Brachioradial Pruritis: Scratching Makes the Itching Worse

A 45 year old woman presented to my office complaining of a burning itching rash on both her arms.She had seen several doctors and tried various creams and oral antihistamines without relief. Only applying an ice pack seems to alleviate her symptoms. She is frustrated. On exam she had a few subtle excoriations (scratches) on her forearms, but no other signs of rash or disease.

Brachioradial pruritis is a condition characterized by intractable itching on the top of the forearms (overlying the brachioradialis muscle). Patients often report that the itching actually gets worse with scratching instead of better. It affects mostly middle aged women (which all my patients have been) and presents as a burning and itching sensation on the arms. The symptoms can sometimes be described as tingling or even painful. It can involve one or both arms.

Unfortunately the cause is not well understood. Current thinking is that it is associated with sun damage and/or with cervical nerve root impingement. The sun damage theory is that deep penetrating ultraviolet light (UVA) damages fine pain nerve fibers in the skin of the arms. The cervical spine theory is that impingement (pinching) of the C5 to C8 cervical nerve roots leads to nerve damage. The nerves that emerge from these roots provide sensation to the arms, so damage to them might cause the burning and itching symptoms. Although studies have found that cervical spine disease is more common in patients with brachioradial pruritis, no study has demonstrated that cervical spine disease causes the condition.

Treatments for brachioradial pruritis include:

  • Avoidance of sun exposure (probably most important)
  • Topical capsaicin (hot pepper oil)
  • Gabapentin
  • Cervical spine manipulation
  • Anti-inflammatory medications such as naproxen (AlleveĀ®)
  • Above all, I think it is helpful just to have a physician who understands that the patient’s symptoms are real and who is willing to try various treatments until a satisfactory remedy is found.

263 thoughts on “Brachioradial Pruritis: Scratching Makes the Itching Worse

  1. Hi everyone, so glad to have found this site. I am in the UK and have had this itching on my lower arms for 2 months but it is driving me nuts. I scratch until I bleed and can’t sleep or go out in the evenings as I drive everyone else mad with my scratching.

    Seen two GPs who didn’t know what it is and gave my hydrocortisone cream which doesn’t work and antihistamines (which do help a bit) I would gladly cut my arm off sometimes, it is only from the elbow down to my hand but on both arms, though not always at the same time. After reading all your comments I am sure it is BP as I have osteoarthritis as well and in my neck especially. Am going to try the capsicum stuff if I can get it over here.

    Thanks guys!

    Barb

    • Hi Barbara im from the uk as well and have had the itch for the past 6 year, i think its due to OA in the neck as we dont really have a lot of sun here( north east), the best thing i tried is ice packs. my doctor didnt have a clue what was wrong with my arms until i found a website describing symptoms and asked him to take a look. he agreed with my diagnosis and has said he will look into BPR. I hope some1 finds a good treatment soon.
      Thanks

    • I’ve had this condition for 30 years & during the months of june, july august, sept & october, I scratch untill my lower arms bleed & it keeps me awake as well. I have found keeping moisturizing lotion on helps tremendiously. No cure I’ve been told.

  2. Hi!
    I am a 54 years old Norwegian woman and I have suffered from BPR for 15 years. I was sleepless and socially handicapped because of the itching. I tried everything without results, and it got worse every year. Then in June 2010 I went to the Greek island Chios. There they produce mastic from the Mastichi trees. I needed a new body lotion and bought the local “Mastic Care Body lotion”. To my big suprise, the itching sensation disappeared instantly when I applied the lotion. Again and again. For the last 14 months I have controlled the BPR with this lotion. I have a bottle beside my bed, at my work and in my handbag, and when the itching starts I just apply some lotion to get relief. I can highly recommend this body lotion to everybody that suffers from BPR. I wish you all the same relief that I have found. I by it online from http://www.e-anemos.gr

    Best wishes,
    Irene

  3. I’m BAAAA-AAck! Itched from January to mid April. Was good until the beginning of August and it’s my right arm again. It usually switches, but this is twice in a row for the right arm. Was glad for the few months of relief but now it is so bad that I can barely remember those good months… Anything new out there???

