me up all night and into the morning sometimes.

Most of the time it feels like my body temperature spikes, leading into sporadic, needle-like, painful itching. I have a fairly high threshold for pain... but this is overwhelming sometimes, which definitely scares me.

(I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but, I don't sweat anymore. I used to before all this started. But since then, I haven't, no matter how hot it gets.)

If you have any suggestions... or if there's anyone else who has experienced this, I would appreciate your input. Thanks.

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48 Replies:

  • I had the same painful skin condition which started about a year ago. In fact, I still have it. I have all the symptoms you listed; it sort of feels like I'm being pricked with lots of small pins all over my body.It seems to happen worse in the winter although it lets up for about a month or two in the summer. I think it has to do something with the fact that I stay indoors all winter, not getting any exercise.What helped me last summer was to get on a treadmill and run everyday. I know that whenever I start to feel my body temperature rising, (aka lifting weights or getting embarrassed), the "episode" starts acting up, but I grit through the pain and run through it. After about 30 minutes of fun, the pain seems to let up a bit (although the red bumps remain).I hope there's a permanent solution to this, because it causes some uncomfortable situations in public. But for now, a steady stream of exercise seems to be the only solution.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 23, 2006
    • 05:49 AM
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  • Are you sure they aren't hives?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 23, 2006
    • 10:03 AM
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  • I had the same painful skin condition which started about a year ago. In fact, I still have it. I have all the symptoms you listed; it sort of feels like I'm being pricked with lots of small pins all over my body.It seems to happen worse in the winter although it lets up for about a month or two in the summer. I think it has to do something with the fact that I stay indoors all winter, not getting any exercise.What helped me last summer was to get on a treadmill and run everyday. I know that whenever I start to feel my body temperature rising, (aka lifting weights or getting embarrassed), the "episode" starts acting up, but I grit through the pain and run through it. After about 30 minutes of fun, the pain seems to let up a bit (although the red bumps remain).I hope there's a permanent solution to this, because it causes some uncomfortable situations in public. But for now, a steady stream of exercise seems to be the only solution.It's good to know there's someone else who's had this problem. For a while there, after searching around online and finding nothing, I thought I was alone in this.Hm... I'm not sure if exercise would work for me. Most of the time, a lot of physical activity seems to provoke it, but maybe that's because I haven't been keeping at it long enough. I'll try it out, see what happens.There was one day when I spent a lot of time in the sun, and, surprisingly, it actually went away for about a week after that. Could've been a coincidence though; I also got a lot of exercise that day.Are you sure they aren't hives?I'm pretty sure. I'm not allergic to too many things -- mostly just seasonal allergies like a lot of other people. Though, for all I know, I could have developed an allergy to something I'm constantly around...
    Blue Ten 5 Replies
    • December 26, 2006
    • 02:57 PM
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  • i also suffer this, and my younger cousin seems to now be developing the same symptoms.He has been undergoing tests at the Local hospital, and they are naming it as artecaria (sp)when ui went to the docs about it, it was so hard to describe it, that i just felt stupid, and then they try to claim its all in your head
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 3, 2007
    • 00:02 AM
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  • i am experiancing that now, i have just sent in a post and its is very painful, i also go out side or open all my windows but then if i get into a hot room the heat just rushes to my skin and it starts stinging.And i do sweat but not as much as i used to. I can't do any sport which is a problem because i picked P.E for me GCSE(I'm 15 in 10 days) so it will affect my grades and i have to come out of lessons that have hot rooms. But i just wanted to post to you just becuase if you find a way to get rid of it... or even just make the pain decrease and i'f you have any ideas what it is tell me ok... i think its something called Dermatitis because i did a bit of research and thats all i could find, i went to my doctor but she just said it was a heat rash or a alergic reaction, but i dont have a change in my diet or wear diffrent clothes hope you post me backliam.kilcoyne@hotmail.com
    liamkilcoyne 3 Replies
    • January 5, 2007
    • 11:21 PM
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  • Hi Guys,Please try homeopathy treatment for Artecaria.These are allergic symptoms (Eggs,Meat) to high protein food and can be traeted by hpmeopathic medicines
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I finally found out what the problem was. It was a wheat allergy. I started cutting a few things out of my diet, and wheat was the sweet spot. Once I stopped eating it, the itching faded away and hasn't really returned since (unless I accidentally eat some wheat -- which has happened).I looked up the symptoms for wheat allergies and they came up as fatigue, itchy skin, and hives -- everything I had.I finally feel normal again :). I can actually sleep without waking up every hour with another 'attack'. And I can finally be in the sun without the heat triggering it. Don't know how that works, but I'm just glad it does :D.Thanks a lot for your posts, it really helped me figure out what was going on.To anyone else who's experiencing these symptoms, I advise that you look at your diet, figure out if there are common allergies to anything your'e eating.
