Discussions By Condition: Skin conditions

Uncontrollable itching

Posted In: Skin conditions 13 Replies
  • Posted By: mellowred
  • August 15, 2007
  • 06:39 AM

I posted this message on the "liver conditions" forum yesterday - have had several views but no responses - maybe someone who follows this page could help?

We are desperately searching for relief for scratching due to what we believe is an immune system or liver problem.

My boyfriend has been a heavy drinker for over 30 years, and it has now taken its toll on his immune system.
He has been prescribed valium to assist with giving up alcohol, but prefers to cut back on his own - he only takes the valium on days when he has not been drinking.
He has cut back on the alcohol, but is finding it very difficult to stop completely.
He has also been advised that he is pre-diabetic and that this could also be a cause of the scratching.

His skin is raw from the constant scratching which gets worse when he gets into bed at night.

His whole body is now affected, and he has red, raw areas which bleed. Creams do not help as the itch comes from under the surface of the skin. He does use a cortisone based cream which I believe will eventually do more harm than good and which only offers short term relief (if any).

Hope someone can offer some advice.

PS : We would prefer a natural remedy.

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13 Replies:

  • Does he have any type of breakout - red bumps, nodules, etc.,? Did it start in one area and seem to spread via the lymphatic system? Did he work in the yard, in soil, in marine water or with dead tree limbs?Some bacterial conditions/infections can attack those that are immuno-compromised, ie., those that are diabetic or pre-diabetic, and he seemingly has a lymphatic spread, per your description. Without knowing all of his symptoms, I can't say if I experienced the same thing, but last year I was infected from bacteria in the soil that manifested itself as nodular lymphangitis - I believe the bacteria may have been Nocardia Brasiliensis, but this was never officially diagnosed. It started with what seemed like red bumps, then cysts, then sores that were itchy and crusted. My skin did itch, but it was an irritable itch, not like a chicken pox or poison ivy itch. Hard to describe really, but most irritating just the same.I went from looking like I had hives to a AIDS patient with many open sores to a burn victim (the burn actually came from washing with soap, as the bacteria was a "philolipid" and the soap would concentrate the bacteria in areas that it literally burned my skin).There are several types of bacteria that can cause nodular lymphangitis, with different treatments, depending on the bacteria. Are there any other symptoms besides itchy skin?Cheryl cmyers@jones.edu
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 15, 2007
    • 07:16 PM
    • 0
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  • Dear CherylNo - he doesn't have any red bumps etc. just raw areas because he is so frustrated with the itch that he now scratches himself with a rough brush :mad:. Yes - it started on his legs and spread to his chest, arms, stomach and eventually (for about the past 18 months) all over his body. The only thing we can think that is linked is a drip he was given in hospital ± 2 1/2 years ago. He was admitted to hospital for a colon examination and the itching started very soon (maybe immediately) after that. He has been tested for allergies which turned out to be a bit of a waste as his immune system is so bad that he is mildly allergic to almost everything. None of the allergies seem bad enough to cause the itching tho. Hennie's itch is under his skin - he describes it as "something trying to get out". He showers with a special liquid soap "sanex" I'm not sure if that is a South African product, but is is a mild antiseptic soap which a dermatologist recommended. The only other problem he has is sore feet - he had to have a piece of bone removed from his middle toe as his toes are a bit curled and the bone was pressing on the nerve ends. His feet get very tired from standing and walking (or it could be that he's just lazy :rolleyes:). Seriously tho I can't think that this is related at all. I really feel sorry for him as the itch sometimes drives him crazy and he can't sleep for scratching. Luckily he manages to hide the problem when out in public, and up to now his face is not affected. Thanks for response and hope you or someone can offer some insight and help him. Kind regardsMandy
    mellowred 2 Replies
    • August 16, 2007
    • 09:18 AM
    • 0
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  • I dont think this is gonna be it, but u deserve a response. Give "psoriasis" a look on the net. Maybe its progressive?Maybe even MS (Multiple Sclerosis) as that can trigger a wide variety of symptoms due.Water Allergy? Ive heard of it!!Anyways, please let us know
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 31, 2007
    • 06:52 AM
    • 0
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  • His drinking is going to kill him so it doesn't matter. Diabetes is a killer combined with booze. He has choices to make.
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies
    • September 1, 2007
    • 04:21 AM
    • 0