  4. I have had brp for 5 years, I have herniated cervical disk and am in the sun (live at the beach) I have tried everything neurologist, acupuncture and Lidoderm patch (numbs the skin)
    The Lidoderm patch you wear for 12 hours on and 12 hours off, and it works, and the acupuncture relieves it to , I should say
    they both relieve it but it always comes back, like most of you have said it is just a relief to know your not alone.
    I went to allergists, neurologists and on and on and not one doctor diagnosed me, my daughter found it on the computer and I have to say my doctor is very receptive NOW , after I came in with BRP info….
    Try the Lidoderm patch and Acupuncture it doesn’t cure it but I get some sleep now….

  5. Does anyone know of a doctor in West Houston area who is aware of, and willing to treat this condition?.

  6. I was very fortunate to be diagnosed by my dermatologist within the first year of this. He said it is very rare and I’m only the second or third case he has ever seen in his career. He pretty much went with the sun exposure theory but now (after a few years) I’m not so sure it is the only cause. I have had neck issues and he did not order any tests or MRI on my neck. It seems to be itching now even when I haven’t had any sun. Has anyone had neck surgery because of this and did it work??

  7. Wow – this site is enlightening, in the fact that I’m not alone and not crazy!! I have had “the itch” for about a year now. All seasons, nothing stops it. I’ve tried everything I could think of also, but cannot take anything that would make me drowsy, even at night, because I have a 5 yr old and don’t want to be knocked out just in case he needs me. The severe PAIN of those shooting needle-like jabs that go, it seems, deep to the bone of my arms, around my neck, were sometimes so unbearable!! I tried not to scratch – but then I did it “just once…” well, you know what happened, there is NO STOPPING once you start the scratch! Finally, I saw my Dermatologist today, and he diagnosed me with BRP! I’m not crazy!!! I will tell you that what I have FINALLY found in the past month that stops the itching totally, is Hydroxazine-HCL 50mg every 6 hours. Now, this med makes some people drowsy and knocks them out; it doesn’t phase me – for which I’m grateful! I haven’t had “the itch” for over a week, since my daughter gave me her pills she used for a horrible case of poison oak this past spring! I tried the 10mg – NO GOOD; didn’t phase the itch! I’m going to go out and get the Capzacin-HP cream that was suggested, also, and try it. I cannot take the Hydroxazine forever, can I??

    Irene – I went to the website that you posted, but didn’t know which Mastic Care Body Lotion you used – there were 3 of them, with diff things in them. Please let us know! Thanks!!

    You have all become my support group – I’m so glad I’m not alone in this fight for a cure!

    • Kathy, I would be wary of the post you mentioned. Sounded like an advertisement to me. She also posted on other BRP sites the exact thing- word for word. I don’t believe any topical could truly be miraculous.

    • Hi to everyone. I’ve had brp since 2002, and until last week, never knew what was causing the itch. I can’t believe it even has a name. I’d like to share my story. Before I started itching (left arm only) I was aware that my dad had been experiencing the arm itch and this had been going on for several years. My mom had him using hydro-cortizone, desitin, vitamin E, etc….My dad has fair skin, that sort of electric-white tone that biting insects are drawn to – mosquitos love him! He’s outside quite bit (sunscreen in hand), never had over exposure, but his skin is sensitive. Ditto for my skin! Excluding the sunscreen, I’m outside ALOT! so when I first started itching 10 years ago, I thought it was caused from some plant since my itching flared up in summer months. I used to tan alot when I was in my 20′s and noticed when I was in my 30′s that my arms & shoulders had hundreds of freckles, all be it, little but I wasn’t concerned as sun exposure was probably the cause. Something really weird happened after my last brp flareup. This last brp bout was really aggravating, lasting all summer, and instead of just affecting my lower forearm, it affected my entire arm (especially my elbow/upper forearm). I’d wakeup in at night scratching even while it was bleeding. Finding relief from cool wet towel applications and sleeping with a soft cotton long sleeve tee-shirt, it finally subsided in August. Here’s the weird part: MOST of the hundreds of freckles on that arm – GONE!! That threw me for a loop and I’m a grown woman (44 yrs old now). Something in common with many of you is a chiropractor took xrays of my neck/back, which showed my C4 & C5 vertebrates taper to a point in the front. My neck used to give me alot of problems (this was in 2000 – 2001). I’ve never sustained any injuries to it and over the last 10 yrs, haven’t had chronic pain. But here is something peculiar; in addition to my dad and I having the itch, recently my sister has been going nuts with brp symptoms. She went to a doctor who diagnosed it as brp, which is how I came upon this site.. thoughts, anyone?