    Blue Ten 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had this a couple of years ago and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. People who haven't suffered from it don't understand and to hear someone else describe it so precisely was a comfort in a way in that I know I wasn't crazy! I used to get it when after entering a building after walking into work because I was after coming into a warm environment. I also got it when stressed out and my exams throughout college were given an unwanted added distraction. It would surface during an exam if I got frustrated at a question. It disappeared totally for me 2 years ago when I went to America for the summer. I was afraid going over that it would ruin my summer because of the heat in the area I was staying but it totally cleared up. I put this down to the sun clearing my skin up and had similar experiences with acne. Since then I haven't had it but it came back last week after 2 years (hence I'm on the web looking it up!). Someone suggested exercise and this rings through for me as the only change in my lifestyle, eating habits etc. in the last couple of weeks is that my football season is over and I no longer train (outdoors, mostly running) 3 nights a week. Maybe this can be a help to people who don't find wheat to be the answer. Have the other posters since realised that the problem for them has also been wheat? I guess if ye have then ye won't be back on this site cause ye're cured!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 1, 2007
    • 03:25 PM
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  • I found this and it seems to match up pretty well also. I hope it's wheat allergy and not this as there doesn't seem to be a cure for this:Cholinergic urticaria.I think this is what someone else suggested but they spelt it artecaria.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 1, 2007
    • 03:44 PM
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  • I myself have been suffering with all of these symptoms since I was about 22, and I am now 39. I am still searching the web constantly for a solution, but I find that more and more people are suffering with the same symptoms and no solutions. Here is what I have discovered after 17+ years of this miserable problem:1) Zyrtec, and antihistamine, keeps the itching from becoming too intense and breaking out into the red skin and bumps. I used to turn red as a tomato and get these little bumps everywhere and the burning, tingling, itch, about drove me to suicide, until I started on Zyrtec and it just never gets that bad anymore.2) It seems to have something to do with sweating or the amount of fluid I drink, not sure which one yet. I really don't experience the problem in summer because I sweat and drink a lot more because it is hot. 3) The exercise thing does work, but it is maddening to get through at times. I used to gain a ton of weight in the winter because I was so affraid of getting this ***n burning itch, until I just started powering through the 15 or so minutes of pain and agony. If I work out everyday, during the colder months, the itching definitely isn't as bad.4) I have seen more doctors than I can care to remember and most of them came up with the (Cholinergic urticaria) as well. I don't know if that is what it is, but the Zyrtec they prescribe for it definitely helps. The Zyrtec does have a tendency to make you feel dizzy, but I will take dizzy or the other any day.Hope this helps, and if anyone has any other info I would love to hear it.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 29, 2007
    • 03:21 AM
    • 0
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  • It weird, but knowing someone else has the same exact symptoms, it's recomforting...I also have the needle-like painful itch.Sometimes it's mild, mostly on both sides of my feet.When it gets worst, my hands also are itchy.Sometimes, my whole body get itchy and then it's so painful, I'd go crazy.When I do get those rashes, I can go outside at -20 celcius without any coat and I still feel hot ! After 5-10 minutes, the itchy feeling goes.After sitting for a while, when I get up it starts.After being up for a while, when I sit it starts...The "no sweat" symptom is there as well.When I workout, the first 15-30 minutes is excruciatingly painful. After I start to sweat, the pain goes away and I feel fine for a couple of hours.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 9, 2007
    • 05:16 PM
    • 0
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  • I have suffered from the painful experience (which feels like needles poking my skin) for most of my life but it has never been more painful until this winter. I can see that my skin turns red in spots, and my wife says she can now see my face turning red when it happens. Nervousness, anxiety, and getting hot are the ways I encounter the pain. Its all over my body, it makes me want to itch but it doesn't help when I do. The only way I can seem to make it go away is by rapidly cooling down, but that is only a quick fix. Has anybody found out exactly what it is called? How can you treat it?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 10, 2007
