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 (Alleveยฎ)
  • 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.

259 thoughts on “Brachioradial Pruritis: Scratching Makes the Itching Worse”

  1. Something I have never heard of…sounds like a bad one to me.

  2. I just came across this term in an article in the New Yorker on itching. I believe I have this condition – a spot on my right forearm that itches, with no apparent dermatological genesis. When I asked my dermatologist about it, she examined it under magnification, and asked if I had problems with my neck – which I do (degenerative disc disease). I am a 53 year old male. The problem has been going on for a few years. It is not severe, more of an annoyance than anything, and no treatment has been attempted. I will have to watch to see if sun exposure is a factor. One odd thing is that the affected area (approx 2cm x 4cm) has more dense hair growth than the rest of my forearm.

  3. I have had BRP for 14 years. At first it was only alittle itching on my forearm. Now it’s a 24/7 thing, and very bad. The only thing that works is ice. It almost makes me home bound.I do things around the house with ice packs tied to my arms. I can not work. So I have no health insurance to go to the doctor. Anyway I have been to many with no help at all. I would cut my arm off but I know it would be back on the other arm Ha Ha .It is worse at night. I sleep with Ice packs in my pillow case, and always one in arms reach. I put no cover on the icepack. The burn of it feels great.But when they warm up I wake up itching. I have little blood spots all over the sheets.My life sucks because of it. Darlene

  4. AAAAAHHHHHH GGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRR the itching sucks I would love to cut my arm off… or just dig the area out with a knife…. I get to the point that ice isn’t working as good as it use to …. can’t sleep… would love to sleep…. going to the store again tomorrow and going to try to find som capsaicin and see if that works.. it is rediculous that no doctor has found a cure for it… I know it has been around a while… my mother said she use to have it and still does but not as bad so 30 yrs ago people had it…

  5. Christina says:

    I just went to a dermatoligist today about the same problem and was told that I probably Brachioradial Pruritis. I’m a little nervous about the probably part, beacuse this is really awful. I have had this problem for about a year now and it is so frustrating and it is getting worse. My upper arms on the outside and also around my right shoulder blade is affected by the itching. My skin feels like there are tiny needles sticking me, or that I am being stung over and over. When I scratch, the itching and sting is worse! My skin does feel rough in areas and rash like, but I was told that this is probaly from the scratching. I left with a prescription for lubriderm 240 litex 60 methal 48 and also zyrtec at night. Could this be serious? I know that it is seriously irratating!:(

  6. OK – I’ve read all the articles I can find on this annoying itching on my arms so I tried the Capsazin and now my arm burns so bad that I think that’s worse than the itch. Maybe because I was up half the night itching it last night and the skin is irritated. I take anti-anxiety meds and anti-depressants as my husband is terminally ill and I’m his caregiver. I don’t know of a way to reduce the stress in my life due to the situation I’m in. His disease is one that will go on for many years and I don’t think I can take this itching another day. I’ve been to two dermatologists who didn’t know what it could be. Everything they gave me for itching didn’t work because it’s under the skin not on top. Plus I’ve been to an allergist and nothing they gave me helped either. Has anyone had the burning issue with Capsazin?

  7. I have this condition for 14 years, with no real relief. I can’t believe how many others are suffering with this. My sister has it, and my mom had it. I went to one dermatologist years ago who insisted it was dry skin, and just didn’t listen to me. Yes- I have taken a steak knife to my arms at times. Ice packs only provide a temporary fix. It is hard to make people understand exactly what I’m feeling and how really awful it is. Any other suggestions out there?

  8. Kathryn Channell says:

    I think I have this condition and so does my brother. From what I’ve already read, it appears this is possibly hereditary as well. The itching I have is definitely intensified by scratching. The relief only lasts a few seconds. It almost feels like the hair follicles are stinging or that individual hairs on my arms are being pulled. I too,have no visible rash and I itch from the back of my hand to three quarters up my arm. I only have a few marks from where I have broken the skin from scratching. I have discovered something that gives me relief. Aloe Gel with Lidocaine (found near tanning products) and Solar Caine Spray. I think anything with a cooling effect and Lidocaine might work Good Luck!

  9. Debra Tower says:

    I too have that terrible itch.I am 54 years old & from New Jersey. It started about 6 years ago. It usually starts in the summer, this year it was earlier because I find that when I went out into the sun, I did have sun screen on but I am very fair and sometimes get burned using the best sunscreen. Once I get the first sunburn I notice the itching starts. It does feel like pins under the skin & everything else that everyone has described.I thought that I was the only one going through this problem, it’s nice to know that there are others out there & I am not crazy. I went to my regular doctor & he prescribed Fluticasone Propionate Cream. I was only allowed to put it on twice a day, once in the morning & then at night before bed. For me it worked & eventually it went away until the next year. Ask your Doctor to prescribe it & try it, it’s worth a try for relief. Good Luck!!!

  10. i have this same symptom mine started about 4 years ago after a neck surgery i also been to dermatologist the last one here in florida sent me to a doctor who specializes in allergies he also came up with i have brachioradial pruritis i itch so bad i bleed in direct sunlight or room temperature above 70 degrees is worse i have to keep my house around 64 degrees to sleep iwas told to use capsazin its a pepper type cream it just heated things up worse like i had a bad sunburn made it 3 times worse only thing i found that gives me relief is before work every morning i put on a heavy coat of eucerin calming creme and before bed with a/c on 64 degrees.

  11. I too have this problem and thought it was aggravated by Splenda or fake sugar like in pop…I “had” started to eat more of the Splenda and was using diet pop so this is the only thing that seemed to be new to my diet……some times i get a sore muscle when this happens not sure if it’s the stress of the hitching that gets the muscel sore…any body else have that kind of reaction????

  12. ??? have any of you folk that have this or people reading this had Bell’s Palsy whidch I had for 18 months or suffer a tram of some kind…these are some things I also have had happen and wondered if any one else has that migh triggered the itch .?????…..

  13. I am a 51 year old man in California and I was diagnosed with BRP recently after having symptoms for over a year. I have some cervical spine degeneration and have noticed that when I have the itching my neck hurts worse. However I have also noticed a correlation with sun exposure. I have tried all kinds of creams but have had good results calming the itching with Lanacaine, which is available over the counter.

  14. has anyone tried acupuncture for brachiradial pruritis? i live in north county (san diego)…referrals would be greatly appreciated.

  15. Heather Bullock says:

    I too have the same symptoms. I am 52 and it started about 4 years ago. I thought it was something to do with the menopause but I’m now sure it’s BRP. I have lived in southern Spain for 6 years and I’m sure it’s sun exposure that is to blame. Mine gets terribly bad at night and my skin feels as though it’s raw with needles trying to get out and creepy crawlies all over. My left arm is far worse than my right. It drives me crazy! Fenistil antihistamine gel helps a little. Cannot wait for the winter when it seems to get a lot better.

  16. Debra Tower says:

    I had a very bad night last night, I was up 3 hours scratching & going out of my mind. I was besides myself. People that have never experienced BRP can never imagine what we are going through.I called the dr. who gave me a prescription for Cetrizine known as Zyrtec & also gave me a cream Desoximetasone whick I noticed you can buy on-line, just google it & it can be purchased.It is about 49.00. It is worth every penny if it works. I will let everyone know if it helps. It always amazes me that the itching is uncontrollable at night time. I am fine during the day but when night comes it is all over. Again, I know that my first sunburn triggered it so that is where I got it from year to year. No one else in my family has it either. I will write again tommorrow night to let you all know if it helped.

  17. Debra Tower says:

    After taking the medication that I posted in my previous letter yesterday, I finally had a good night sleep. Zyrtec can be bought over the counter for the itching, I am glad I tried it. It did give me the relief that I was looking for. I took it about an hour before I went to sleep & had a restful sleep, Thank God!!

  18. gare simpson says:

    I had no idea what was happening with this insane itch, just and only in the crook of my left elbow -this was almost 20 years ago! One of my clients [I am a psychotherapist and was doing group therapy at the time] offered me an ointment “Triancinolone” and brought me some [yes I know it’s illegal!] which seemed to really help. However, it got worse over the years. But here’s the scene: I lived in the CA Central Valley [very sunny !]and still do. However, I have had significant trauma to my head, neck, and spine – I feel no pain now, but I am 68 years old, and still active in the gym, etc. I have been in near fatal car wrecks [early in my life] and I must admit fights [where anything can happen to your body] as well as just passing out and hitting the floor, sometimes with my head hitting first [though oddly enough, I never suffered any more that one drop of blood or one ‘lump’from any of these several experiences]. So I conclude that trauma to my own c5 – c8 vertabrae could be the cause, PLUS the extreme UV here in the Central Valley, Tulare/Fresno/Kings/Madera/Kern counties of CA. I can say this, that ICE HELPS: I got onto that by three rotator cuff surgeries, caused by trauma incurred by me. I have taken the gabotpentin and the Lyrica which help some. Heroin or morphine would probably help more; also alcohol. Self hypnosis helps some, but then I also have ‘restless leg syndrome’ and have Rx for that. I am a licensed LCSW, by the way, and I had only suffered from this diabolical itch; having no dx or possible etiologies for it. Thanks so much for litening/reading! -gare

  19. I started having the uncontrollable itching several months ago on the top of my arms around from the elbows. it seems to switch around from arm to arm, so far it has not been on both arms at the same started during the end of the day the first time i noticed it. at first i thought it was from some auto body work, i have been resoring an old car, but then it seemed to be related to nerves,personal worries, (KIDS,THINGS AT WORK etc… i have had some problems with my neck for several years,feels like a muscle strain radiating down my right shoulder. back to the iching, it is very bad at night i wake up digging with my nails, hard enough that it should be bleeding. i’ve tried alcohol, very hot water, i found a lighter one night and heated it up stuck it to my arm, but it didnt help. i just found that ice helps a few nights ago. im am a 39 year old man.

  20. Hello fellow BRP sufferers ! I want to pass along to all of you what has been my saving grace when it comes to this intense itching of the forearms. Until I payed a visit to my dermatologist I thought I had come in contact with an allergen of some kind. Then it got to the point that only ice packs would relieve the itch. He prescribed “ZONALON” 5% …. this cream does the job for me! I apply in morn and eve, and can re-apply during the day if the itch bothers me . Most days it is just 2x per day. It also comes in an oral pill form. Pricey but worth every penny for the relief !! Check it out….

  21. i’ve read carolyns blog from sept. 17th, i have been using splenda and drinking diet drinks for several years and never had any problem with this until several months ago.i also have been exposed to the sun (uv rays) all of my life.i spent a lot of time this summer in the sun at the river, and i ride a motor cycle with my arms exposed as well.

  22. Well I have found it somewhat comforting to see that I am not the only one with this itch but I am not happy about the lack of treatment available.
    I have woken up in the middle of the night scratching to the point of bleeding. I have also laid in bed thinking of which would be worse, the itch or taking a knife and slicing the skin off my arms. I’m going to talk to my doctor about the Zonalon cream. But since the itch is only at night, I really believe that it is nerve related.

  23. Thank heavens for this website. I thought I was losing my mind for the past 10 years. I had neck surgery but to no avail. I am glad to hear of the cream Zonalon 5%. I’ll give anything a try. Maybe someday something else can be done medically.

  24. I am 41 and have had the same horrible feeling on my arms. I have gone to so many doctors and never have been told I have BRP. I just found this site and just diagnoised myself. Yes Ice does work sometimes, I also have tried all creams and the only ones I think that works is the medicated like Gold Bond. It makes your arm feel cold, I also have been presc. Zonalone Cream (expensive) does work. I was going to try an oral med for fungal infection, since it does get worse from sun exposure. I also have had back surgery and this did start a year after and now I have problems with my neck. I have gone to doctors and even friends down understand what it feels like. I have now sat here typing and got the itching under control because my hands where to busy typing, I wasn’t scratching. Well gonna go get somethings done before it starts again. Hope everyone finds some kind of relief.

  25. In the past 4 yrs I have had 4 outbreaks – absolutely random – just crazy. Went to a doctor and they thought I had shingles. Went to a dermatologist and she thought it was BRP. I googled it and here I am – what a relief to hear others have exactly what I have been dealing with. My symptoms start as a hornet stinging sensation that radiates out to a burn triggering a crazy desire to scratch/dig it out. As I said to my doctors I wish I could have dug out my forearms. I have had 3 outbreaks on my right forearm and one on my left. I have found that by using ice to the point where I get my arm numb really helps. My last outbreak was the worst about 2 weeks ago – went on from 11:30 pm – 3:00 am – back and forth every 5 minutes sting, burn, scratch, ice and so on. Some words of wisdom for you out there. Unfortunately, I sratched it so hard I developed a staff infection – the sore is about 3 cm x 5 cm. The doctor said our fingernails aren’t the cleanest and if you scratch that hard to break open some of the skin it can lead to infection – just great. So be careful on the scratching! Thank you all for your advice on treatments – helps alot!!!