  8. I’m so glad to have found this site. This is my third “season” for the insane itch. I was certain it had something to do with sun exposure! This is also my third summer for owning a convertible. Does anyone else wonder if it is a combination of sun exposure and eating sweets? BRP describes my symptoms exactly. I have even sprayed computer keyboard cleaner on my arm in desparation. I am 55 and female.

    • Lee Ann, I don’t know about the eating sweets thing. I don’t really eat sweets and have suffered with this for 17 years. I even hesitate to put much merit into the sun exposure theory because I have begun the “itch cycle” in the cold months when my arms were never exposed to the sun! As a matter of fact, I believe I have started the “cycle” in most or all months of the year. So, there isn’t even a particular season for me. Can never anticipate when it’s going to start. It’s very frustrating and I’ve cried many tears because of this. I am currently at the end of my second month of itching and hope that it doesn’t have too much longer to go. Good luck to you, ALL of you.

      • Thank you Laurel. Can I ask your age? Mine does subside during the winter months but has kicked in occasionally during the cold season too. It is very frustrating! Do you know of any Doc gathering information on this? I was hoping this website was part of information gathering for treatment and potential cure.
        I’d love to know if Seniors are affected by this. Or did have it and it finally went away. I would like to know if there is hope. I am being transferred to Panama for the next 6 months and am afraid that since I will be in eternal summer – mine might not subside like it normally does.

      • Lee Ann- I am 49 years old and have had this since age 32. My sister is 59 years old and also has it. I have a nephew in his 30′s and he has it as well. I remember my mother complaining of terribly itchy arms when I was young. (Before MY itch started). She would make herself bleed and I thought she was nuts! Lo and Behold, years later it affected me. I seem to remember that after years, she just didn’t complain about it anymore. I can’t really say whether it went away or she just stopped talking about it. There are a lot of other websites that address this issue. Just look up “Brachioradial Pruritis”. One of them is Medhelp. I post on that also. You may find some tips that are useful. In the meantime, keep applying a good sun BLOCK on your arms. I find that if the itch isn’t too bad sometimes that even helps. Something with the zinc oxide, I think. In the meantime we all keep ice packs in our freezers and this is the only real relief. By reading through other posts, you will see that some people have found doctors that knew exactly what this is and others are totally clueless. Gather up as much info as you can find, print it out and take it to your doctor. (Just in case he/she is one of the clueless ones)! Good luck and keep us all posted!

        • Laurel- thank you for the good advise. I did try some stuff called FREEZEIT. It is a spray for muscle/joint and helps to subside the itch. You are right, I started using a 60+ sunscreen with zinc in it and it helps. It is the rainy season here in Panama. Not much sun shining but still hot and steamy. I have had minimal itching this last week since I arrived but don’t know if it is just subsiding for a bit. Wish we could find that common denominator and know what to avoid.

      • Try going to a chiropractor regularly. That is the only thing that has helped me to keep this condition at a tolerable level. My Dr. also recently prescribed a topical numbing cream that is called ‘Emla’ (2.5% lidocaine/2.5% prilocaine) that has numbed the itching better than anything else I’ve ever tried.

    • I think it is from sun exposure also. We have a pool for our grandchildren and I spend a lot of time in the pool with our little ones during the summer. I especially got alot of exposure and got very tan this year. As soon as the tan was almost gone, the itching started. Next year will diffinately be different. Please take care of your skin

  9. I guess I’m the rare one since I’m a (57 yo) guy. This summer was my first experience with BPR. I suspected it was a nerve condition since it was always the same areas above and below my elbows. Usually one arm or the other, not both at the same time. It is usually in the evening and lasts 2-5 hours or so. I can have a week or more between instances so it sounds like I get off easy compared to others.

