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Skin Care and Diseases

Upper arm itching

03/19/2007

Question:

This upper arm itching comes at night, is like someone pricking me with several needles, keeps me awake, makes me scratch, hive like lumps, tried creams, tablets, it`s driving me mad. Been on the net and find its more common than I thought. No one seems to know what causes it. Have had it periodocally for 5 years. Can u help.

Answer:

There are multiple possible causes and I recommend you see a Board Certified Dermatologist to see if an accurate diagnosis can be made. If you’ve already seen one and they couldn’t tell you what caused it, I would recommend visiting a University Based Dermatologist for evaluation. Without a diagnosis, it is difficult to discuss effective therapies.

Some possible causes could be: dermatographism or hives, dermatitis, neuralgia (a hyperstimulation of the nerve endings in your skin to certain stimuli such as temperature changes, touch, pressure, sun, etc.) from various causes, and medication induced itching.

Sometimes we can’t make a specific diagnosis despite extensive evaluations and are left to treating the condition symptomatically with various prescription anti-itch creams, anti-itch medicines, nerve modulating drugs (such as strong antihistamines, low doses of antidepressants that calm the nerves in the skin, or agents such as Gabapentin, or patches.)

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Response by:

Pranav   Sheth, MD Pranav Sheth, MD
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati