Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1.Head over to this page:

    2.Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Includes Expert Content
    Itching, crawling skin & pin pricks
    gemini0605 posted:
    I am writing to see if anyone has had the following ...

    muscle spasms / twitches all over body, pinpricks, crawling bugs feeling, itchiness.

    I have been to several doctors. At first it started as a rash / spots and I was diagnosed with scabies. Did the whole scabies cream things twice and took steroids. The rash / spots went away but the itching, pin prick and crawling feeling remains. I also get muscle spasms now.

    I have had a MRI that was normal and a full blood work up. Was worried it may be MS, Thyroid (which runs in my family), or Lyme Disease...but seems all have been ruled out. I did have the feeling that food was getting caught in my throat for a while too, and I had a barium swallow, but that went away and the test came back normal anyway.

    My next step is a neurologist. I have been under an amazing amount of stress lately, so my thought is this is all stress related. I've had some major emotional traumas in the last few months and I feel like this is the culmination of it -- but kind of worried even stress couldn't cause ALL of these things to be happening???

    Please let me know if anyone has had these symptoms, especially all of them together like me!
    Claire89 responded:
    It sounds like you have not gotten rid of the mites or are being re-exposed to mites in your environment and they are in the place where you live. They get into everything and continuous washing and ridding the household of mites is a big job. Look on to get more information on this. It is tormenting to the sufferer.

    Consider mites from fruit trees also.

    - Claire
    454flutie responded:

    I've been experiencing the same exact problem for years now... I've described it to people as hypersensitivity... almost like my nerves are super sensitive all over my body. I also now have the muscle spasms, twitching & upset stomach... no pain, just very irritating for sure. Most prominent on the small of my back and stomach area...

    Been to most every specialist including neurologist, allergist with no answers. I too am under a tremendous amount of stress and had been taking Elavil up until a couple of months ago... Along with more exercise, it seemed to have taken care of the symptoms, but thought I should address the root cause in case it was something serious. I'm now off the meds and the sensations have returned... Considering going back on the meds until I can find some more answers.

    Any other details you'd like to share so we might compare our situations?
    nrsekat responded:
    Hello, I have been experiencing the same problem for years also. My skin just water is tricklng down my legs, arms, face, scalp, and back. Very annoying and frustrating. So far, I have just been on medications that mostly help me to sleep. My doctor says it's anxiety and stress related, but I am so ready for it to stop!

    Have you found anything new?
    dbenton responded:
    It sounds a lot like Scabies. Do a search here and see if you can find any other information on the symptoms and treatment. I found another good resources devoted to just scabies at It is a good resource of information and pictures.
    todd967 responded:
    I've got a lot of the same symptoms also, which I think are probably due to dust mites, but which also seems to go beyond what I'd expect from dust mites.

    My symptoms include near constant crawling under or on the skin -- from head to toe, near constant biting -- from once per 5 minutes to multiple times per second, intermittent sensation of something moving very fast or flying across the skin.

    So far sounds like dust mites, I think. But at times the "biting" is more like dozens of pin pricks at the same time in an area like the hand or the leg, and often when I'm laying down if I slap the area with the pin pricks, another area immeidately starts pin-pricking almost as if the dust mites were communicating or feeling each others' pain, which sounds more like anxiety.

    Also, using the iron on hot setting with steam seems sometimes not to work, and using dust mite spray seems not to work either ( sometimes less than 20% effective ).

    On the pro-dust-mite side, when clothing or furniture is found to be infected, touching it produces repeatable results -- crawling and biting feelings, and these results are not seen when similarly touching other areas thought not to be infected.

    I've done Orkin, scabies prescriptions, waterproof bed covers, ironing, sleeping on chairs, sleeping on non-carpeted floors, sleeping in the bath tub ( or tried to ), excessive showering, and frequent baths.

    So far, the closest I've gotten to success is to shower before and after bed, avoid ironing on my ironing board until I've replaced the cloth cover, and I'm thinking of putting my clothes in the dryer each day before getting dressed, and maybe trashing all furniture and moving to a new apartment ( same as about 5 years ago from another apartment, with about 4 years and 10 good months in between, and all new furniture, etc. ).

    It would be great if my case were purely anxiety / mind stuff, but the repeatability with certain furniture, etc. I think is going to end up costing me money....

    Better luck to you than I'm having so far....
    Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
    It's amazing what stress can do and I know that it can cause in some people's discomfort in causing itchy skin. I really don't know what this would be related to since I'm not an M.D.

    You did indicate that you've been under a lot of stress and that might be one place to begin to see if you can make some changes. While you're going to the doctors, why not see how you can adjust and cut back on the stress in your life? At the very least, why not begin to do some mild basic exercises several times a week, make sure you get enough sleep, watch your diet and also use relaxation breathing. I think all of this can contribute to making you feel a bit better.