    • 00:40 AM
    • 0
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  • I WANT TO MAKE THIS SHORT, WANT TO SAY I FEEL THE SAME THING EVERYONE HERE WROTE, ITS REALLY PAINFUL AND THE ONLY WAY TO CALM IT, IS BY GETTING MY SELF IN THE TUB FILLED WITH ICE COLD WATER. ITS ANNOYING AND UNCOMFORTABLE. IT STARTED AROUND SEPTEMBER Of 2007 TILL NOW IT GOTTEN WORST. I WENT TO A DOCTOR AND THE ONLY THING WAS SAID WAS ''PROBABLY AN ALLERGY'' THEY REALLY CARE LESS. I AM FOR SURE NOT GOING BACK. I WILL TAKE IN CONSIDERATION, THE EXCERCISE, AND DIET PART. I WILL CONTINUE TO SEARCH FOR AN ANSWER CURE, IF ANYONE HAS ONE PLEASE LET ME KNOW, I WILL FOREVER BE THANKFUL. latin_21_efren@hotmail.com
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have the exact same thing. It affected me in every way possible. I couldn't go to the gym, couldn't wear coats or sweaters, I couldn't even take steam showers or hot baths. My brilliant doctor told me its called urticaria.He told me to take a claritin-24hr per day, and it should go away.IT DID!!!! It took about a 2 weeks until it was gone completely. But ever since i began taking it, the itch was very mild and i could barely feel it.My life is finally back.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you all for sharing your information. I've only been dealing with all the symptoms you have described for about 2 months. It's really effected my job and my life.I've been to several doctors who seem to look at me as though I have a third eye! Last night I purchased some Claratin 24...we'll see! At least I have learned what the potential name is and have some possible solutions. I see another doctor tomorrow who I'm told is very good at really listening to what her patients have to say about thier conditions. I'll show her what I've learned from all of you and go from there. Just that alone I feel a bit better. Today my skin isn't as hot as it's been for the past week.Thank you again and when/if I learn more I'll be sure to post.Take care!GMH
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've been searching all over the internet and seeking professional help to the conditions mentioned above. I've probably suffered from this for a few years now, it's been so long that I've lost track. The painful itch whenever I exercise, get embarrassed, eat spicy food, anything that raises my body temperature triggers it. Like mentioned above, exercising, and suffering through the first 15-20 mins of INTENSE itch and redness does seem to help. It seems to make it not occur again for some time, maybe a day or two. However, I've also read resources which state that people can actually go into anaphylactic shock from doing so. I never have but I've gotten to the point a few months back where I felt as though I was going to pass out from the intensity of the itch. I haven't worked out since.A few answers I've found all across different resources are:As mentioned above, these symptoms exactly match those of Cholinergic urticaria. I haven't been diagnosed with it yet, but I do have a suspicion this may be the case (despite my reluctance, as there is no cure).My doctor suggested that I may have extremely sensitive, dry skin. He suggested I moisturize after showering and throughout the day and to drink plenty of water. I've found accounts of where this was the case for the above symptoms. I've tried moisturizing my body, and it seems as though the itchiness seemed to disappear all together in my torso area (of course there is no way to be sure as the episodes seem random..sometimes its triggered by a rise in body temperature, sometimes its not..). Unfortunately there is no way to moisturize my scalp, and the only thing that seems to help is T-Gel (on occassion). Another suggestion was that this was Seborrheic dermatitis, which the T-Gel is supposed to treat as well. ANOTHER suggestion was that this may be some sort of allergy. Yet another possibility was Tinea Versicolor. I have sought treatment for 2 of the conditions above, Tinea Versicolor and allergy. Neither have had any effect. If anyone has found other forms of relief from this ailment, please share ! Until then, I guess I have to continue eating non-spicy foods, avoid direct sunlight and stimulating exercise.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have had this same thing ever since I turned 15 and one thing I can say for sure is mines is if I 1. Don't shower regularly (every 1-2 days) or 2. Have dry skin. Sometimes even when I have dry skin it doesn't do anything and sometimes it does it's probably just the bad soap drying my skin. Sometimes it doesn't come back for months and sometimes it do. I only had like 2 very bad attacks and The last one was when I was 16 I'm 21 now... I almost felt like I was going to go insane on the last one it was hurting very badly and it wouldn't stop. I can tell you one thing from my experience keep your skin moisturized.. and make sure you use the right soap. It's messing with my training..