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  • I too have had the same problem since this last April...I went to the doctor twice for it...both times they said I had alergies....and had puzzeled looks on thier faces..probably because of the evidence of the vilont itching this caused me. I went to the walk in last night and he said that I had Folliculitis (pronounced: fuh-lih-kyoo-lie-tus) is an infection of the hair follicles, the tiny pockets under the skin where hair shafts (strands) grow. In folliculitis, tiny white-headed pimples appear at the base of hair shafts, sometimes with a small red area around each pimple. This occurs often where people shave or have irritated skin from rubbing against clothing. There are other causes for this, but he is convinced that I have this....he perscribed me a very strong antibotic and it already seams to be helping.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 11, 2007
    • 09:27 PM
    • 0
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  • Mellowred:This thread may be dead but I thought I'd reply anyway. I have something that seems to be the same thing that your boyfriend has. I have had uncontrollable itching for several years and cannot contribute it to anything specific. I have tried all types of medicated creams, lotions, soaps, etc but nothing in that line ever helped. The only thing that I found to relieve the itching is taking an antihistamine, like Benadryl or Zyrtec. My doctor ran some tests and finally gave the condition a name but I don’t remember what he called it. Basically he said my body has too much histamine in it that causes the itching and there is no cure other than controlling it with antihistamines. He says he has another patient that has this and that person has to take a Zyrtec at night and a Claritin in the morning. Personally I feel like there is some other underlying cause for the itching and that my doctor is just labeling it something because he doesn’t actually know what the actual cause. I'm not a doctor so I don’t know for sure, but it seems that way to me. Anyway, if I miss taking the Zyrtec just one day, I am miserable. My itching usually starts in my feet, the right one to be exact, then seems to travel up my body, legs, waist, chest, etc. Has your boyfriend noticed a pattern like that? Keep in touch, I'd like to know what your boyfriend has learned and I will share what I know. singletrakmind@hotmail.com
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 11, 2008
    • 07:02 PM
    • 0
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  • I would recommend he be treated for parasites....I don't know if you've considered this may be the problem. Have him tested and treated immediately.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've experienced this same thing! It started right after I gave birth to my second child. I started thinking that I was getting allergic to my own skin. I'd itch so bad and break out in hives all over from scratching. Finally after complaining to many people about it and having them all tell me it was in my head I went to my doctor and he said it was "dermographism" I'm not sure if that's spelled right. Anyway, he prescribed just taking the antihistamine's like Unregistered_Travis said to do. I take Zyrtek as the others don't seem to be strong enough to help. I take it every other day but if I miss one time, I'm miserable. The doc said there is no cure because they don't know what causes it. (He was an allergy specialist) Good luck. I hope this helps.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I posted this message on the "liver conditions" forum yesterday - have had several views but no responses - maybe someone who follows this page could help?We are desperately searching for relief for scratching due to what we believe is an immune system or liver problem. My boyfriend has been a heavy drinker for over 30 years, and it has now taken its toll on his immune system.He has been prescribed valium to assist with giving up alcohol, but prefers to cut back on his own - he only takes the valium on days when he has not been drinking.He has cut back on the alcohol, but is finding it very difficult to stop completely. He has also been advised that he is pre-diabetic and that this could also be a cause of the scratching. His skin is raw from the constant scratching which gets worse when he gets into bed at night. His whole body is now affected, and he has red, raw areas which bleed. Creams do not help as the itch comes from under the surface of the skin. He does use a cortisone based cream which I believe will eventually do more harm than good and which only offers short term relief (if any). Hope someone can offer some advice.PS : We would prefer a natural remedy.Have you tried going to those natural herbs stores they have really good plants that can help him stop drinking and im sure they will have something for him to stop itching .....my ex mother in law use to give my ex father in law some natural pills that she bought from that store and he has not drink since. He doesn't know she is giving him the pills because she crushes the pills in his food if not he wouldn't drink them . But believe me he has stop drinking completely .......i remember one time they offed him a beer and just the smell of it made him throw up......This pills do work he was drinking for over 15 years and only those pills made him stop....I wish i new the name of them ...but im sure if you go to one of thoes natural stores and ask them for those pills they will know what your talking about
