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Itch but no rash
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An_190936 posted:
Hi,

I have an itch on the right side of my body only for the past 5 days (started on Tuesday). Actually it is under my right arm, the inner side of my right hand, my right shoulder blade area and just above my right breast.

My doctor gave me piriton and some form of mild steriods about 2 days ago (Friday) but the itch is still there. Sometimes it itches less and sometimes when I give in to the itch it seems to go on forever.

Before the meds, the itch felt like the area was poked with a needle and then I would rip at my skin. Now it feels like the itch associated with dry skin. There is no rash at all and if one looks at the place which itches the skin looks normal.

Someone please help.
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DUKE MEDICINE
Michael H Land, MD responded:
Dear Anon_173507

I'm sorry to hear that your problem is not going away. Oftentimes, when someone experiences itching, the first thing they think of is "what am I allergic to?" However, itching is a very complex sensation that can be brought on by many more things--other than allergies. Some patients who have kidney diseases, liver diseases, iron deficiency anemia, and even nerve related disorders may "Feel" itching in a certain location but it is not due to an allergic exposure but rather their underlying condition. Have you ever heard of a person who had an amputation feel "phantom pain" or "phantom itching"? These sensations are nerve generated and even if there is nothing there, they still "feel it."

I have many patients who have seen me for "itching without a rash" and it is very important to look at other possible causes. Much like pain is a sensation of trauma, it can also be a sensation of a neuropathy. Have you ever crossed your legs and then felt pins and needles and pain like your "foot fell asleep"? This pain is not from trauma but from a nerve signal. The itching you have could possibly be from a neuropathy among other causes. The "needle" sensation you experienced and the fact that it's only on One Side of your body makes it seem like it could be neuropathic in nature.

I would highly recommend that you talk to your primary care doctor about other possible diseases you might have that could cause this itching--perhaps seeing a neurologist might help.

Good Luck! Let us know how it goes.
 
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cheshire68 replied to Michael H Land, MD's response:
Hi there, i have an itchy skin too but there's no visible rash except only after i scratch it. What i notice is i have a dry skin. I have a cat too. Whats the possible causes of the itching problem? If its because of dry skin and pet,what causing it thanks in advance...cheers.
 
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An_248739 replied to Michael H Land, MD's response:
Hi Doctor Land,

ok this itching sensation is driving me crazy! I'm finishing my honours in Law and honestly since the minute I left home to move closer to my university so that I could really work hard on it (my home is in a different State to my Uni), well I have had this itching sensation and I can't stand it. It has only got worse with time. I've been here nearly a month and I have had this the whole time I've been here. I get itchy legs mostly, itchy back, itchy neck, itchy face, itchy feet, itchy arms.

I think you're right, it's not allergies because I never get them but honestly it's annoying.

It could be due to the fact that since I've been here i haven't been eating as well as I would at home so I am probably deficient in something essential (probably iron)- but can this really have such a drastic effect?

Or possibly due to the fact that I'm sitting down for LONG periods of time. but i often take dance breaks and stand up...

I can't stand this make it go away!


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