  26. I wrote to this site last month. Today the itch was so bad on my left arm I applied ice until my arm was so numb I could barely use my left hand. When I stopped icing it, guess what? The itch was still there. Afew weeks ago, I actually scratched my arm up with a straight pin until I bled, then rubbed jalapeno into it. It burned a little, but the itch was relieved. I had scoliosis surgery in my 20’s, I am now 46 and have neck/shoulder pain and tightness alot of the times. There must be a correlation, especially after reading all your letters. My sister who also suffers, recently found out she has a cervical rib, which I think is an extra little bone at the top of her ribcage. Mine does not seem to be seasonal, just pops up whenever. I grew up on LI, but moved to NC last year. Didn’t make any difference. I will try some of the things I have read in all your letters. I wonder if this is how a dog with hot spots feels…

  27. I have been suffering with this itching on and off for the past 3 years ( also seems to let up in the winter)- but this year is by far the worst it has ever been. The strongest Rx topical steroidal ointments prescribed by my family doctor did nothing, nor did Rx oral medications. So far, the only thing that I have found that gives temporary relief is maximum strength Lanocaine ( and ice, of course). Today i finally saw a dermatologist and after listening to me for less than 3 minutes, and a quick look at my arms ( mine is on the upper arm and shoulder areas- first just the left arm, now both are involved), she immediately told me she wanted me to get a cervical spine Xray. I am awaiting the results, but I know from reading all of the previous posts, that this is what i have. Sun exposure is also a factor for me I think, because we just put an inground pool in the summer of 2007- so I have spent much more time in the sun the last two summers.

    I have spent countless nights unable to sleep at all- I have tried Ambien to help me get to sleep, but the itching breaks thru and I wake up an hour or so later .

    My dermatologist prescribed two different topicals that I am picking up at the drug store tomorrow ( they didnt stock these meds and had to order them). I dont recall the names, but I know they were not any of the meds mentioned here so far. I will post what they are, and if they work, as soon as I know).

    At least it is somewhat comforting to know that I am NOT crazy and that there are people who understand how unbearable this itching/stinging/burning can be.

  28. Oh thank goodness there are others out there…I am 35 year old and have been suffering with this unbearable burning itch of my arms shoulders and shoulder blades for more than a husband thinks i amnuts but iam scratching myself raw and have little blood specs all over, it is so miserable..I was told by my dermatologist I may have BRP but she offered no remedies..I have nothing that works yet, so I am going to try your suggestions of ICE and Zonalone cream..I pray this goes away I can’t stand it..thank you.

  29. The Rx cream my dermatologist prescribed is Doxepin Hydrochloride 5%, brand name “Prudoxin”. The agent in this cream is actually an antidepressent, and the package insert clearly states that it is unknown how this cream is effective in stopping the itching. After reading that tidbit, and then the possible side effects, I was inclined to not even try it. However, I did apply it last night before bed, (and I was having a flare up of the itching at the time).. I had the best nights sleep I have had in months!

    The downside of this medication is that you can only use it for 8 days, since the body absorbs this stuff and apparently the side effects can be bad.

    I have not yet filled the other Rx, since the doc wanted me to try this cream first. Still awaitig the results of the cervical spine xrays, but I had mild neck trauma 4 years ago ( horse-related incident) and a CAT scan at that time revealed arthritis in my neck. I am a 55-yo female, very athletic and very active. I swim laps in the summer as part of my fitness routine and train horses ( get knocked around a bit by frisky young thoroughbreds!).

    Has anyone else heard of or used this medication??

  30. I have lesions which linger for a long time, perhaps from the itching. They seem to itch at a very precise point which is hard to get at exactly-this leads to excoriation of the general region. If, and this often happens, a scab is lifted off a lesion (scabbed places are about the size of a bb typically)from scratching, you can see one or more tiny ulcerated spots which begin to bleed quickly, then continue to bleed profusely for their size for too long a time. I think this condition is either brachioradial pruritis or psioratic arthritis. Either way there is no cure-Sarna lotion helps mine sometimes, ice also-I’ve never tried capsasin. Another thing that works, though it leaves an injury, is to light a Bic lighter and heat the metal part with the flame for about 15 seconds then touch it to the point where the itch is coming from. This works. Mostly, it seems to me, panic or excessive scratching is to avoided at all cost. Good luck.

  31. Janice, what did your x-rays show?

  32. Phil, thank you for your input. At times my arms are so bad, I thought of putting my forearms on the hot parts of the glass cooktop I have. And yes, the itch comes in such tiny spots, the Bic lighter sounds like a good idea to me. I hope a Dr. can figure this out before we all rip our arms off…

  33. Laurel,

    My exrays revealed two “squished” discs ( words used by dermatologist!) in my neck. Her comment:” well, at least this is good news- now you know the cause of your itching” She has referred me yo a neurologist, and I have to have an MRi done before he will even see me.

    The Prudoxin has been very effective in stopping flare ups- I have not had to use ice packs at night since I have been using this cream. I use the miminal amount I can to cover the effected area, and have barely put a dent in the tube- and this tube was supposed to last for only 8 days. The dermatologist said I could keep using it beyond 8 days if I was only using a small amount. I also take 3 or 4 Ibuprofen before bed ,and I do think this also helps, as it is an anti-inflammatory. But none of these measures are a cure, and I will get the MRI and meet with the neurosurgeon to see what he proposes.

  34. I am a 49 year old male and have had this same exact condition for about 4 years. It is seasonal, mostly in the summer and early fall. It first started about 4 years ago with a tiny pinpoint of extreme itching on the side of my neck at night. That stopped and now it is just the extreme itching on the top of my upper forearms and mostly at night. (the neck itching was way worse!)
    When I have my arms in direct sunlight for just a second it starts to itch. I have not tried anything except whatever body lotion is in our medicine cabinet. I am on my way to the store to try Lanocaine as a few of you have said it works and I can purchase it over the counter. i will let you know.

  35. Janice, that’s interesting. Keep us informed of your procedures. Has anyone tried accupuncture? I’m thinking of trying this…

  36. Debra Tower says:

    It seems that with the cooler air that my BRP
    has subsided a bit though I am sure it will be back next year. I was so tired of the itching. I did take the Zyrtec and used the cream which helped a lot when needed. I hope that everyone else has gotten some relief. Talk to you all soon,

  37. I’ve also had this dreadful itch for about a year now, absolutely classic of the symptoms you have all mentioned. I tried a dead sea salt scrub, but this only made it worse. Keeping the arm moist seems to help, when the creams are absorbed the itching seems to start again. I’m using Burts Bees Vitamin E Body and Bath Oil and it seems to help a little, as long as I resist scratching when the prickling starts. Good luck everyone!

  38. I’m female, 55, and I’ve had this off and on for years. It’s just torture. My Mom had it, too. I’ve read that you should not use OTC products with “caine” in the name…Lidocaine, Solarcaine, etc. beause it can make it worse.

    Like most everyone else, ice is the only thing that always helps, but it’s not exactly convenient. I have used the Capsazin cream with some success too. But a couple of things – use a very small amount, apply it with a tissue so it’s not on your fingers, and apply it after a shower. It does “burn” for a few minutes, but that should calm down and the itch should stop.

    I’ve read that middle-aged women are particularly prone to this, for some reason.

    I’m a big fan of five-element acupuncture….but it’s expensive and not covered by insurance. I might give it a try, though. There has to be some relief.

  39. The itching/stinging began 40 years ago!! I was bewildered by this strange, insane itching on my arms. When I scratched the area the stinging would start after a few seconds. I went to many internists, dermatologists over the years and NO ONE could tell me what it was!! Zonalon didn’t work, Doxepin didn’t work either. It just turned me into a zombie. The only thing that works for me is ice! Also helpful but very temporary is putting my arms under a cold water tap. (waste of water). My husband would fill an insulated bag with 3-4 large ice packs every night and leave it at arm’s reach. The itching is worse at night, but I suffer with it during the daytime, too. People often ask if I’ve been injured because they see the plastic bag filled with ice on my desk. How did I learn I had BRP? Out of sheer desperation, I went online and discovered that my condition had a name…Brachioradial Pruritis!!! I sent copies of this to my doctors as a way to extend their medical education!! No more will I hear a dermatologist tell me to use Dove soap for dry skin!!

    In April,I was diagnosed with a weakened immune system. I saw an acupuncturist three times a week for two months but had to stop because of the expense. It does work!! I still have good/bad days but I’ve found that the symptoms are less intense and farther apart. I was also taking herbs, yellow cleanse and chrysanthemum, three times/day. I don’t think BRP is cyclical though I’ve found that sun exposure intensifies the itching. I live in SoCalifornia. Wearing long sleeves helped a little.

    I am 65 years old. Nearly 40 years of this HORRIBLE problem and,like many of you, I’ve wanted to have my arms lopped off or take sandpaper to scrape it away. I remember the days when I would come home from work, tear my clothes off and sob, scream out loud while I tore at my arms…seconds later, knowing the stinging would come… and it did with a vengeance.

    You are not alone. Rather, I feel so much better just knowing “I” am not alone. Thank you all.

  40. I forgot to mention that I have had spine surgery for spinal stenosis (2005) and cervical spine surgery (2007) – – I do believe our conditions stem from nerve damage.

  41. WOW! I just happened across this site as a result of my extreme itch fit from last night. Basically scratched my arm raw with the pin-point pricking going on. I had no idea there were so many of us. I’m a 37 year old male.

    I too have been having this extreme itch in my forearms for about 5 years now. Occasionally, I will get similar symptoms on the sides of my neck but not as bad as on the arms. For me, it does seem seasonal (fall) but unlike some others, I have never had neck trauma, and I’m seemingly unaffected by the sunlight issue. I get the itch in the forearms anywhere from my wrist to my elbow and almost always at night. Last night’s episode was just above the wrist on my right arm.

    I’ve never been to a Dr about the problem (I find most overrated anyways), but I do use Hydro-Cortisone 0.5% creme (OTC by a pharmacist years ago) and it has some positive effect, although takes a while to kick in.

    I think I’ll be checking into the Lanocaine suggestions and/or the Capsasin. I’ll post any findings, and until then, let’s all try to keep our arms in tact. Thanks also for the knowledge that I’m not alone in this.

  42. I am a 37 year old male. Twice now I have had this crazy stinging, burning ich on my right fore arm. The more I scratch the more horrible it becomes. There is no visible signs of a rash, although occasionally I can find small “goose bumps” if I am scratching at it for a while. Its usually the worst at night.

    I have found that polyester shirts exaserbate the itch if I get hot in them, (like my workout shirts) but I dont think that polyester is the cause. I also found that cheap laundry detergents make the area feel like it is intensly burning, so I have switched to no perfume and delicate detergents… Which does seem to help. Also, talking shorter, cooler showers seems to help, but all of these things just seem to help make the itch appear less often and less sever. They dont make it stop.

    WHAT SEEMS TO WORK BEST is if I load up on Vitamin B. I now take a B12 and a B6 everday, and the effect is almost immediate. Its amazing. I can go for hours and dont feel an itch. But it seems that once the B is run out through my system, the itch starts to return.

    The itch has appeared to me twice, the first time it disappeared just as sudden as it appeared. And I couldnt tell you why. When it returned this time, it was a tense time, SO perhaps stress does have a lot to do with it???

    Good luck all, try the 500mgs of B12. You can get them at target for six bucks a 100.


  43. Merry Christmas to me!!! I am been scaring up my arms for two years now from the pin needles pain and excessive scratching. I am 35 years old and 2 years ago, I had cervical stenosis surgery and had c4, c5, and c6 fused together with metal stuff. I havent had any pain since the surgery but this uncontrollable scratching on my forearms. I am so happy and am totally convinced that it is some type of nerve damage. I always felt that it was internal. I am going to see my spinal surgeon.

  44. well I had my mri last MOnday and the report says that I have a problem between C-5 and C-6 and C-6 and C-7. I see the neurosurgeon on Jan 6. If I have a surgery , how do I know the itching will be corrected, since Shawna had a surgery that actually caused her BRP????

    Shawna, was the pain before the surgery worse than the itching you have now??

    Here is the conclusion of the reading of the MRI:

    1. A small central C6-7 osteophyte and disc protrusion complex is seen with mild central canal stenosis.

    2. Mild tto moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing is present at C5-6 from osteophytic overgrowth. No cord compression is seen.

    can anyone translate that into terms I can comprehend please!!

  45. Shawna McGrath says:


    I had severe pain in my neck and it traveled down my arm into my wrist. It was the most horrible pain that I ever experienced and pain killers barely touched it. The itch is nothing compared to the pain I had before the surgery.
    But I got pregnant two months after surgery and that is when the severe itching started ( originally believed it was hormones from the pregnancy). My arms were so scared during that time it was embarrasing. I went to my one year follow up after pregnancy and the xray was fine but the xray didnt show anything the first time around. I am thinking the pressure from the pregnancy and not giving my neck time to heal before gaining 35 pounds with the baby, may have caused something with the nerves in my neck. This is why I am having the issue after the surgery. I have an appt with my ortho on 19th. I will keep you posted.

  46. Hello everyone, the last time I was on this site was in October. My pain has not subsided at all. I have had L4 L5 surgery, screw and rods also fusion. I also have a herniated disk in c4 C5. I do believe all of this pain is from the spine. I didn’t have this pain before surgery. I do go to the gym everyday. I think I’m going to try that equipment that you can hang upside down. Maybe if I stretch the spine before bed it might work. Who knows we all got to try anything to find out something that will help us. I know the doctors I have gone to think I’m nuts. Like I said before, I dx myself. I hope one day someone can help us. I am sitting back on the sofa right now with my left are propped with an ice pack on it. I can’t!!!!
    Talk with all soon. Have a SAFE Holiday Season.