    I I also think the sun has played a big role in this. I started tiding a motorcycle again after a 20 year layoff. The itching started after a few all day rides in short ssleeves.

    I have used all the things I have read here to deal with it like anti-itch cremes, slapping the spot so the pain overrides the itch and icing. I was going to go to the Dr. but after finding this site I belive that would be a waste and I will have to try long sleves and learn to live with it. One thing I find works pretty well for me I haven’t seen anyone else try is gently stroking the area with my fingertips. I apply just enough pressure to feel it and as long as I am stroking the area it feels better. It might be worth a try if nothing else works.

    Like others have mentioned it’s nice to know I’m not crazy and finding the site has probably saved me $$ and frustration trying the medical route.

    • John, This is my third year for driving a convertible and my third year of this insane itch. Like you, mine comes on mostly in the evenings. I found a product called FREEZIT that is a spray for muscle, joint relief. It does seem to help subside the itch. Laurel – suggested a strong sun block with zinc in it. It also helps. I usually dig my nails in my arms versus stroking it but I’ll try that.

  10. I have been having itching, most intense at night making it almost impossible to sleep, for about 2 months now. I have recently went to the doctor who thought it might be scabies because of the way the sores looked on my arm (not very many and not really bad sores) but I did not have these sores or severe itching anywhere else, especially where scabies would normally surface. Also, no one else in my family (my husband and 2 small children) do not have any itching or sores anywhere on them. So, the doctor prescibed me prednisone and dluocinonide cream for the itching. I’ve been on the prednisone for 4 days now, 2 more days to go and the itching is still there. The cream does help ease the itching and burning, but doesn’t take it completely away. The only relief I have at night is ice packs on my arm to numb the itching away. I have read about the BRP and mentioned it to my doctor, but she never really said anything about the problem. Does anyone else get small red sores on the places where it itches?

  11. Wow, my sister and I have suffered from this for three years now. We thought we had bed bugs or some other creature under our skin. I even went to my doctor out of frustration and he prescribed anti anxiety meds!! We start feeling the tingle and itch around the end of August. Usually the intensity hits after 5PM and goes through the night. We both have scabs from scratching. I am up for trying anything.
    sharon

    • Sharon! I also thought I had bed bugs. Mine has been going on just about as long as yours. I have tried anti-itch creams but nothing works. I also have scabs from scratching so hard that my arms start to bleed. It has also carried to my legs, right behind my knees, and also to my stomach and back. I feel your pain!

  12. Im glad, like a lot of others to have found this site. Does anyone know if this s in any way related to shingles? I have been a carrier since 1990 but have never broken out but have had the burning itching sensation in my back on the left side, and its my left arm that is affected now.

  13. Hi, I have been having an itchy left arm for so long I cant remember! All of a sudden my left arm would just start itching like hell, scratch, scratch, so much I couldnt sleep. I first started looking up on the internet a few years ago, I couldnt find anything about just itchy arms but I did read stuff about itching if you had a dodgy liver, but I thought, surely you wouldnt itch on just your arms to do with your liver!! But I have noticed latley that if I drink too much on a particular weekend (not that often) it seems to trigger it off, well I think so, this could be my imagination. So I would like to know all those people with itchy arms, do you drink spirits or wine? this is purely for me to wipe out my fear!!

    • First of all, let me just say that I feel for all of you. As a very long time sufferer, I know the frustration you all feel. I am NOT very computer literate so I can’t send the link but you all need to look up Brachioradial Pruritis and look for the site that starts; itchy arms=Brachioradial Pruritis. It is Medhelp. There are SO many of “us” out there. Read through all the posts and you will find that it is most likely due to nerve compression in the neck. This makes sense to me. Some doctors have heard about this and some (most) haven’t. As far as seasons, mine has no preference. Just comes and goes randomly although it seems to be with me more than not lately. It has definitely intensified over the years… Good luck to you all!

  14. I have had this insane itching on my upper arms for about 8 years now. So bad I lose sleep and just want to take a knife to scratch through the skin…..I have tried everything nothing helped until now.