    I hope things to improve for you very soon and that some resolution is found for this problem.
    cannu replied to todd967's response:
    A professor told me to "just spray diazanon to get rid of mites". Later he said that "it does take quite a while, longer than you have had the problem. to get rid of them". I found it hard to find diazanon, and would never put it anyplace that might come in direct contact with skin if you can find it.
    PLSChows replied to cannu's response:
    You might want to try spraying Cedar Oil. It will kill mites and is non-toxic, non-staining and harmless to pets. You might need to spray multiple times (over the course of a few days) to get them all. Hopefully you'll like the cedar scent. It'll make the house smell like a cedar closet. It really does work. I've used it as an insect repellent in the summer and it works as well as any of the other that are all chemicals and smell awful. Cedar Oil Spray is easy to find online.
    silverleaf responded:
    I just put in a search for pin prick feeling and found your comment. I notice this was 5 years ago, and am curious how this problem turned out. I felt pin prick around my breasts, groin and neck and saw round raised circular spots under breasts. A Dr. said it was scabies, two dermatologists said it wasn't. Of course, by that time I had sqeezed some blob type thing out of these, and they did not look the same when Drs looked. I have also had a feeling in my throat like something is stuck in there. Ultrasound on thyroid showed nothing unusual. I have not had any biopsies or any other tests. I was given steroid cream which I have used for 3 days now and taking zanax for anxiety(which has come on from this skin problem, as I imagine I have a parasite). Do you have any pearls of wisdom for me?
    Thank you!
    Macier replied to silverleaf's response:
    I had the pin poke sensation a couple years ago and found out my hormones were out of control, I was pregnant with twins. I have felt it many times since their birth. My husband doesn't feel anything so it cannot be dust mites. I drink too much caffeine and am stressed so I think this plays a part in the pin poke sensation. I also feel it with adjustments in medicines. Have you considered this? I try to launder my bedding more often and bath as normal. I have limited my caffeine and am keeping hydrated. I also apply a moisturizing cream called CeraVe (not a lotion but the cream). It really helps hydrate the skin.
    notevenmeanymore replied to silverleaf's response:
    I went through the same type thing. I was scratching one area to the point I ended up with dermatitis. It mostly affected the fronts of my calves. But, I also felt like there was something crawling under my skin in nose/eye area. I tried a lot of the same things you did. None of my doctors thought it looked anythink like scabies, my bed has never gone without using a mattress cover that is non permiable, (plus it is only aabout a year old, I bought new) I keep a pretty clean house, so do not think it is dustmites anyway. I have very little carpet in my house. I started using a heavy duty moisturizer and changed my diet and it completely went away. If the itching starts, I use a vaseline type product on the affected area.
    Luis1975 responded:
    Hello gemini0605,

    I'm 38 years old, workout regularly, in good shape and have a very stressful job. For me, it started with difficulty swallowing, I too had a barium swallow test and it came back clear. The Dr. decided that I had a small hiatal hernia, so they tubed me to stretch the sphincter at the opening to my stomach (terrible experience). After that it went away for a while, however, from time to time I was reminded that it was there, then I began to feel like something was stuck in my throat and I kept clearing it. Then I started to feel muscle twitches in various parts of my body, from my forearm, to an eyelid to a muscle at the side of my calf or foot. It was mostly annoying so I let it go, like it wasn't a very big deal.

    Often when I workout; I feel these itchy/prickly sensations but they go away after a couple of minutes. Recently, I began to feel them when I get stressed on my hands and feet or in the heat or while I exercise and recently I've been developing rashes on the inside of my forearms and upper arm, but they only last for a minute or two when exposed to heat or exercise.

    Long story short, I'm an anxious individual"026As I'm writing this my hands are itching, likely from the anxiety caused by my current awareness of the issue. I really to believe that these are stress induced physical manifestations. I've had recent blood tests and all is ok. The main reason that I believe that its stress/anxiety induced is because I've always taken quite a bit of caffeine to get through the long days. Recently (3-months ago), I was prescribed Adderall (10MG) and Wellbutorin (300MG). With these stimulators, my symptoms have been more difficult to control, when I back off the stimulators my symptoms decrease but do not go away.

    I've also noticed that if I take a muscle relaxer or when I'm drinking on the weekend, I don't experience these symptoms, so the combined symptoms and how they tend to react to external environmental factors have led me to believe that we are likely dealing with a stress/anxiety induced symptom. I haven't tried taking Claritin or Benadryl but I'm going to give it a shot tonight before I workout and see how I react.

    Good Luck and let me know if you figure anything out or have input/recommendations.

    calcal replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
    Best answer. The person never said she had marks or broken skin. It sounds like anxiety to me, too.
    calcal responded:
    Anxiety can wreak havoc. It should never be overlooked and you're assumed to have some physical illness when you very well may not.

    Featuring Experts

    Reid Wilson, PhD is an international expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders, with books translated into nine languages. He is author of Don...More

    Helpful Tips

    Useful tip
    If you Start to get anxious Blow your tumb it helps More
    Was this Helpful?
    1 of 3 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.