  47. I know how all of you feel. It is nearly January and this should have subsided already. It gets much worse from August to December. Has anyone read any research on how stress affects BRP? I have been under a lot of stress. Has anyone tried acupuncter for a treatment? I am looking at alternative therapies because I am at my wits end. I too feel like cutting off my arms sometimes.

  48. Susan,

    I agree with you that “it” gets worse from August thru December. Although I have not had resort to using ice bags for the past few several weeks to quell the itching, I seem to have more sores all over my arms and shoulders than ever right now. Currently,my BRP seems to flare up in th early evenings now- and as soon as it starts I run for the Lanacaine and take 2 Naproxin Sodium tabs (Aleve).. I also take a Rx sleeping pill on nights where I think it may not recede before bedtime.
    I am sleeping ok- still wake up at least once a night with the itching, but I keep the lanacaine nearby and I am able to get back to sleep. I do keep the room cold- sleep with a window cracked a few inches so that the sheets remain very cool to the touch. Crazy,huh?

    I am hoping for some help when I see the Neurosurgeon on Jan 6.

  49. Donna (Meraux,Louisiana) says:

    I have this same problem and it start when I turn 39 are 40 and now I’m 45 and its only getting worse. My Dad has it and I have two brother’s with this I am always up itching because it worse at nite….Doctors out there we need help….

  50. i have had this condition for six years. it started when i moved to a warmer climate. the itching seems to coincide with the tan on my arms fading, normally anytime from sept-dec. this year it hasnt been too bad, but i have kept more covered and the summer wasnt as hot. ice packs are the only solution for me. i avoid stratching, if i dont stratch the itchy zones dont last as long.

  51. I have had this problem for over 12 years, first starting after my late husband’s cancer diagnosis. The itching does seem to exacerbate during periods of stress. I also have some moderate cervical spine disease and a history of prolonged sun exposure, so who knows? So far, only ice and topical menthol products (IcyHot etc.) are the only things that help me. I’ve tried Gabapentin, topical and systemic steroids, antihistamines, all with absolutely no effect. I can sympathize with all the writers who say physicians treat patients with these symptoms like absolute nut cases, because I’ve definitely had that experience too! Good luck to all, and here’s to less itching!

  52. Saw a neurosurgeon today who has never heard of BRP. Waste of time, except he did tell me that the slightly compressed disc seen on the MRI does not warrant surgery at this time. He is referring me to a neurologist ( should have gone to one of those before the surgeon), and meanwhile has prescribed Neurontin ( well, the prescription is for Lyrica not exactly the same drug), but both are anti-convulsive drugs used to treat epilepsy and now being used to treat Fibromyalgia and shingles pain. Side effects are kinda scary- want to iscuss with my primary care dr before I try it.

    But he looked very skeptical when I tried to tell him about the symptoms we all are suffering from. He still thought it is probably a dermatological issue, so I suggested that he research it on the internet as I did!

    If I decide to try the Rx, I’ll let y’all know if it helps.

  53. I’ve had this itch on my left forearm for about a month with no visible cause. At first I thought it was a really mild case of poison oak, but since no rash appeared and the itching hasn’t subsided, I decided to see what I could find on the ‘net. I’m 54 have degeneration in my cervical spine and Brachioradial pruritis fits all of my symptoms. Bummer.
    The good news is that I have found that calamine lotion helps me a LOT. If I do have the same thing as the rest of you, maybe it would help you as well?
    Good Luck!

  54. Hi All
    I notice that most of you are from the the States, thought you might like to hear from someone in the UK. I live in England where the the climate is relatively cool, my itching gets worse after the summer round about september and usually goes on until march, which is our spring.
    The sun actually seems to make mine better.
    It is always bad in the evening and always very bad through the night, i hardly sleep at all. I use ice packs and aqueous cream with menthol, but this is just a short term solution and sometimes only lasts for twenty minutes or up to an hour.
    I have been to see many dermatoligists over the last 4 years, and was only told about BRP in october of this year, but have yet been told any more about it.
    Reading your stories gives me some comfort, like some of you , I did feel that I was going mad and that it was all in my imagination.
    I had a minor car accident nearly 20 years and had a cracked rib and wip lash to my neck, I now beleive this may be linked and will now try to follow this route into finding a conclusion.
    I do have a stiff neck alot and have had headaches every day for the last 20 years.
    Do any of you have these symptoms.
    Would be glad to hear from any of you fellow sufferers.
    Cheers for the support

  55. This makes so much since now. I had a herniated disc between the c7 and c8 about four years about. I was perscribe a steriod and phyical therapy and have continued doing the exercises off and on since then when i feel the pain return. Last weekend my neck was bothering me more than usual. I did my therapy for a couple days til the paid subsided. Wednesday, the itching started and has waxed and waned in intensity since then. Tonight it’s really driving me up the wall. I moved furniture today and that probably has had something to do with it. Thanks for the info.

  56. This makes so much since now. I had a herniated disc between the c7 and c8 about four years ago I was prescribed a steriod and physical therapy and have continued doing the exercises off and on since then when I feel the pain return. Last weekend my neck was bothering me more than usual. I did my therapy for a couple days til the pain subsided. Wednesday, the itching started and has waxed and waned in intensity since then. Tonight it’s really driving me up the wall. I moved furniture today and that probably has had something to do with it. Thanks for the info.

  57. @sandra bothwell
    My itching started in the fall and has only gotten worst. Your right about the ice packs they do help. I have a lot of issues due to my spine I was born with klippel feil syndrome (kfs) which is the congenital fusion of 2 or more vertebraes. I jsut found out about it. It has caused all type of cervical issues for me stenosis,spondylosis you know all the good stuff. The itching the doctors could not explain but my primary did say that he thought it was all related. I thought i was just loosing it. Now I can go back a little more informed and ready to take the next steps.

  58. Well i am back. I posted a couple of weeks ago and I have been experimenting with a couple of things over the past few weeks that seem to confirm my suspicions that this is my problem. When the itching starts I’ll do to of the PT exercises and stretches and the itching will decrease significantly and even go away for a few hours. I work at the computer during most of the day. I have a horrible posture and so when I feel the prickly itching coming on I quit what I am doing and flex a little bit and it really seems to help alot.

  59. I was on this site last summer because of the itching in my arms…then fall and winter came, and no more itching. Well,i went to the beach for the first time this spring(i live in florida )got a little burned, and you guessed it! it’s back. here i am at 3 in the morning cause it wakes me up right out of a dead sleep.At least i know what it is is the only thing that helps me.It’s amazing so many people have this and there is nothing for it.

  60. Mary Taylor says:

    Hello all,
    I have been experiencing itching for the last few months now. Not only is it on my arms and shoulders, it’s also in my ears, on my back and check and my legs and thighs. I itch all over and scratching only makes it worse. Sometimes the itching last all day. I started losing cartilage in my knees a few months ago and the doctor put me on an anti-inflammatory. I wondering if that has something to do with the itching. If someone finds out the answer, please let me know.

  61. I have been putting up with this itching for a few years now. when i went to the doctor about it he told me it was eczema, i told him there is no rash when the itching starts, he pretty much blew me off, he prescribed Zyrtec and hydrocortisone cream. the cream doesn’t usually work alone, the Zyrtec helps but i think its just because it knocks me out. Like the rest of you ice is the only thing that really helps. I fell so much better after reading this! I started to feel like I was crazy!I did have a minor cervical injury when i was a kid, a few years ago I fractured T6, does anyone know if a thoracic injury can cause this as well?

  62. Summer is here & I find that the itching starts when I get a bad sunburn. This year I try to wear long sleeves because I do not want that terrible itching to come back. It is like a curse. I was on the website last year & my doctor prescribed Zyrtec & a cream called Desoximetasone. That is the only thing that has saved me. I put it on in the morning & then at nite before bedtime. This is my relief as I have had this itching for over 7 years now & it absolutely drives me insane & has brought me to tears.

  63. Hello Everyone
    I have been on this site before, reading all of your comments and I also have posted a few times. I am in NY and I had a horrible outbreak where the skin broke in hives. I went to a relatives Doctor and didn’t say a word to him but, please tell me what this is. His words where Shingles or Postherpetic Noralgia. He took a blood test for the herpies-zoyster virus and I just got the results back and it came back positive for the virus. Last week when I first visited him he prescribed Valtrex and Lidoderm patches. The valtrex worked, I have to give the Vatrex alittle more time, I do get little outbreaks on the arm, nothing like what I had before use ice to sooth it. The Lidoderm are patches that numb the area, there okay you can wear them for 12hours so wore them at night. I will keep you updated, on my second week of Valtrex. FYI – only have this pain(itchy, burning feels like its inside the arm) on one side. I have had this for 8 years, have gone to doctors and they looked at me like I had 10 heads. I have used Zonolon, ice, also wanted to chop my arm off. I have had lower back surgery and fusion.

  64. Linda Kibsey says:

    I have been a sufferer from Brachioradial Pruritis for years now. The ice pack was the only thing that worked for me, but we bought a new camper with no freezer, so I wont have my dependable ice packs. So after being on the computer for hours, I tried my husband’s Rub A535 extra strength cream. I think it is used for muscle aches and pains. Anyways, last night was the first night I could sleep without the ice packs. This cream, for me, works like a charm. Hope this helps other people out there. Next doctor’s appointment, Im bringing this to her attention and why dont doctors know about it????

  65. Hello fellow itchers. This time around it’s my right arm rather than the left. Does anyone else notice that it alternates? It started in early June. I’ve posted here before. A native Long Islander suffering since 1994, now in NC for two years. What I’ve been doing lately is at the very first, subtlest sign of anything that resembles an itch is to puncture a vitamin E capsule and squeeze the oil out onto my arm and rub it in. It takes a little while, and I do have to do my best to ignore it during that time- but after that, I feel fine. This is by far the best thing I’ve ever tried, and believe me, I have scars now from scratching, burning myself etc… just to try to relieve this unrelenting itch. Would appreciate any feedback. It’s funny how we all have neck and/or back problems (me included) but yet this bitch only occurs at certain times of the year… Any answers?

  66. Hello Everyone, Finally went home and tingling in the arm is still there but not as often as it was. The tingling use to feel like a burning, itchy feeling. I went on the second week of Valtrex and on the third week the dr. put me on 7 days of MethylPrednisololone. He wants me to see a Neurologist so he can work with me on medication. I am thinking an Anti-depressant med which works with the nerve. I have been sleeping great at night, no sudden wake ups with the arm itch(pain). I can’t believe that a few years ago I had searched the web and it came up with PostHerpetic Neuralgia. But when I went to the doctors they said I was to young to have any form of Shingles. Well I just proved them wrong. It won’t hurt to have a blood test for the virus. It will not show up unless you ask for one. I always get a blood test every yr and this test is seperate. It is a nerve problem and maybe its just a coinsident that I have had Cervical surgery. It is something that I will probably never get rid of but maybe go into remission, with the right medication. Will keep you all informed.

  67. I started itching in 2006 and it seems like it goes away, or at least lets up in the colder weather. I had gone to the dermatolisitis today she said a big name for the itch. and a cream to use. The cream helps but it is not time for bed. She also told me the name of the crem made from peppers. I tried the ice packs and they do stop the itch. You guys are not giving much hope. I do feel like the rest of you It would not hurt if I could cut it off. I don’t know about any back prombles.

  68. @Laurel
    Hey, Laurel…I also am from NY (Adirondacks) and now have been in NC for 2 years! I have never tried vitamin E for my intensely itching arms which I’ve tore up from itching – so thanks for the info…I’ll try it! Yes, my itching changes from one arm to the other or sometimes both…sometimes it is mostly on the muscle of my forearm and sometimes it is all over my arms including my shoulders. I have noticed little pimple-like bumps that have come up through my skin on my shoulders – I wonder if my body is detoxing?? or why I’m suddenly getting “acne” on my shoulders?? wierd!!

  69. The last time I posted here was back in MArch 09 after having been to a dermatologist who diagnosed me with Brachioradial pruritus following a cervical spine xray. Her prescribed creams did not work for me, so she referred me to a neurologist. He had never heard of this condition, but seeing a laptop computer open on his desk, I invited him to do a search . He pulled up some of the medical papers I had read on the net, and gave me a prescription for gabapentin — the oral medication used for epileptic siezures.
    I HAVE BEEN SYMPTOM FREE FOR 5 MONTHS!! My arms are clear of scabs from the incessant scratching. I have not used any creams on my arms in 5 months (I used to go thru a whole tube of Lanacaine Max strength every couple days). Ice bags are a thing of the past. I am living a normal life.
    I am taking a 300 mg capsule 2x a day. The dr told me I could easily increase to 3x a day if needed (I was concerned that summertime, with increased sun exposure, usually was the worst time, might make it flare up ). But- I am outside everyday, same amount of sun exposure as the last 4 years- and STILL NO ITCHING>

    Everyone- please contact your doctor and ask for gabapentin. Neurontin is a similar drug, but with potentilly severe side effects- so dont let them prescibe it in place of the gabapentin. My doc said we would only try the neurontin if I had no relief with the gabapentin. ( I would not take neurontin after treading about the drug anyway.)

    I have had no side effects from this drug.