    I started to take Milk Thistle daily and at night i clean my arms with Witch Hazel…after that dries I rub them down with Dr. Fred Summit Arthritis & Sport rub (found at big lots & it is red liquid) after that dries I liberally apply vics vaporub and I do not rub it in…then I put on a long sleeved shirt and it seems to control the itch for most of the night! Hope this helps some of you!

  15. I have had this for 2 years! I’m only 16. I read on another website that this may last up to EIGHTEEN years. ): I haven’t found anything that works for me. I haven’t been to a doctor yet. Because I can’t find a cure, should I go see a doctor & they would be able to prescribe something for me? Helpp meeee.

  16. I am a 59 year old female who has had BRP for about 20 years. I also believe the sun was connected somehow. Ice would be the only relief. I would go to bed with those “ice packs” for more years than I want to remember. It definitely felt like the nerves were involved with all of the “prickling” sensations. It would come and go and for the person who has it only on one arm, I, too would go for months with only one arm involved. What is really bad is when both arms are involved (not enough ice packs!!) I thought it was food allergies (til everything I ate would bring on the itchiness), I thought I was crazy…..then I went to a Dermatology Nurse Practitioner and she said she could not find such a diagnosis but that my skin was VERY dry (it didn’t look bad to me, nor obviously dry) and she recommended applying lotions or creams to my arms NO LESS THAN THREE TIMES A DAY. I decided to try it. Since someone tried shea butter, and since I am very concerned about what I put onto my skin to be absorbed systemically so I tried L’Occitane Organic Shea Butter. EUREKA!!!! I do it 3 times a day as recommended – if I do less, I may itch that night. I have been doing it for about 3 months now with great success! After I heard there was a Chiropractic adjustment that might possibly help and viewed the “procedure” on line, I was not convinced nor did I want someone that close to my brain…..

    Please try the shea butter, it works !!!!!!!!!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!!

  17. I also have this itching on my elbows and upper arms. The dermatologist I went to perscribed a lot of antihistamines, perscription and over the counter. It didnt help at all. Then I went to his partner and he diagnosed BRP. He has me on Gabapentin 300 MG. I take 3 pills at night. He said it would knock me out but it really doesnt. It helps somewhat. I would say around 80%. I can now sleep through the night without the ice packs. But I still itch badly at times.
    I have had this now since Sept. of this year. I also have some skin eruptions elsewhere but I dont know if it is related.

  18. it has been 16 years for me, i always thought it was stress, sweets, coffee then diagnosed with hep c , drs. then said it was my liver, others say that the liver counts are not to bad to warrant itch, i have been scraped,probed and prodded to no avail.. i have no allergies cant find anything wrong, one dr. suggested that i should “someone” you know someone to talk to , i thought she should have someone to talk to !! im glad i found your site, but im saddened to know that there is no cure, i too use ice packs for relief, nothing else works. just wanted to comment so that i dont miss out on any remedies , thanks everyone.

  19. Hi,I’m a 67 year old female,I started with this intense arm-itching 6 and half years ago,in feb in freezing England! Both arms and very intense!! I had just moved to a new flat,and had been in there 2 weeks,painting,decorating,getting new furniture,getting rid of the damp–so I had plenty to blame to start with!!After everything to do with the new place was eliminated,I went to the docs.He didnt help,just gave me creams,told me to keep my arms moisturised,etc.etc.You all know the score.My first remission came in oct that year,when I went on a long haul flight to a pretty hot Australia! the itch returned,in feb again.next remission was in oct again,when I started chemo for a cancer I had(non hodgkins lymphoma–for which I had to take prednisole).The itch returned the following year when treatment was finished.It has been like everyone elses,more on than off,tried everything,longest remission was 18 months! so when it returned this time it seemed much much worse,I went back to docs,a young and as I thought inexperienced female!!But guess what!!–she also suffered from it! she sent me to a dermatologist-which I thought was a waste of time,I knew it wasnt my skin,I knew it was my nerves.And he just immediately told me it was Brachio-Radial pruritus(which actually only means intensely itchy arms!)and I had to return to my doctor,he would send her a letter with cream recommendations until she could arrange for me to have a scan on my verebrae,discs C5 and C6,as I would ‘present’with a pinched nerve! treatment woud be decided after this.The pinched nerve could have happened when I was decorating,or I could have had it for years,and disturbed it,or been triggered by arthritis,and could also explain why,over the last 20 years I had had episodes of muscle weakness and numbness in my arms,which I never dreamed could have been related to this.Well,I feel better at least KNOWING what I have,even if I’ll still suffer til its fixed!!–by the way-I also suffer worst on an evening and during the night,the dermatologist suggested it was when I was not moving about,-and maybe a collar might help!-but they dont really live in the real world do they!! Aqueous in menthol cream,used liberally,and germolene with anaesthetic have helped,plus cetirizene anti-histamene (double dose)to help me sleep,but the relief of knowing what it is,plus the fact it might be over soon,even if it means an op,or injection,is a fantastic feeling.I’ll try keeping you all up to date,but –try my other trick-suggested by my long suffering husband-go to your doctors carrying a carving knife,cry,and ask them to please amputate!!-They just dont realise how desparate we are!