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Same symptons as all of you except mine never gets so uncontrolled that i get bumps. I've found heat, anxiety, and anger are what trigger mine. This is a really bad thing as far as the anger part goes cus the last thing I need when i'm *****d off is to feel needles pricking me all over my body causing me to completely go crazy on whoever i'm mad at. But, rest assured the best medication is self-medication. Depending on what triggered the episodes at the time, I apply my self-medication, i'll list my methods for all of you to try for yourselves.1. Triggered by Heat = Find a cool place to sit down/lay down, nothing fixes this better then that cold sheet feeling when you slip your feet into a cool spot under your sheets(you'd be surprised how fast this works).2.Triggered by Anxiety = Try and think positively, and if that's not possible with whats stressing you out change the subject in your head before it builds up(not always easy, but if the problem is something small hurry up and get it out of the way).3. Triggered by Anger = There is no cure for this only a method to prevent what has got to be the most pain i've ever felt from these episodes, i've even attacked family members and friends physically, only to roll off of them screaming in pain and tearing at my skin from how amplified it became after my adrenaline was added to the mix, so I warn you when you start to feel the needles and u think u want to hurt the person who made u mad just take the pain cus it can become so much worse if u act on those thoughts, you will not only save urself from more pain but from looking like a total ***k cus chances are what they did to make u mad did not warrant the thoughts u were having towards them.Well i hope this helps some of you oh and most of you gave ages as some sort of comparision for what ages are having what symptons i guess so let the record show im currently 19 and ive been experiencing these episodes once or twice a week since i was 16 (with a stange exception for a 3 month period where i had no episodes when i was 18)
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 10, 2008
    • 09:45 PM
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  • Wow, I'm surprised people are still finding this thread.To be honest, I'm not entirely cured of it like I thought. Even when I cut wheat out of my diet, it stuck around a bit -- and now I'm eating wheat regularly again and it hasn't gotten worse at all. I no longer get as many of the weird 'hives' and it doesn't hurt so much anymore when it happens. I can stand certain levels of heat, and it's mostly stress that induces it now.I think either I have gotten used to it, learned to react the correct way when it starts, or it's just begun to go away naturally.This all started when I was 18 -- I'm 21 now and I think eventually it'll just disappear completely. At least, I'm hopeful of that :o.I wish the best for anyone else with this condition. It can be a terrible thing to live with.
    Blue Ten 5 Replies
    • November 10, 2008
    • 11:54 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi, I have the exact problem. A little about myself. I'm 31, asian male, and have been fighting this around the last 10 years. I get very itchy when my body temperature rises. My whole body feels very tingly, skin turns red, I feel hot, my hairs itch, and body feels hot. It seems like I'm electricuted. I feel this when I'm giving a presentation, nervous, excited. Pretty much when my moode changes, or body temperature rises. I also noticed when I'm eating spicy food (which I love), or when I'm getting into a hot car during summer. I relief the symptoms by going outside when it's cold to bring down my body temperature or by putting cold water on my face and arms. It's really frustrating and I've been to the doctors many times. They don't know what is going on. They think it's histemine and give me all kind of anti-histemine meds. They do not work! On top of it all, I also have severe eczema. I feel your pain!
    alexchau20 1 Replies
    • December 20, 2008
    • 07:48 AM
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