    Make the call- I got my life back to normal, and perhaps this will work for you , too. My squished disc that is causing the problem is not severe enough to warrant surgery, so who knows how long this drug will continue to provide relief- I am praying I am free of the horrible itching forever.

  70. I realized that my last post here was in January, not March – after seeing the neurological surgeon- who had never heard of this condition and laughed at me. After that, I went BACK to the dermatologist and she then referred me to the nuerologist who, even tho he had never heard of BRP, was willing to listen to my symptoms and then read the info on the net. It was this doc who , after READING that gabapentin had provided relief to some patients,, agreed to prescribe the drug for me. God Bless him.

  71. Janice,
    Where do you live? Do you think you could get this doctor to write a paper about his findings. Have it pulbish and sent to all the doctors out there so all doctors know about BRP. Tell this saint that all of us need help…. What can all of do to help to make that happen? I belive that all of us would be willing to do anything we could help. Maybe he would let you put his name out here and we could have our doctors get in touch with him. Any thing is worth a try. Tell him he would be a life saver to all of us.

  72. Well, I live near Rehoboth Beach, DE (So, I get ALOT of sun in the summer), but the docotr is in Wilmington, DE. He is Dr.W, Sommers, DO

    I think if you just contact your doctor and talk to him, and ask that he try this medication for you, he should agree. But do it now before the govt takes over health care- if a drug isnt manufactured specifically for a certain malady, Obummer might not let you get it!

  73. @sandra bothwell
    I am sitting on my computer at 1am because I cannot sleep, my itching is driving me nuts, it is on my neck and chest. I also have had a low grade headache for many months and sometimes have a stiff neck. As yet, I have not seen anyone, just applying hydrocortisone to skin. Will go to dr as I am going mad

  74. @marianne
    Hi. Here it is early Aug. and I haven’t itched in a few weeks. Knock wood. Probably just jinxed myself. Hope not, as my mosquito bites are providing me with all the itching I can handle! Did the vitamin E oil help you at all?

  75. I am so relieved to read about all of your experiences because now I am not alone. My problem started about seven years ago when I moved to a home that is surrounded by woods, and I thought that is what was causing the itching and stinging. Mine starts when the ground thaws (late March/early April) and continues till it freezes (late November/early December). It is always at night, but once in a while during the day.

    My internist sent me to a dermatologist who sent me to an allergist. He did a full battery of tests which showed I didn’t have any allergies that he was able to test for and prescribed Allegra and a prescription topical. I think the itching and stinging have lessened with the meds, but not to the point where I can sleep at night. I usually have it on my upper right arm, but sometimes, to a much lesser degree, on my upper left arm. Like all of you, the only thing that helps is ice packs. What’s interesting is that I have little white marks on the upper fleshy portion of my arm, and when I have stinging I can see that whichever white mark is stinging will become slightly indented. I also get weird growths on my arm that come out with the itching at night and during the day when the itching goes away my arms are smooth.

    As far as my history, I had two discs in my lower back fused about thirty years ago. Since that time I have been in the ER numerous times because of muscle spasms with other discs. I have had mild shingles twice, both times in my abdomen area. I live in NJ and spent the first thirty years of my life lying in the sun from June to September, and never used sun screen. For the past thirty years I have gone to the beach every weekend but use #30 (I do not itch or have stinging while in the sun).

    Iโ€™m going to take the information I found on the web about Brachioradial Pruritus and the different treatments that have worked for all of you, to my dermatologist and see about the course of action he suggests.

  76. A quick question – do any of you think that the Brachioradial Pruritis is activated by allergies? I never had the problem till I moved to this home which as I mentioned is set right in the middle of the woods. Except for two other times, I’ve never had it anywhere else but at home. Both times I was in heavily wooded areas (at least one hour from my home), and at dusk the itching and stinging started at a full blown level. Both times I was in my car and the windows were closed (although I’ve found that whether the windows in my home are open or closed doesn’t matter).

  77. OH MY GOD!!! I am almost in tears just because I am so happy to find out I am not alone. I have intense itching on my arms anywhere from the wrist up to the shoulders. It oftens switches arms. It gets much worse at night. There is absolutely nothing visible on my arms. Scratching makes it worse. I have tried every lotion under the sun and the only thing that works is ice. Doctors treat me like I’m insane. I have also have had neck and shoulder pain for many years although I have no idea whether I have issues with any of my discs. I also have restless leg syndrome. It is the middle of the night and I am seriosluy considering taking a knife to my arm. There must be a doctor somewhere that can help us!!

  78. If you havent had a cervical spine xray, ask your doctor to order one for you. I had a very sharp dematologist who recognized that my symptoms were NOT a skin issue, but a nerve disorder. The GABAPENTON WORKS! 300 mg, 2x a day. Ask your doctor- insist on it. No topical cream is going to work, nor will any oral alllergy medications. It is a cervical spine issue- something is effecting the brachioradial nerve ( a slipped or squished disc, for example), and the pressure on the nerve is causing the itching sensation- instead of a sensation of pain.

    However, if you are only having this sensation on one side of your body- you have to be tested to see if it could be the shingles virus. But shingles doesnt present on both sides of the body, so if both arms itch- either simultaneously or at differnt times, it probably isnt shingles.

  79. FINALLY!!! After 11 years of this madness I was enlightened to Brachioradial Pruritis yesterday by a P.A. at my annual dermatologist appt. having some moles checked!!!! I have seen every doctor under the sun for this HORRIBLE itching, got tested gor allergies- which showed I am allergic to 9 differnt grasses in the s.east and oak. took allergy shots for 2 years once a week and it didn’t help the itching- only the sinus problems(which I would choose any day over the itching arms! So I had pretty much given up on any help for it. My itching usually starts in spring; but from July thru Aug or Sept it is hell. I get mine alot during the day too though- as well as many sleepless nights up and down to the freezer for more ice. I always take a small cooler and hand towel with me in case of a “flare up” and everybody that knows me knows what the towel with ice on my arms is for. From reading other comments, I think mine itch during the day because of the high humidity where I live. I am in Savannah,GA-almost everybody that I have been reading about is alot farther north and seems to have it limited more to nighttime.I love to go to the beach and tan,but by the middle of July I am usually tired of it ,and DEFINATELY by now-but the part of the summer that the itchingarms and shoulders go totally bananas is when I am least in the sun. I am 37 and have always had neck and lower back issues since I was 12yrs. when I wrecked a 4wheeler. I have always gone to the chiropractor when my neck/back acts up. I asked the P.A. if she thought it might be a good idea to find a reputable accupuncturist- and maybe between that and giving this info to my chiropractorand let him focus on this when he is adjusting me. She said there could definately be potential!I just really dont want to take all these scary sounding meds! I am going to make an appt. next week. I’ll post an update to inform what happens. Sorry I typed an autobiography!!! I am so excited to finally know that I am NOT the only person in the world with this weird,unexplainable itching- and mostly that I’m not crazy and there is a name for it!!!

  80. Jessica,
    I live in Alabama and I have had these itching arms off and on for about 5 years. When it first started I thought it was some medication that I was taking…but finally determined it wasn’t. I do take herbal products but very particular on the brands. It seems to start all of a sudden like it started around the last of July of this year. Sometimes I wake up at night with it itching and sometimes during the day or late afternoon. No ryhme or reason for it to start up. I’m age 59. I’ve had sciatic nerve pain off and on for the past 9 yrs and have been under chiropractic care for it since then. I do have some disc degeneration, but no back surgeries. Seems like it might start up in the late summer. I spend alot of time outdoors flower gardening during the spring and through the summer. At least I know I’m not alone with this problem. I don’t have any friends or family with this, so I was beginning to feel alone until I found the blogs and websites about it.

  81. I went to the doctor 2 weeks ago. I took my paper with me with the name on it and told him that Gabapentin is what helped people who had posted on the inter net. No gripes about me wanting to go on it. He put me on it right away. 300mg. 1 pill at bed time. The only side affect I had with it was when I first started taking it I was dizze, but that has passed after time of use. He told me to take 1 claritin in morning. Then I still take benadryl during the afternoon and evening. I still take the cold packs to bed and start out with them, but I don’t wake up to replace them once I am asleep. Thank you Janice and thank your doctor.

  82. linda- My doctor had me start by taking only one 300 mg capsule at bedtime ( due to the slight chance of dizziness) for the first week, then I went to one capsule in the am and one at bedtime. try that, and I just KNOW you wont need the claritin OR the benadryl.(It’s NOt a histamine reaction- it’s a NERVE issue!!!). Your body will adjust , if you only take the gabapentin at bedtime for the first week or two. I have NO side effects at all.

    I am so gladyou are willing to try this medicine- it has made BRP a thing of the past for me, and I hope it will do so for you,too. Keep me posted!

  83. linda-what I mean is, I think you need to be taking it 2x a day, and eliminating the claritin and benadryl ( which can cause dizziness and or drowsiness, too). My doc told me that 300mg 2x a day is a very low dose, and that there is plenty of room to go up in dosage, if needed. I dont think 300 mg once a day is enough to totally relieve the symptoms.

  84. I went to my dermatolgist today for a skin check and while I was there I described the ferocous itching that comes out of know where that’s just on the tops of my mid arms mostly on left and sometimes on the right. He immediately told me it was Brachioradial Pruitis. I was sort of shocked because most Doctors don’t have a clue. He said it was triggered by sun exposure or nerve damage cause by the sun to the brachioradial muscle nerves in that part of the arms. Right now it has subsided, but had it the whole month of August. He told me to use Capzasin cream as soon as it starts itching. The cream burns or is hot, but it’s suppose to stop the itching after the Capsasin cream stops burning. That’s about all he said about it. You can buy it over the counter at the drug store. I’ll try it next time…but hope it’s not a next time.

  85. I am a 51 year old female and I have experience itching for over 10 years. It starts in August and last for months. It is about to drive me insane. I sleep with an ice pack every night. It is an itch that scratching makes worse. It starts to burn really bad with a tingling sensation. My itching is just as bad during the day. I have not had a good nights sleep for over a month. I have reviewed some postings that other people have made and I going to the Doctor today and I am going to ask about Gabapentin. It would be a miracle if it works. I have had skin biopsy that come back with no real answer. I have tried many creams that donโ€™t help at all. We have to find an answer some where, there has to be a name for this and a solution. If anyone has a solution please post it, I am desperate.

    Thanks everyone,


  86. @Janice

    Hi Janice,
    I have been reading your posting, I went to the Dr. today and she gave me Gabapentin 300mg three times aday. I am so glad that I found this web-site, I am so miserable with this itching and burning in both arms. I have cried many days and nights. I have suffered for over ten years. I hope I have finally found a solution. I do believe that it is a nerve issue. My arms are so sore from scratching them, and the bad thing is it makes it worse. The only thing that helps is an ice pack. I hope we all can be relieve from the horrible condition.

  87. Vicki-
    Thank goodness your doctor gave you the prescription!!! I suffered as horribly as most here- the itching came day and night,but most severely at night.I was going without sleep night after night. I found relief with only 2xa day (300mg 2x a day), so you may be able to scale back once you get relief. Post here as soon as you begin to see a differfnece- and I really, really think that you will!

    I did follow my doc’s advice with starting with 300mg at bedtime only for the first week, so my body could adjust to the medicatiopn, if needed. But by the 2nd or 3rd night, I was already seeing a difference.

    Did your doctor suggest this, too??

  88. Hi Janice,

    She started me taking 300mg for the first day, 2x second day and then 3x daily. I really felted funny in my head after I took it, but I am sure that I will adjust. I also felt really sick at my stomach. I can live with that compared to the itching. I go back tomorrow, she said that 300mg my be to much for me, I am a small person I only weigh 115 pounds. I hope my prayers are answered. Do you have to take this year around, are only the itchy months? Thank you so much Janice for your advice.


  89. @Vickie

    Hi Vicki,

    I’ve only been taking the drug since March- and right now ,(September) is usually the time I would be suffering the worst. So I cant really answer your question. I am wondering myself if i will be able to back off the gabapentin in the winter months, but i am not yet ready to take the chance of the itching coming back! I see my doctor this month to renew my prescription and will seek his advice . I’ll let you know what he suggests, and whether I decide to try to wean off the drug ( altho I highly doubt I will do that!). I have been so TOTALLY normal- which includes spending time in the pool whenever I can ( and therefore, getting alot sun exposure), that I dont want to risk ever going back to that tortuous itching.

    I’m surprised she’s trying to get you up to 300mg 3x a day so soon. I weigh 125 lbs and find that the 2x a day dose is enough. Perhaps you could talk to her and see if you could back it down to 300mg 2x a day.Perhaps the side effects wont be so prevalent then. I have no dizziness at all. No side effects at all, for that matter.

    You didnt mention if you are getting any relief yet. Are you??

    Be patient and give it time to work!!!

  90. Vicki-
    Rereading your post and I really question your doctor having you go up in the dosage so quickly! I was on 300mg at bedtime for 7 days before going up to 2x a day. Perhaps she is anxious for you to see results.But if your body is telling you that it is too much, too soon, ( the dizziness), then I would talk to her right away about it.
    In other words, dont let any side effects dissuade you from taking the drug- just lower the dosage for a bit and allow your body to adjust.