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 3, 2010
    • 05:27 PM
    • 0
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  • I too have all of a sudden at 40 years old developed this uncontrollable itching problem. Mine too typically starts in the feet and works it way all around my body. A typical spell usually starts when I get in bed at night and last for 1-2 hours. Its not bed bugs because my wife has checked for them and sleeps next to me everynight with no symptoms of her own. I too have been to the doctor and found that Zyrtec is my only relief. It is a daily ritual that if broken leads to itching all over again. I hate taking pills, but it appears to be my only solution for now.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 1, 2011
    • 05:31 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I too am currently experiencing this itching and it is driving me crazy. I have also drank for many years. I found something called Cholestasis. Uncontrolled itching especially at night is a symptom and it can be caused by Alcoholic liver disease. Here are some of the symptoms: skin discoloration scars or skin injuries caused by scratching bone pain yellowish fat deposits beneath the surface of the skin (xanthoma) or around the eyes (xanthelasma)Anyway, I would recommend talking to his doctor. There are tests that they can do.God LuckJen
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • This maybe related to your lymphatic system. Look up a youtube on the lymphatic system and dry brushing. Also a deep tissue massage may be helpful. This helps to get your the fluids and blood flowing through the capillaries and vessels and to the heart. Blood is pumped, however capillaries have to be helped or forced...So by way of above mentioned methods should be of assistance. pLEASE research the youtube and utilize the methods provided. The lymphatic is system is a specialized component of the circulatory system. You use your dry brush to lightly brush in an upward motion beginning from bottom to top. Simply because that is the direction blood and capillaries flow...upward and to heart.I really hope this offers some relief, try for at least a month. Be consistent.;) Dear CherylNo - he doesn't have any red bumps etc. just raw areas because he is so frustrated with the itch that he now scratches himself with a rough brush :mad:. Yes - it started on his legs and spread to his chest, arms, stomach and eventually (for about the past 18 months) all over his body. The only thing we can think that is linked is a drip he was given in hospital ± 2 1/2 years ago. He was admitted to hospital for a colon examination and the itching started very soon (maybe immediately) after that. He has been tested for allergies which turned out to be a bit of a waste as his immune system is so bad that he is mildly allergic to almost everything. None of the allergies seem bad enough to cause the itching tho. Hennie's itch is under his skin - he describes it as "something trying to get out". He showers with a special liquid soap "sanex" I'm not sure if that is a South African product, but is is a mild antiseptic soap which a dermatologist recommended. The only other problem he has is sore feet - he had to have a piece of bone removed from his middle toe as his toes are a bit curled and the bone was pressing on the nerve ends. His feet get very tired from standing and walking (or it could be that he's just lazy :rolleyes:). Seriously tho I can't think that this is related at all. I really feel sorry for him as the itch sometimes drives him crazy and he can't sleep for scratching. Luckily he manages to hide the problem when out in public, and up to now his face is not affected. Thanks for response and hope you or someone can offer some insight and help him. Kind regardsMandy
    summerbreeze 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am very interested in this subject as my sister has had this same problem on her ankles for at least 2 years. She lived in another state and I assumed she had gone to the doctor and cured the problem. Now that she has moved here, I am around her almost everyday. A couple of days ago we sat down on the porch and I noticed she immediately reached down and started scratching her bloody ankle. I am determined to find out as much about this subject as possible. Last night I started my research. I found out about a bacterial infection (marine typhus or eminent typhus). It is caused from being bitten by fleas. The carriers (hosts) for these fleas are rats, mice, oppossums and cats. This set off an alarm because she had several cats when all this got started and her dog was scratching her ankles. The flea comes in contact with the broken skin and therefore the infection begins. It's bacterial and is most times are misdiagnosed as being viral. It is easily treated with a strong antibiotic. Tetracycline is one. Some of the symptoms are headaches, fever, chills, muscle pain (myalgia), nausea, vomiting and the itching is crazy. I'm curious if anyone else who is suffering has possibly been exposed to fleas. As I said, she had several cats at the time. Now she only has one. But, here lately she has had a flea infestation problem in her yard and I suspect she had them in her house. I know her dog was covered anytime it went out and the inside cat had fleas.
    jimdandy 2 Replies
    • January 22, 2012
    • 03:21 AM
    • 0
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