    • I’m so sorry to hear that, Val. Yours is a common suffering that I’m sure many readers will appreciate. I’m sure that sharing your story will help others. Thanks.

    • yours is exactly the same as me !! i have a sciatic nerve that drives me nuts in my butt down into my calf ! i wake with one or both hands numb, i have had this itch for 15 years and like you have tried creams allergy tests food elimation , you name it, makes me miserable, im 57 and love the sun but i also have hepc , so i have all kinds of things that doctors blame it on, my liver is not bad enough to cause itching, my gp says my back is sore because of the hep c, and the dermatoligist says i have skin damage and could probably lazer my skin for 500 a treatment, i think not,, as long as im busy walking about im not itchy , its as soon as i sit down to relax it starts…. so i really dont know what to do, chiorapractic care is very expensive so im not even going there, thanks for sharing your story !

  20. Hi, I have suffered from this for 11-12 years … it used to start late summer early fall and last into the middle of winter… I have used the CapzacinHP for the past 6 years, which always seemed to help after a few weeks of applying. It has always been on both of my arms. Well the last year it started in August and the cream didn’t seen to work as good. I have it now , on my left arm only so far.. It started in Mid July and is unbearable and again the cream isn’t working..I sit when I can with ice wrapped around my arm… makes me crazy. I don’t know how old any of these post are as I just found this page but, has anyone out there found a new form of relief?

    • Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear you’re in so much discomfort. Have you seen your dermatologist lately? He or she might be able to help.

  21. After suffering for many years and no relief through ointments, it was this site that led me to ALLEVE, and instant relief. I’ve been itch-free for over a year, and after initially taking Alleve for a week, haven’t had to take it again. Try it!

      • Hi, Nora! Yes, Alleve or any generic form of Naproxen Sodium, (NSAID), took away the itch…immediately! I took a daily dose for about 3 days, and have been itch-free since February of this year. I had been suffering from serious BP for 3-4 years, been to 2 dermatologists, tried various prescribed and over-the-counter ointments, all to no avail. My skin had turned rough and sometimes to the point of bleeding due to my constant scratching, day and night. I couldn’t believe that the answer was so simple, and thank my lucky stars I read this website as to possible “cures”. I do believe BP is sun-related as here in Hawaii we have constant sunshine, and my left arm was especially affected, being the arm most affected to the sun when driving. Here’s hoping NSAID works for you, Nora. Aloha!

  22. I have suffered from this condition for nearly 8 years. At first, it was seasonal – summer / early fall. For the last two years, the itching was year round
    with ice packs being my only relief. I do have neck and shoulder issues. Over the years, I have tried chiropractors, massage therapy, and acupuncture. By coincidence, I recently discovered that the combination of the following daily prescriptions eliminates the itching! I’m not sure why and neither is the pharmacist but the relief IS AMAZING!
    50mg bupropion (Wellbutrin)
    500mg naproxen
    5mg flexeril

  23. I’m a guy, have dealt with this for at least 10 years, and it gets worse each year. I’ve had EIGHT spinal surgeries, THREE to my cervical spine (neck) and FIVE to my lumbar spine (low back). I spent 36 years in healthcare as an X-Ray/CAT Scan Tech. It affects my left proximal-lateral forearm the worst, but this last 2 years has bothered the right side as well. I used to use local anesthetic rubbed into the skin while I was still working. It sounds a little odd, but what seems to help the most is Listerine Mouthwash applied topically. It usually strikes about the begining of August, and does’nt go away until the end of October or so. It is triggered by the sun, 100% in my case, and mostly when my skin gets dark/tanned. I have yet to see anyone about any treatment, but this last year has been the worst, and I’ve scratched my arms raw in spots.