  91. @Janice
    Hi Janice,

    I wanted to tell you I went back to the Dr. on Friday and she did decrease my Gabapentin to 100mgx2 and 300mg at night. The dizzyness is getting a lot better. I have to tell you that I can really tell the different in the itchy it starts when the medicine is wearing off. I can not thank all of you for your posting. Please everyone try this medicine, it is a miracle for me. I have suffered for ten years+. Thanks again Janice. We will keep in touch!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  92. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am so glad it appears to be working for you, too,Vickie!!! My only question is whether or not we will need to be on this med for the rest of our lives, and if there is an potential problems with doing so. But for now, I am so very, very thankful that my doc was willing to listen to ME and was willing to try to help me with a condition he had never heard of before.

    Keep me posted on how you’re doing.
    Wishing you many, many nights of sound and restful sleep!!

  93. I an so interested in reading about everyone’s different ways of dealing with this horrible ailment. I was lucky and only suffered for about a month when I found a link to Gabapentin which I took to my doctor. She prescribed it as 100 mg 3xday and it has worked like a charm. I actually have upped it to 100 mg 4xday and so far so good. My husband has taken Gabepentin for years for a neurological condition and he takes 300 mg 3xday and his doctor told him many patients take a total of 1,800 mg per day. Please everyone who is trying different creams and antihistamines ask your doctor for Gabapentin because IT WORKS.

  94. Hi Ann,

    Yes you are right, I have been on it for almost two weeks and it has really help me so much. It feels so good to be able to sleep thru the night and without a ice pack. (Horay) ๐Ÿ™‚ I just wish I understood this medical condition. I have suffered for 10 years+. I was diagnosed twelve years with lupus. My Dr. and I thought that is was part of the lupus. I have this itching from July to Oct. and sometimes in goes into Dec. If I only knew way. My Dr. also told me about Bio-freeze. it really cools my arms when they are buring. What did your Dr. diagnose you with? Thank you for your posting and good luck to you. I hope you never have to experience this again.

  95. @Vickie
    Hi Vickie,
    Actually I “diagnosed” it myself as Brachioradial Pruritis from searching on the Internet. I’m fortunate that my doctor is willing to listen to her patients and she was very happy to discover a new ailment. I find it very odd that so little is known about this problem since it seems that it has claimed numerous victims. I think it’s being so misdiagnosed because it’s almost always thought to be a dermatological problem. I hope that more fellow sufferers discover this site and try Gabapentin. Good luck to you too and happy non-itching.

  96. If you read everyone’s posts here carefully, you will dicsover that we all have a common denominator: a problem with our spine or discs. The braccioradial nerve runs from the cervical spine down the arm. If this nerve is compromisedin some way by some sort of damage or change to the cervical spine, rather than feeling a sensation of pain,we are experiencing the horrible,burning itch.

    this is why topical creams and anti-histamine drugs dont work. Ice gives temporary relief because it numbs the nerve endings to the point that you dont feel anything.But remove the ice,and within a few seconds the itching sensation returns once the nerve endings “thaw out”.

    I havent seen anyone post with the symptom who hasnt also mentioned some sort of change or issue with their spine.

    Gabapentin seems to be working for many of us-the question is for how long. I’m glad to hear that dosages up to 1800mg a day appears to be safe.

  97. @Janice




  101. I am an admitted itch sufferer, I have read all of your posts, and its great to know more about this since most doctors want you to spend hundreds on “rule-outs” before diagnosis is confirmed. Please respond to my post and…hear me out!

    I too, believe that BPR is the cause of my itching(undiagnosed), however I’m reluctant to say that it’s caused by exposure to UV light, although I can see where the heat from the sun may cause the nerve to be more susceptible to inflammatory reaction. It’s my belief that there is some direct association with spinal nerves;

    In 04′ I fell from a roof ( I was a roofer- plenty of sun exposure),broke both wrists and fractured my back, I had never experienced this unbearable itching before that time. I am curious- for my own research studies, if any of you also have ever experienced a cluster headache as I have? Since both cervicogenic headaches and BPR are associated with the cervical area of the spine, I think there may be a link to the nerves @ C5 and the conditions mentioned above. Additionally, after reading about the effectiveness of the drug Gabapentin, to my suprise this is also a treatment provided for cervicogenic headaches IE; migraines,clusters etc., with an effective rate @ 16-40 percent.
    Obviously, everyone here understands their own body and we all seem somewhat educated. Does anyone here suffer from unexplained headaches or have anything to add to what I’ve written. Thank you for your thoughts/ideas in advanced.

  102. I’ve suffered off and on with this itching for several years, thinking it was some kind of heat rash since I had it only during the warmest months of the year. Finally went to my derm because I was having such a hard time sleeping. She diagnosed BRP almost immediately and gave me a prescrption for Zonalon. Reading all the warnings on the packaging kind of scared me. I’m a marathon runner, and believe in icing for almost anything….so tried it on my itching arms the same way I would for an injury: Icing for 20 minutes, 3 times a day. This has produced pretty miraculous results! Ice in the moring, afternoon, and before bed, even if you aren’t itching at those times. I have slept peacefully for the last month even tho I’m still in the sun all day every day (for my job) and it’s been in the 90’s and 100’s for the past month.

  103. @James
    Reading your post I have to say that I have never injured my back. I was treated neck pain years ago I saw a chiropractor for almost a year with no real answer too the pain. Has anyone ever been diagnosed with the Epstein Barr virus? I had it about 12 years ago. I wonder if that has in bearing on this issue. But the explained itching for me I believe that is related to the sun. No headaches for me. I have had this itch for 10+. It drives me in sane. The ice pack for the only relief I had found. After reading all the post, I saw my Dr. and she did give me a prescription for Gabapentin and it is a wonder drug. I know a friend that takes it for migraines, which really helps her. I do believe that it is a nerve condition, without a doubt. I hope you are willing to try Gabapentin. IT REALLY WORKS FOR ME AND ALLOT OF OTHER PEOPLE ON THIS SITE.

    Kindest regards,


  104. @claudia

    There is no cream for this itch, believe me I have tried them all. you can read my other postings. Please try the drug Gabapentin, it is a miracle. I did experience dizziness for the first few days,but that side effect is gone. I hope your itching has gone for the season. Good luck to you Claudia.


  105. James- I have had a history of”cluster” and migraine headaches- and must say that I have had none since being on the gabapentin. Glad you mentioned that,as I had not made the co-relation. (My headacheswerenot frequent enough to warrant RX,but the cluster headaches always scared me-a searing sharp pain in the temple,in rapid succession.Diagnosed by my doc as the cluster migraine. On very rare occasions,I will experience a regular migraine- perhaps once every 2 years,at most.(But had them regularly as a child)

    Vickie- YAY!! I am so happy for you that this drug is workingand that the dizziness has subsided.

    Claudia- you are fortunate that the icing for only 20 minutes works for you. As you have read, most of us have had to sleep with ice packs on continuosly.

    As for the sun-no one is exactly sure why it seems to aggravate the condition.But I have not curtained my sun exposure this summer (Impossible- I am always outdoors, year round as I own a horse farm), and I (shamefully) do not use sun screen.
    Yet, Ihave had no itching since being on the Rx.

  106. @Janice
    Janice I have to tell you that you are my angel, without your postings I would have never tried gabapentin. I can see where you try to help everyone. I am so glad there are people like you. I feel like you are a caring person. God bless you for all of your concerns. I live in Virgina,what State do you live in? Take care.

  107. I live in Delaware, about 8 miles from Rehoboth Beach. Sooo- altho I havetn been to the beach in years, we do have a pool on the farm,and I swim laps everyday,plus, I am outside cutting fields and doing all other assorted farm chores, so I get ALOT of sun exposure.

    Vicki, I just want others here who have suffered as we to be persuaded to atleast consult their doctor about Gabapentin. I dont like taking drugs- I try to eat healthy and stay active to reduce the risk of health problems that require medication. Gabapentin and Advair (for allergy-induced asthma) are the only two Rx’s I need to take at this time (just turned 56 yesterday),and I wouldnt want to be without either!

    Where in VA are you? I frequently go to the Middleburg area with my horses.

    Thanks for your kind words- I’m just so happy to hear you are finding relief.I do so remember what it was like to be awake all night, scratching till my skin bled, and crying in agonized frustration.My husband totally thinking I was going crazy. And I was.

  108. Hi Janice,

    It was nice hearing from you. It is a small world, I live 5 miles north of Winchester, in a little town call Clear Brook. My brother-in-law works in Middleburg on a farm. I have to tell you that I tried only taking the 100mg twice a day and 300mg at bedtime. But it just did not work for me. So I am taking 3x300mg a day. There is not side effects at all. Yesterday was a terrible day for itching, I think the humidity make it worse. I have to keep my house so cold, that it feels like I live in Alaska. My husband freezes to death. He is very supportive of my illness. I don’t think that he think that I am losing my mind. LOL
    I do have a Dr.’s Appt. in November with a very high-recommended Dermatologist in November. I have lupus and the Dr. I see has beg me for years to go see him, so I guess I will go this time. Hopefully one day they will detect the real cause for this itching. I can not believe the posting from other people. It does assure me that I am not crazy. Have a great weekend–I am sure will we talk again soon.

    Kindest regards,


  109. going on 12 years with this dilemma. tried all kinds of things, diet changes, yoga, creams (otc and prescription). What is currently working for me is prudoxin 5% cream and a sun shirt. History: my itch started out being seasonal and then progressed to a daily nightmare with ice being the only solution. After at least 2 dozen doctors, I came across these blogs and then got a confirmed diagnosis from a dermatologist who has encountered only one other case of Brachialradial Pruritus. He biopsied a plug of skin from my arm near the elbow. I couldn’t even feel when the nurse was taking out that plug of skin…thats got to tell you something about the loss of nerve connection. He sent it to UC Davis Med for confirmation. After feeling so crazed for so long, it was good to get confirmation. Now I want to know the cause….. By the way, there are extensive blogs posted on on medhelp. Here’s the link to one of the forums…–BRACHIORADIAL-PRURITUS/show/664851. Hope this helps! Keep posting and keep searching!!!!!

  110. Anita

    Could you tell me what is a sun shirt. I have seen many people memtion a sun shirt on other sites. Did the biopsy prove that is was Brachialradial Pruritus? What did he prescribe for you? I hope that the itching has gotten better for you. Have you tried Gabapentin? It seems to be helping me allot. I can not believe the people that suffers from this terrible illness. I want answers…


  111. kelly thames says:

    I thought that I was going crazy! The itching and burning on my arms is almost unbearable. The only relief that I have found is ice. I have gone to dermatologist and an allergist. I am thinking about going to a neurologist.

  112. <. I am thinking about going to a neurologist.

    If the allergist and the dermatologist havent been able to help you, then you need to see the neurologist, ASAP. A cervical spine xray and/or MRI should be the next step, IMO. Dont wait any longer- why suffer if there is a chance that there is a drug out there that can help!
    Janice- Still itch -free and sleeping thru the night without the aid of creams or ice!

  113. Vicki- a sun shirt is a shirt made with fabric that has a sun shield- the fabric prevents any UV rays from penetrating thru to the skin. Although you wouldnt know it, regular fabrics like cotton and synthetics do not block the UV rays 100%.

  114. Thanks Janice. Justing wondering where do you find that shirt? Have a great day!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  115. Hi Viki- check Orvis,Cabelas, Travelsmith or any big outdoor- sports oriented stores. They are a specialty item, and are not cheap. But from what I remember reading about them- the fabric is very light and comfortable,even in hot temps.

    I was surprised that i was able to spend virtually the same amount of time outdoors this summer without protection from the sun and still didnt have any problems with BRP. It’s not definite that sun exposure is the cause or exacerbates the condition, but I dont advocate excessive UV exposure either!

    You havent mentioned how you are doing on the Rx. Are you able to sleep through the nights now, without ice?? Has the dizziness side effect abated? Inquiring minds want to know! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  116. i gott the shingle 5 years now it went to my nerve sistem on my left side ribs and my back upper left the pain is brutal is there every day and night the doctors several of them they have no idea wath to do i had block shots i tried nuranten gabapeting electic shoks the burning and very sharp pain thi doc the other day i went to get a block shot before he was getting rady to inject me he said i dont think this is gonna do any good i feel they are so non wanting to help i’ve been taking liryca i think now i’m need of this drug and the doc put me on ativan i have post herpetic neuralgia they tell me i put ice but notting seems to help wath to do any one of you have this brutal pain burning and like stabbing pain is there any doctor or person to know how to cure this this doc suggested i smoke pot i even yry some chine erbes some told me to take vitamine e or d or you have the same thing let me know

  117. Thanks fot the info. on the shirt. I tried to decrease my odsage to 2×100 and 1×300 at bedtime. It just was not working for me. So I am back on 3×300 aday. I do not have any itching with that dose. Maybe when the cold weather is here to stay it will go away until next year. I can not wait to see if we have to keep taking it year around. Have a good day ๐Ÿ™‚

  118. The itch started in June and usually lasted until November. That was about 6 years ago. Now I have it all year round and the last couple of months have been the absolute worst!! I’ve been taking the gabapentin for several years and my dosage varies based on the time of year. I do take it all year round. In the winter I take 1 300 mg in the morning and one at night. Now I’m taking 2 300 mgs three times a day and if necessary a couple of more right before I go to sleep. I do not want to reach the maximum dosage (2400 mgs) because it scares me to death that it will stop working for me. If that happens, I cannot imagine what I will do.

