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Vakul Aren
Vakul Aren, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 3377
Experience:  MBBS,DTM&H( Univ of Liverpool),30yrs experience in practice
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I have been having an intense, painful itching that is difficult

Customer Question

I have been having an intense, painful itching that is difficult to describe. More like and itching pain than a painful itch. It feels like a burning/throbbing hangnail in every finger, every toe, every part of my body. It starts in my hands and feet (palms and soles) then spreads to my whole body. It is currently even in my eyes, lips, and throat as well as my trunk, arms, legs, scalp, etc. I scratch so hard that I bruise all over and sometimes begin to bleed from scratching my skin off, no matter how hard I try not to. I have had three episodes: one with my first pregnancy, one with my second pregnancy, and one now while I am breastfeeding my third baby. I did not have it with my third pregnancy, and I have not had an episode since 5 years ago (until this week). I have been to every doctor under the sun including the gynecologist, allergist, dermatologist, primary care, acupuncturist, hematologist, etc. The general consensus seems to be that I am "allergic" to my own hormones. I was treated with a variety of creams, lotions, etc., as well as Benadryl, Prednisone, etc. NOTHING helps. The only break I can get from the itching is to take a very hot bath. Otherwise, it is constant, very painful, and has lasted weeks at a time. There is no rash or external presentation. Just feels as though my blood is boiling under my skin. Any recs for alleviation would be so appreciated.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Vakul Aren replied 3 years ago.
Dear customer, Welcome to Just Answer.Generalised Itching can be difficult to diagnose.The process is one of exclusion,food and medicine allergy being the most likely culprits.Other causes would include renal disease and liver disease,thyroid disorders,diabetic problems,hormone secreting tumours of the gasterointestinal tract,psychogenic stressors like anxiety and depression,blood disorders and malignancies like Polycythemia vera and Hodgkins lymphoma,Iron deficiency anaemias,Scabies and other infestations,secondary to infections,autoimmune disordersd and skin diseases like Atopic Dermatitis/Eczema,Pemphigoid and Idiopathic urticaria.Extremes of weather lioke cold/hot and dry conditions/Environmental allergens like pollen may also cause such problems.Autoimmune diseases like Lupus/,Scleroderma and fibromyalgia may need exclusion. Avoiding spicy food,alcohol,tobacco,warm baths and brisk towelling will help.Use of loose ,light natural fibre clothes will help.Adequate hydration,use of emmollients and moisturisers,use of starch in bathwater will help. Drugs like sedating antihistaminics like Benadryl/Hydroxizine (Atarax),nonsedating antihistaminics like Loratidine(Claritin)/Fexofenadine(Allegra),steroids like Methylprednisolone /Prednisolone in the short term will help.Leukotriene inhibitors like Monteleukast,antidepressants like amitriptyline,Doxepin will help.Use of H -2 inhibitors like Ranitidine,famotidine are also useful.Omalizumab and cyclosporine will be of use in long term.Ointments and creams like Pramoxine,soothing creams will help.Ultraviolet light has also been used in treatment.You probably need to see a Dermatologist for opinion regarding further management.You may also see a Endocrinologist and a Immunologist who may identify the problem.


Edited by Vakul Aren on 2/1/2011 at 1:13 PM EST

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