  24. OMG…. I can’t believe I finally have an answer to my situation. I have been driving myself AND my husband crazy for the past 8 years with all the itching and bleeding and now scarring of my arms. I am a 52 y.o nurse that on more than one occasion thought I had Scabies. Today @ work after complaining of not sleeping last night and revealing my broken skin from scratching all night, our Anesthesiologist recommended I see a Dermatologist. After describing the “itch” as UNDER the skin and not topical he took it upon himself to research and found “BRP”. I too believe it is sun related and worse in the summer. I was golfing with 50 SPF sunscreen for a couple of days only to scratch my way to depression and BandAids!!! Scratching only intensifies the itch and it is most always at night. Digging, rubbing , slapping, rolling and pinching the skin only gave relief for a few minutes. Ice helps the best. The cervical issue was another AH-HA! Many blogged a cervical injury…I too have neck problems and hence thought of the nerve correlation. Benadryl has been getting me through the nights and intense moisturizing after showering. Sarna anti-itch lotion gave me a little relief but not for long. Ibuprofen nightly seems to help when these flare-ups occur. Again, the itching usually comes after being in the sun and I tend to agree sun damage has alot to do with this condition. Finding this blog has given me peace of mind and saved me a lot of $. Finding a cure for this would be awesome :)

    • The amount of mental relief I feel in just reading these post indescribable. I have been going insane with the itching tingling burning electric pulses going through my arms for the past 2 years. I have been in & out of various doctors offices tried endless meds & creams with no relief. I haven’t slept more than 4 hours in a row in over a year, tried ambien to knock me out only to be jolted awake with the insane itch. My dermatologist 1st went with shingles then dry skin then passed me off to my family doctor who then passed me off to a neurologist who said that he “thought” it might be caused by chairfi malformation then sent me to a surgeon that wanted to perform brain surgery but wasn’t sure that definitely cure me or not~ What!!! Until I found this site I felt helpless and alone, no one really “got it”

      • Dana, is the problem now gone? My cure was naproxen sodium…not capsaicin, topical lotions, ice packs, etc. It couldn’t believe that after over a year of constant itching, scratching and bleeding, the Alleve stopped it cold and the itch hasn’t returned.

      • I feel your pain! I started with my gp then dermatologist/allergist/back to gp. I have an appt next week with a neurologist…I have a feeling he won’t know what to do…but I do want to tell you that the last gp visit…my doctor put me on Lyrica….it’s my miracle drug!!! I take it right before bed…and one night I forgot to take it and in the middle of the night…I woke up with that horrible itch….you know that one….I got up and took my Lyrica pill…and I swear to you…within 10 min the itching stopped! I am also on Hydrocortisone cream 2.5% and that works! I tried the over the counter hydrocortisone cream and it did nothing! I tried all of the creams…all of the pills….nothing….only the Lyrica and the hydrocortisone cream 2.5%. Another thing that worked for me is was organic coconut oil….you can get it at Walmart and even in the grocery store in the baking aisle. Don’t go to a health food store…their’s is much too expensive….i think mine was like $10.00. I rub it where it itches and it actually stops it from itching…. Good luck….I just wanted to pass my experience and what works for me onto someone and hopefully it will work for you too….I have been through a brain aneurysm, and thyroid cancer…and NOTHING…. has bothered me as much as this!!!!!!! I got a really bad sunburn the weekend of July 4th this past July…and I thought it was sun poisioning…but it lasted…and lasted…and just wouldn’t stop itching…only in one spot….my right upper arm….so I knew it wasn’t sunpoisining because I had gotten burned on both arms…I’m so glad that I finally have a name for it…. good luck! if you want to keep in touch…please feel free to do so…. linda12012003@yahoo.com
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