  119. O my- Maxine, that is not very encouraging for those of us whom are just beginning to use this drug. Do you have any history of cervical spine problems? And if so, please explain.

  120. No history. In fact two years ago I had to have cervical disk replacement surgery (not because of “the itch”) but thought it might help…it did not. I just keep treating the symptoms. My opinion is that this is like an allergy. You cannot cure allergies, but you can treat the symptoms. That’s what we have to do…treat the symptoms. Use the gabapentin, mineral ice, freeze it, calomine lotion, ice cubes, etc. etc. just to stop the itching. If anyone has any other suggestions, I open to hearing them.

  121. Maxine- Obviously,if you “had to have cervical disk replacement surgery” 2 years ago, you have/had a problem with your cervical spine. Something was wrong to require the surgery. My point is only to try to find the common denominator amongst us all-and cervical spine issues seems to be “it”.

  122. Hello fellow itchers, I’m so happy to find you all. I started with this last year and thought I was out of my mind. My husband searchd the Internet and was able to give a name to my disorder. Of course, that didn’t help much since my none of the Dr.s I’ve seen have ever heard of it. My GP went with it though and referred me to a neurologist. He had no knowledge of this disorder but I had a nerve conduction study and had no abnormalities. When I had my MRI, it was noticed that I had a bulging disc between C-4 adn C-5 and C-5 and C-6. I am absolutely convinced this is not related to the sun (though I AM a sunworshipper) but is a nerve thing. I was on Lyrica for a while and it helped a little but did not take care of the itching totally. I found out about ice last year and it was a life saver (though it’s not fun to get up in the middle of the night and go sit in one’s family room holding ice packs on one’s arms for 20 minutes!!). I have found that if I lay FLAT ON MY BACK

  123. with no pillow, I don’t have the itching at night. I ended up taking a steroid pack last year and it waent away and silly me……… I thought it was a fluky thing I was cured of. I thought I had doen something to my neck at the gym and would not have the problem anymore. I cut way back on what I do at the gym and life went on perfectly fine until a few weeks ago – almost the same time it started last year!!! What’s up with that seasonal thing???? Then, I thought mlaybe I did soemthing at the gym again but I no longer think so. I think it’s stress related (very stressful time at work for me) but also, everyone seems to say it’s seasonal. The latest thing my Dr. is trying is myofascial massages concentrated on my back and neck. When the massuese massages my back on my left side, (it’s only my left side so far this year but last year it was both)mly arm itches. WHAT IS THE ANSWER FOR US?? A lot of people have mentioned Gabapentin. I will try it but I don’t like take drugs on a regular basis. There is a link to a study in Germany about a woman who had surgery on her neck and was cured. I’m not ready to go there yet but it’s out there if we need it. Here’s the link Read after the MRI part. It says: “The patient recovered completely from the itching and burning sensations within 1 week after surgery.”

    Janice and Vicky, I live in Northern Virginia and my daughter is a horse addict ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know if you ever want to get together. I find comfort in knowing others who have this ridiculous problem!!:)

  124. Hello everyone! After much research I think I finally have the answer to my itchy arms-BPR! Itchy doesn’t really do it justice does it? I have suffered from this for 5-6 yrs. I was diagnosed with MS this summer and while I was lucky not to have MS lesions on my spine (they are on my brain) they told me I have very bad stenosis and degeneration of the c5-c6 region. While I have garnered great success with my MS symptoms through my new way of eating (no gluten dairy or sugar)I did not receive any relief from my itching. Mine starts around Oct. and lasts until spring. Ice is my only relief. I see my neurologist in January and I will definitely talk to him about this if I can hold out that long. I wonder if the gabapentin will be an option for me. I have tried so hard to clear my body of toxins taking more drugs doesn’t make me happy but there doesn’t seem to be many options for this.

  125. Vickie Saaylor says:

    Hi Janice & Erin,

    I just went to a dermatologist last Monday. He has definitely heard of this before. He sent me for a blood test to check my histamine level and an x-ray of my spine. The blood work could take up to 2 weeks for the results. He gave me singular and peratin and sarna lotion over the counter to help with the itching and burning. I have to say I have had little comfort.. but he assured me that he was going to dig deep to help resolve this problem.. He said it could be Brachioradial pruritic, but I have a rash on my shoulders and arms. He said that normally there is no visible rash. I have to contact next week to see if things are any better. I go back to Harrisonburg on the 17th of Dec. He also mention that it could be solar/cholinergic/adrenergic or Erthromelalgin.. I do believe that he is going to go out on the limb to help me. He as already contacted my regular doctor, and the Dr. that treats me for my lupus.. He did assure me that it is definitely a nerve disorder. I will keep you all posted with the results. Erin do you have a visible rash? I hope that we all will find answers for this miserable itching.. It would be nice to go to bed without an ice bag ๐Ÿ™

  126. Has anyone tried Vick’s vapor rub, it has been giving me relief from the terrible itching.

  127. I can honestly tell you that I doubt any topical medication will provide anything more than temporary ( and very temporary-perhaps only an hour or so) relief from BRP. I have been on Gabapentin for 9months now- and have no itching symptoms whatsoever. We have an inground pool, and live 8 miles from the beach- and I spent just as much time in the sun without sunscreen this past summer as I have in past years. Usually,late summer thru the winter would be the WORST time for me.My icebags have remained in the medicine cabinet since last March.

    Nov.19 I underwent rotator cuff surgery to repair a very bad tear ( 4cm x 2cm which is about 1 1/2″ x 3/4″ )to the tendon. I was concerned that the nerve block used ( given in the neck to numb the entire shoulder and arm) might somehow affect my BRP.I was careful to take the Gabapentin prior to and after the procedure,and was happy to find that I had no itching issues to complicate my recovery.

    I dont like taking drugs either, but I wont miss a single dose of this stuff- it keeps me “normal”.

  128. Vicki, I don’t have a visible rash. I don’t think BRP has a rash but do you think you’ve created it from scratching? I’m glad you ahve a Dr. willing to really work with you. Keep us posted!

  129. Janice, I SO want Gabapentin to work for me but I’ve been on it a week and so far no change. Now, granted, my Dr. started me out VERY slow at 1X100mgs at night for a week, then 1 X100mgs in the am, yada, yada. I’m on another blog and I know that other people take a lot more so I upped my night time amount to 200mgs a few nights ago but still no luck. Last night I tested it out by trying to sleep on my side (the tell tale sign of having itching or not) and I woke up an hour later with my arms on fire and had to do ice packs, which as we know is absolutely miserable in the middle of a cold night!! So, can you tell me your amounts of Gabapentin you are taking and what you know about side effects, etc? I’m thinking of upping it up to 400mgs at night.

    Janice and Vickie, I just re-read all of the blogs. It sounds like you both are taking alot more than I am. Let me know your current amounts. I think I will try 300 mgs tonight. I just want to get it “fixed” so I can sleep normally! BTW, I live in Dumfries, VA, near Quantico.

  130. Thank the good Lord I just found this site! I’ve only had this terrible itching for about a month and I don’t know how any of you have been able to bear it for years. Mine didn’t come on until it started getting cold out, but I have fractured my neck twice. One time I had no clue until the chiro took x-rays years later, but the other time was due to an accident that left my arm partially paralyzed for 14 years. I’m leaning towards the back injury theory.

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank all of you for your comments and telling your own experiences. I’m so relieved to know I’m not alone.

  131. Erin- Sorry, I havent checked back here for awhile. I am still taking 300mg twice a day. I have found , however, that if I miss even a single dose, the itching threatens to come back. One night, I had forgotten the morning dose, and tookthe night time dose at 11pm. Not an hour later, I felt the arms start to itch, so I got up and took a second dose. Within an hour i was able to fall asleep for the night. So- I have realized that it is VERY important to not miss a single dose!!

    300 mg twice a day is not alot- maximum dosage is 1800 mg a day.



  133. Hello everyone,im new to being on a forum, once I found this I nearly cried…..for 6 years now I have suffered this….. severe itching with no bloody sign of any thing on my arms……I just keep telling people its like prickles, I have been rubbing my arms all day and night for the past 6years…..I have been to docters and basically they think i’m allergic to something or suffering from anxiety…can you believe it……I have printed pages and pages now to take to the doctor…..
    I suffer from this just as bad during the day as well as night…..Im running out of patience, I really dont know how we are all coping! Ice is what only helps but it soon wears off the feeling of freedom of itch…. im now armed with info to head to the docters to teach/inform them about what we have.(not anxiety, allergy)
    I feel as though I’m not living properly as all I do is rub my arms lightly up and down to relieve the itch….its so overwhelming.
    Im 25years old, very fit and active.

    Is there anyone else here from Sydney Australia?

  134. Carolyn- All I can suggest is that you ask your primary doctor to do a search on BRP- OR- print out this web site info and others to show him. Then, request a referral to a neurologist if the primary wont write a scrip for gabapentin. I was fortunate to have a very young, but very savvy, dermatologist ( she looked about 25yo!). It was she that immediately suspected BRP, and ordered a cervical spine x ray, which ultimatley showed a slightly ruptured disc which is causing impingement of the BR nerve.

    Brooke-I think you are the first to post here from Australia. Have you ever had any sports-related ( or otherwise) injuries to your cervical spine area? Mine was caused by a fall off my horse- although I had no idea there was any changes to my cervical spine until the xray, several years later!

  135. Janice thank you for writing back so quickly…i’m off to a specialist tom’ so hopefully he can do something for me….

    Went to the docter today to get referred, and ended up crying because he just did not understand how much this is affecting mt life….all day and night scratching. I have no spine related injuries, although my left hip flexor is playing up at the moment and just starting to be able to run again…i’m all out of whack, right hip higher than left etc…..would that be a cause? I do spend alot of time in the sun in the middle of the day…

  136. Brook-

    I don’t know if your hip issue could have any inpact on the Brachioradial nerve- the nerve that runs down the arm.
    It is thought that pressure on the Brachioradial nerve stem at the cervical spine is what is causing the itch. Instead of pain, as in some cases of pinched nerves, we experience the itching sensation.

    What type of referral did you get? Dermatologist or neurologist? It will take a very well-informed dermatologist to look beyond the common causes.
    They have been trained to treat skin issues, not nerve issues. Good luck, and keep us posted.

  137. Hello Janice and fellow members, Im back from Dr. feeling let down to say the least….Im so prickly and itchy all day, as soon as I walk in there and begin my case I cry….coming from a capable young women I feel like a looney. Anyway he gave me doxepin to have at night time. Hopefully this will help….I wanted to go on gabapentin it seems thats the way to go….
    My patience is almost run out….I dont know how people are coping out there…I seriously spend all day/night needing to rub my arms.

  138. Brooke- Sounds like your doctor just “wrote you off” as a sl;ightly fanatic,depressed female. Doxepin is an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety drug. Does he not SEE that the reason you are depressed is due to the fact that you are sleep-deprived and miserable???? Doxepin will not work on the nerve ends like Gabapentin. Is there a reason why he would not precribe it?? Other that the fact that he might get a bigger kick-back from the Doxepin manufacturer?!
    I sincerely hope you find relief with Doxepin, but I’m willing to bet that it’s not gonna work. If he won’t help you, find another doctor who will.

  139. Vickie Saaylor says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I went to a highly recommended Dermatologist in Harrisonburg,Va two months ago. I am so happy that my Dr. recommended him. He has run series of test. On my last visit he did a skin biopsy. He called me today with the results and there was mass cell in the skin. I have been on singular once a day and periactin twice a day and 2 Claritin a day. I can finally say that is itching completely gone. I have suffered for 10 years+. He told me there are no test that will confirm BPR. I have appt. on the 27th of this month. I will let you all no if he gives me a name for the chronic itching. It feels so good to go to bed without an ice pack. He is such a caring Doctor I feel bless that I finally found a Doctor that truly cares about his annoying disease. He has been talking to a Professor in UVA., working to find an answer. I will keep you all posted..


  140. After my only post here, someone gave me a flyer from a neuropath in my area, in which he described the symptoms exactly. I have been going to him since then. He uses chiropractic, massage therapy, and strengthening exercises, and it is working for me. I had the same problem as one of the other posters, with one hip higher than the other, which was causing a misalignment of the spine. That misalignment was causing stretching of nerves in some areas and impingment in others.

    I’m still having some problem with the itching, but only when my spine slips out of alignment, and it’s not nearly as bad. When it flares up it’s more like an annoyance now, instead of rip your arms off pain.

    This Dr. is great. He knew right off what I was describing, as he has treated it many times. None of that “it’s in your head” stuff from him. We are working together to cure this. Good days, bad days, but so much better.

  141. Hi- I too suffer from cluster headaches. One month ago, the itching started. Because of the intense itching at night, I thought I had scabbies or some other buggy thing. A dermatologist rules that out, diagnosed dermatitis and put me on cream and and oral antihistamine. As sighted so many time is these postings, neither made a dent in the itching. I have found that only ice packs are helpful. After reading your post, I am wondering if there is a connection between the cluster headaches and the intense itching. Think it’s worth a trip to the neurologist to find out?

  142. Janice……thank you for your response. I have made an appt. with a new dermatologist that comes highly recommened, we’ll see! It’s crazy that so many people suffer with this condition that up until a few months ago I had never heard of. If interested, I have found that crainial-sacral therapy has been of some use. This is a type of bodywork modality that focuses on the energy and flow of cerebral spinal fluid within the spinal column. It has not gotten completely rid of the itch, but within 2 to 3 treatments I found I got tremendous relief. On a scale of 1 – 10 I would say I went from a 10 to a 4. Just another possibiliy for anyone interested. Good luck to everyone.

  143. Thank you for your posts! I have had incredibly itchy forearms and sometimes shoulders for a while now. No rash, just like the rest of you- and much worse at night. I have a chiari malformation and have had spinal surgery (chiari decompression surgery). I still get some migraines- and I get a lot of spasms in my back and neck. I have some nerve damage and have always had a lot of arm pain related to my migraines- never itchiness though. It never occurred to me it could be related!

    Thanks to your emails I’m going to pay attention now to my spasms and neck/head pain and see if I can find a relationship with the itchiness- it makes perfect sense. I haven’t been able to figure out why it’s itchy sometimes and sometimes fine- and I’ve tried diet and allergy stuff to no end with no luck.

    I’ll also visit my neurologist and get the MRI she’s been recommending to make sure all is ok.

    Thanks for all of your posts- I would have spent years focusing on a skin problem and never realized it was related to my spinal issues! I can also stop using the cortizone cream (and millions of other creams) which wasn’t really helping… and just focus on the ice which does bring relief.

  144. Sarah- Let us know if your neurologist is familiar with BRP, and what treatment he/she suggests. Good luck!

  145. Thanks- will do. I’ve been managing my neck/muscle spasms now when I get the itchiness and it’s made a HUGE difference. If I can get the muscles to stop spasm-ing and calm down then the itchiness goes away… amazing!

  146. After years ofpondering its benefits, I have finally decided to spring for the Teeter hang-ups inversion table. I remember using inversion boots back in the 1980’s, but cant recall if i felt any benefits back then (I was young,fit,and had no back issues). My nagging fear is that, eventually,the Gabapentin may no longer be effective,so I am hoping that by stretching my spine, I can prevent this, or at least delay it.
    Don’tknow if it’s all hype, or wether it may really help,but I will let you know after I’ve used it for awhile.

  147. I have posted on here a few times before. Brooke- I took was on Doxepin yes it worked but like Sarah said its an Anti-depressant. I took cried at the Dr office. I was now put on Gabapentin, been on it now 3months and I have to say, it works. I take 300 mg one in the morning and one at night. I have had great nights sleeping (no waking up) and I’m able to enjoy going out in public without scratching my arms, I have buried my Ice pack I use to carry around. I was told by the Dr. though to ween myself off of it and I told him I can’t to scared the pain will come back. I don’t know how long this will work but for now I am happy. Good Luck.

  148. Wow. I haven’t been on here since Christmas. I have another BRP blog that I’m a part of too and I get emailes when new posts are put up for that one so I check it more.
    Vicki, so glad you are better. Yours sounded like a differnt thing than BRP since you had a rash. What are mass cells?
    Janet, I quit the Gabapentin. It just wasn’t working but I must say, I never got to the 300 twice a day. I did take 300 at night though and still had it.
    The general theory on my other blog is that this is a nerve thing (we all know that pretty much) and flares up due to inflammation. I’ve been taking a supplement recommended by someone else that has, among other things, Milk Thistle in it. Milk Thistle helps with inflammation. Something that has been very successful for another lady is Serrapeptase. Imight try that next year or later this year if it doesn’t go away soon). Mine is getting better now. Whether it’s due to the Milk Thistle supplement or, the end of the season, I don’t know. I’ll know if I’m really better when I try to sleep on my side for the entire night. I haven’t tried that in forever because I have PTSD about waking up with my arms on fire ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to have the itching flare up after my showers and that hasn’t happened in a couple of weeks so I’m hoping to be through this.
    Brooke, I don’t think you need the Doxepin. I think you need to find a new Dr. I simply went to my GP and asked for Gabapentin. It’s a pretty commonly prescribed drug so there shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Also, you might try the two other things I mentioned above.
    Janice, do let us know how the inversion table works.
    We are getting two feet of snow here in Northern Virginia this weekend so I have time to sit at my computer. I’ll check back soon. Good luck everyone.

  149. mary jane cunneen says:

    I just found this website by accident and I can’t believe all the people with this itchiness. I thought I was the one who invented the ice remedy.ha ha. Waking up in the middle of the night and racing to my freezer to calm the itch was maddening. And I have been a practicing RN for 45 years. My left forearm started this itch back in the 80’s and I can’t tell you how many MD’s I have been to. You can imagine the amount of creams and “no help” medications I acumulated. More often than not doctors blew me off. My itchiness now involves both forearms and an allergist I recently saw finally made me realize that I am not crazy. Cervical X rays revealed severe degenerative disc disease and I will be having an MRI soon. Thank you all so much for sharing – wish I had known about your comments sooner. The allergist put me on zantac twice a day – not for stomach issues – but to be an effective histamine blocker. Also an antihistamine once a day and both drugs have helped. But like many of you have said – I’d like not to take meds every day. Thanks again – I feel like I have an understanding group I can turn to.

  150. Vickie Saaylor says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I just wanted to tell everyone that I was diagnosed with BRP on my last visit to the Derm. And it is a nerve condition. Your body releases histamines in low level, but the Dr. told me that is not slowly release when you have BRP that is dump into your blood stream which causes the nerves to go haywire and cause the unbearable itching. I can honestly say that my itching has been gone seen I have been on the medicine. I have been taking 1 singulair once a day and 2 periactin twice aday and 2 Claritin a day.. It is a lot of medicine but it works..And I just wanted tell everyone that the rash that I had is from scratching is what the Dr. said. There is BRP and also notalgia paresthetica which is the same thing as BRP except it is year around.. We dont know if mine is gone from the summer months or if is the medication. The Dr. does not want me to go off the medicine just incase it is notalgia paresthetica. I know that I have suffered 10 years+ and I am so thankful that I found this Derm. He has done a biopsy , lots of blood work.. And has be
    talking to a specialist at UVA. I do believe that my prayers have finally been answered.
    If anyone has any question you can contact me by e-mail at Sun screen is a must and cover your arm at all times when you are outside.. I wish everyone good luck.. Hello Janice ๐Ÿ™‚


  151. Hi Vicki-Glad that the antihistamines are working for you. But I have to question the Dr.’s explnation that when one has BRP the antihistamines’ are “dumped into the bloodstrream” – wouldn’t one itch all over ones body then? Why just the arms? Did he give an explanation forthis? Just curious, because i still tend to think it is related to pressure on the Brachioradial nerve. Keep usposted on your progress- andcould you post the addy for the other blog?

  152. Vickie Saaylor says:

    Hi Janice,

    I guess I did not make my self clear. It is all a little over whelming and a little hard to repeat what he say. He did tell me that it does involve the Brac. nerve and that the nerve runs into your forearms and shoulders and pinching of the nerve causes the itch and causes the your body to release to much histamines. And also causes the redness and burning sensation…that we have experienced. You memtioned posting this on another blog–I don’t know any other site. I hope this answered your questions..


  153. howard fyvie says:

    my arms have itched before, but I never thought much of it, besides scratching it till it was pink.

    Last night, at a praise and worship evening with Jesus Culture, my arms suddenly started itching again. I thought it was the sweat and heat of the church I was in.After not being able to sleep, I jumped online to find out about BRP.

    To those who are itching, rest assured, it’s been interesting to see how the blogs and forums have developed over the years, narrowing the beast down more and more, until finally there is a pin-pointed remedy. Until then, pray for it in Jesus’ name. He lead me online. He’ll lead you to your remedy too.

    Im 22 years old. Fit and active, from South Africa.

  154. Hi fellow BRP sufferers. I have not been on this site in a long time, but that doesn’t mean I’m not suffering. For a quick fix but not very long lasting, Solarcaine has been helping me out. Remember Solarcaine? They still make it, and it will take the itch away until you can get busy with something else to take your mind off it. I don’t know if you can put aerosol cans in the fridge, but that might even feel better! I’m still on the fence about all the spine stuff… I’ve been a sufferer for 15 years now. Yes, I’ve had scoliosis surgery way back when. My mom had this, my nephew has it and one of my sisters has it. And why would it be at only certain times if something is wrong with your spinal column??? If there’s something pinching something, how would it know to pinch during certain seasons???

  155. Lalurel- It is thought that UV rays aggravate the nerve endings to exaccerbate the itching. Hence, sun exposure will supposedly worsen the itch. I’m still itch-free after 14 months on gabapentin!!

  156. I went to my neurologist who was not helpful at all- she told me that it wasn’t a big deal and that there was nothing I could really do.

    I did find an accidental cure, however- due to the massive amounts of snow we had this year. Because of the snow I had to hike out to my car daily (driveway was too long to plow- a quarter of mile)- at any rate, I stopped wearing high heels for about a month while our driveway thawed and all my itchiness (and most of my migraines) disappeared. When the snow cleared and I pulled out high heels again it all came back. I have given up the heels for good and have not had one itchy moment since. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My guess is the high heels were causing some sort of pinching that caused it all for me… I’m not a doc but this is a better explanation (and cure) than my neurologist could come up with!

  157. @Janice
    Hi Janice. But still, I’m not out in the sun during the winter months with my arms exposed. The itch will come. My left arm started to itch about 3 months ago. I used everything in my personal arsenol, of course ice packs are a saving grace when nothing else works. Now, here we are mid-May and my arm is fine. Spent plenty of time in the sun doing yard work and such. It disappeared just as quickly as it appeared. I think there is much more research to be done on this. I really don’t want to start taking pills for this as I am already on meds for HBP. This didn’t start with me until I was 32 and pregnant. I was SO hoping it was a hormone thing… But, like I said in previous posts, my mom had it, ONE of my sisters’ has it and my nephew has it!!! Go figure. My arms are scarred from my “home remedies”.

  158. stephanie says:

    thank you. i have this I am sure but noone has been able to figure it out. I am more than convinced this is exactly what I have on my arms. It feels much better to know I am not crazy

  159. laurel- same here-I would have intense itching during winter months also- but then around March or april it would subside, only to re=appear over the summer. So, I don’t know if the UV light theory has any merit or not.

  160. Hello,

    I am glad I found this site. My wife has recently been suffering from this but her’s seems to be very erratic and only in the shoulder area? It seems to hit mostly at night. I read somewhere that some Doctor’s believe that someone who has previously had shingles could be more susceptible to this condition? Anyone have input on that?


  161. Hello fellow scratchers! Like most of you I’m elated that I not only found this site but that I’m not alone and I’m not crazy! I’ve had “the itchies” for about 13 years. I’ve only asked one doctor about my condition. He told me the reason my left arm itched was because I’m right handed! I wonder what his diagnosis would be now since my right arm is affected as well. As I write this I’ve got a bag of frozen peas on my arm. It seems like I used to get it in the winter months so I’ve always been grateful I had some reprieve but it’s the end of July and I’m going crazy! I’m very curious about the cervical issue. Would there be back pain associated with the pinched nerve? I have a very strong back and rarely have pain. Two things however are that a chiropractor once told me I have slight scoliosis. When I questioned him as to why I don’t look it he said because I’m thin that if I were heavier it would be more apparant. Another chiropractor many years ago told me I have no curve in my neck and I do get neck pain on occassion. I’ve tried every single remedy mentioned in the 106 posts I’ve just red but I have one to add. Out of sheer desperation I used my dog’s medicated itch stick! Didn’t help much. Unfortunately I don’t have insurance so being tested is out of the question. I live in Portland Oregon and once stumbled upon an article about a doctor at Oregon Health Sciences University that was conducting a study. I’m hoping she’d like a new “speciman” Also,it’s interesting that about 25 years ago I apparantly had what I’m sure would be considered a minor case of shingles. I’ve never had a reoccurance but for about the past 5 or 6 years I’ve been prone to hives. I’ve attributed that to an allergy I believe may be caused by evergreens (I think cedar) and/or lycra. Because of that I tend to believe it may be an auto-immune deficiency. I’ll keep checking back to let you know if I have any luck with the dr. at OHSU. I just can’t imagine living with this condition for the rest of my life! Also I’m 55 so was in my early 40’s. I’m a poster child! Bless us all for being here for each other.

  162. Also named Lichen simplex chronicus. You may try soap or lotion with coal tar in it.

  163. WoW! I am so thankful to have found other sufferers so that I now know too, that I am not CRAZY! The countless doctors, both general practitioners and dermatologists as well as pharmacists, have all tried to tell me everything from drink more water, to take antidepressants to use creams for itching and/or moisturizing!!!! Until a friend of a friend was diagnosed with BP the doctors were making me feel like it was all in my head!!! Now with printed info from google in hand, I am off to see my GP again!! Let’s see what she says THIS time!!!!! I also have spoken to my chiropractor and he is reading up on it to see what he can do to help!

    Thank you everyone and best of luck to all of you!!

  164. I have been suffering with this condition for approx 5 years now.
    Thank God for ice! I too, have been to the doctor, but no avail. He say’s that “I only think that I itch”; pretty expensive advise! Anyways, I have tried to “unthink” it, doesn’t work. I purchased everything, from creams to vitamins, done all the homemade remedies, wore long shirts, avoid sun exposure..etc. Nothing helped except for ice packs. One day my brother suggested for me to try Nizerol, it worked!! It was a glorious day. However, it was short-lived and the product no longer is affective ๐Ÿ™ It seems that this conditon does come in cycles. I do have Crohns, but im pretty sure its not secondary to that.
    As I sit here with my arm wrapped in an ice pack now, desperately looking on the net for a remedy and found this site, I feel like I had to write and at least be among the many, many people that are in this same situation. If anyone wants more infor. I will be happy to share. I am open for any suggestions as well. Keep the faith and pray that some doctor takes this serious enough to get some answers for us. Till then, at least we can support each other. Best Regards to all.

  165. I have the same issue and tried the Capsazin. My arms felt like they were on fire and I quickly put them under cold water and tried to wash off the cream with soap but the burning lasted for quite a bit afterwards. I would not recommend it.

  166. Very good perception on this subject. I will try to take it in and really hear for as soon as!

  167. Hi this article was very interesting and funny for me. But it was really hard to find it with Maybe you should improve it with seo plugins for wordpress like WP seo. Just a tip ๐Ÿ˜‰

  168. I’m suffering under BRP for about 3 years. I have tried every “over the counter” medicine and lotion possible. My Dermathologist prescribed sleeping pills because he thought I have insomnia. Of cause I couldn’t sleep (without ice packs on my arms) but the reason was my BRP. About a year ago I found on a German webside that they treat BRP with Gabapentin. Since then I take two 600 MG Gabapentin a day and my itch is 90% gone. Just once in a while it comes back for some days but in general I feel much better.

  169. Does anyone experience itching in the armpits?

  170. Please please please..go out today and buy Capzacin-HP! I have suffered with this condition for years, tried every cream, every pill, ice packs, etc, etc..this is THE SOLUTION!! Since I diagnosed myself with the help of all of your comments, I thought I’d give back by giving you this info!! Remember, this is not your skin! It’s your nerves!! Thank you sooo much..whoever suggested Capzacin has saved me!! Please..sufferers: Try this cream!!! (Make sure it’s HP, not regular Capzacin..the HP contains .1% , the regular Capzacin only has .075%. I love you all! Good luck!!

  171. Hi everyone- Glad to find this blog…after 15 years of this, and my story sounds like everyone else’s- it’s good to know I’m not alone, I’m not crazy (yes, I’ve gotten the looks, too.) After all the doctors, and specialists, it was finally (another)dermatologist who diagnosed this within 30 secs after reading my history and simply flipping my arms over once! Apparently the key diagnostic feature of BRP is that there are no lesions or sensations happening on the underside of the arms. The flare ups seems to be getting longer over time and just wipe me out. The dermatologist said I needed intensive chiropractic since it is a nerve condition. So far, I’m still just on ice packs (Rubbermaid lunch sized Blue Ice packs are the best- they don’t break and they stay colder longer for those nasty night sessions. Coleman packs are crap.). I’ve tried the amytryptaline, Gabapentin- but they leave me a zombie. Antihistamines sometimes help. I’m doing the “intensive chiropractic” thing now- we’ll see where I’m at in about 3-4 months. I do have some nasty degeneration in my neck from old injuries. He’s including cold lasar and photoelectric magnetic treatments with the spinal adjusting. I think I’ll try that CapzacinHP that Jan mentioned. Worth a try.

  172. Kathy Herman says:

    See a neurologist. hard to believe but it could be restless leg syndrome. It can effect the arms and not the legs! the new diagnosis and medication has finally given me hope.

  173. Kathy Herman says:

    I have lupus. I have had the itching problem for six months. Finally got into a neurologist and she solved the problem. Restless leg syndrome even tho I did not have problems with legs jerking. I had scratched my arms some evenings at I had bled. Please see a neurologist if you haven,t already. My rhumetologist, family doc, and dermatologist were all perplexed and could’t help me.

  174. Kathy Herman says:

    Like you I just found this site and I am not literate with computors so please bear with my typing. I have lupus and have been dealing with this severe arm itching for the last six months. Finally got into a neurologist. she surprised with dx of restless leg syndrome. I am trying a new med along with gabapentin that I already was on. And so far, I think she nailed it. The itching is gone. I was beginning to lose hope but now I have it.

  175. Kathy Herman says:

    I have lupus and all my docs could not figure out why I was itching on my arms without a rash. Mostly this was happening at night or while I was at rest. Sometimes I scratched so hard that I would bleed. I tried all kinds of creams and meeds. I finally saw a neurologist and she dx me with restless leg syndrome even tho my legs did not itch! To my surprised she was right and now I am on meds that are working. Pruritis without a rash is very hard to diagnose. It can be so many things including a symptom of lymphoma.

  176. Kathy Herman says:

    If anyone with questions about lupus or the above mentioned problem, contact me at

  177. Kathy Herman says:

    For all of you suffering with this awful itching problem first make sure you have the right diagnoses and then find out what is causing it. I was fortunate after several doctors and trials of meds alternative therapies and chiro treatments, I saw a neurologist. And after she suggested I might have a restless leg problem I thought that couldn’t make sense. My arms were itching not my legs. But after trying the new meds I think she nailed it. I was diagnosed with lupus about 10years ago and I have been thru a lot but this itching was driving me crazy. If anyone would like to contact me about health issues concerning lupus or this itching problem try

  178. I have had itchy arms for over 10 years and have the same experience as every person on this site. I can’t thank you all enough for at least making me feel sane again. I had a feeling it was neurological but no doctor has been able to diagnose it. Finding it so easily on the internet makes me feel like they are all just not trying very hard. I will try some of the solutions listed – thank you thank you.

  179. just was diag’d by the derm dr last monday when it got to be way too much this flare up. It goes away and then returns, but this time, has returned with a vengeance. Grrr. I have issues w/taking pharma chemicals, esp for off label use, since the side effects can be worse than the original problem. I have been plagued by various random skin conditions since I was in my 20s and in my 40s now have develped BRP. i can’t take antihistamines, cause they leave me feeling hit by a truck, so I take quercetin to help w/my mild nasal congestion and “frog in throat” from when ingesting dairy. I purchased a tube of Florasone made by Boericke & Tafel which is homeopathic natural cortisone, and also got a tube of Calendula Gel by Boiron which is a non greasy, cooling gel. The two combined have helped some. I also ordered a small bottle of WhiteFlower Analgesic Balm (a chinese herbal balm) which should arrive any day now. I heard some people have had some success with this. Yesterday afternoon, I was at work, it was almost dark and although I used the cream/gel combo, it flared up so bad I was in tears, and a coworker went to get me some ice. that was the only thing that calmed it. I go to my chiro today, along w/the printouts I am bringing him, can hopefully resolve some of this insane feeling. It’s not like any itch I’ve ever experienced, more like stinging burning fire ant biting itching. ARGH!

  180. oh, wanted to add, I have an uncle with the same thing, and am also going to try some Caprylic Acid gelcaps, just in case it is a reaction to the foods I am eating ( possibly too much sugar—causes other imbalance, so trying to watch it)

  181. I am a 20 year old college student and began to itch on my right forearm and left shoulder about a month ago. I found this odd because there were no visible bumps, rash, or skin discoloration. I have “brushed it off” for the past few weeks and just now began researching my symptoms because they seem to be getting worse…especially at night. The sensation is under the skin and is a tingling/burning/itching feeling. After reading this blog, I’m MORE THAN POSITIVE that I have BP. Every symptom is characteristic of my current state. After discovering this blog, I phoned my father who is a neurologist and informed him that I had diagnosed myself. He insisted that he do some blood work and tests, but I am assured after reading so many similar symptoms that this is what I have.

  182. Hi Jen.. I have just started a rash and itching under my arms in addition to horrendous shouler and inside elbow itching. I have been afraid to try neurotin but I think i might have to. My upper shoulders look and feel terrible! the itching, the burning.. it unbearable. Ice helps.. but I want it to go away! I am seeing a chiropractor which helps, as does sarna several times a day. I also have lidocaine patches for when it is the worst, and if time allows, I take tylenol pm.. NOW it has moved from my right arm to include my left and now under my arms.. this is maddening.. but helpful to know I am not crazy …very hard to diagnose.. all docs wanted to prescribe a cream but nothing worked…

  183. I also am self-diagnosed. I’ve had this condition for about 18 months now. What a MAJOR pain it is!!!! I’ve scoured the internet for ways to resolve the itching. Somewhere I read about using Vicks Vapo-Rub on the area. It works!!!! I just may try the HP Capsazin Cream again… can’t get used to the “burning” of that remedy tho…

  184. Karen,

    Your symptoms match mine completely. I am sure that it is BP what I have. What did your father ever say?

  185. I have had the itching on both arms for 8 years, i have scars from all the scratching i have done which only made it worse. i am glad i found this site and hope i can find the final relief i need. i lived in arkansas for 15 years which is where it started. then i moved to nc and had hoped that would help which it did sort of, one of my arms stopped itching and now instead of my whole left arm itching it mostly stays around my elbow area and on my lower arm. i had thought it was the salt on my arms from sweating that made me itch but it happened when i was hot or cold.
    so now, i have found some relief untill i find a total cure. i got some Derma Cerin cream from the doc. and my vaseline. i run cold water over my arm till it feels frozen, then i rub vaseling on it and run cold water on it again. that helps alot, then when it starts to itch again i use the Derma Cerin cream and run cold water over it again. this works for hours on me and i recommend it highly, it wont cure it but it helps me and maybe can help you. even if you wake up at nite just run the cold water and use the vaseline. dont dry your arm off let it air dry.
    im going to try the capzacin to see what that does and hope my next doc visit will help me too.
    one more thing, when i lived in ark i got poisen ivy smoke in my lungs so my whole body itched from the inside out. at the emergency room i got a shot to stop that itching. what was great was it stopped all my itching. i wish i knew what that shot was so i could get it again.

  186. Has anyone find a cure or something that works?

  187. John Loiacono says:

    Like many of you, I am relieved to find a community of fellow sufferers. Misery loves company I guess. Yes, ice packs are the only real relief when things get bad. I take Benadryl quite frequently when I feel an attack comming on. It helps for sure, so there is definetly a histamine thing going on. The sun doesn’t always cause a reaction or exacerbate things, but there is no question it has an impact. I use a good UVA blocking sunscreen everyday, rain or shine. The sunscreen thing kind of amazes me in that the relief is immediate. Sun exposure->itching->sunscren->no more itch. That said, the itching can start when I am at home, at night! I’ve even tried putting sunscreen on when the sun is nowhere to be seen… no luck.

    My conclusion: It isn’t just one thing. Sun exposure/damage = yes, nervous system issue = yes, histamine reactions to both = yes.

    The 2 theories that Dr. Benabio outlines in this article, seem to be the prevailing view of the larger medical community. Unfortunately, there is no known cure. Everything I have read about here is some form of symptom relief. I suppose that for now, this is the best that we can hope for.

    To my fellow sufferers, I literally feel your pain.

    Empahtically yours,

  188. Hi everyone! Here I am again. I thought I was out of the woods as I hadn’t itched in so long. Lo and behold, about 5 weeks ago it started. This time on the right arm. Last year it was the left. Always seems to rotate in turn. Tried the Capsaisin, if anything- it made it worse! The heat it produced only exacerbated things for me. Anybody have anything new?

  189. Is anyone else out there experiencing an unusually brutal flare-up that is lasting way longer than usual or is it just me? My arm is itching in places that it never has before and is entering week 7 or 8…

  190. I am so thankful to have found this site. I first started experiencing itching in my right arm winter last year and it just came and went within a few months. Just in the last few weeks it’s come back again this time in my left arm and now occasionally my right. So, after experiencing itching so severe last night, I decided to google ‘itchy arms’ thinking wow this is nuts, I doubt anything will come up and to my amazement I found you all. Thank you so much for all your suggestions. Ice is definately something that works for me but only short term relief, but I will be looking into this big time and will post anything I think could help…..Thank you.

  191. There is another site full of posts about this. I believe it is Medhelp. Check into it, there are alot more of “us” than you think!

  192. Hi Lisa,

    I was reading that you had ordered WHITE FLOWER I use that for allergy problems. I was wondering if it has helped your itchy arms. I buy the White Flower at an Asain store. Does this help. I had an MRI and I dio have pinched nerves in my neck, I am off to see the neurologist tomorrow to see what she says about this itch.

    Hope the White Flower worked. I am gonna apply some after I take a shower. I read where someome said yto try Capasain HP but my arms itch worse with heat so I am wairy about using thta.

    thanks Kathy

  193. I have scars on both arms and hands from the itching and scratching. Now it seems i have found something that has helped me alot and now i hardly ever itch and when i do have an itch i put the cream on my arm.
    That capzacin hp is a miracle. This is the first time inn 7 years that i am not scratching my skin off. Yes it itches when you first put it on. I let it do that till i cant take it anymore then wash my arm off with soap and water. Then run cold water over my arm and put a little vaseline over it. Then my arm warms up but it goes away. If it gets a little too warm run cold water over it again. As for myself i like it warm thats when i know its working.
    Its been two months now and i am mostly itch free except for the once in awhile thing.
    So, if it itches when you put it on, wait a minute or two then wash it off, run cold water on it then put some vaseline on it. just a little to rub in. If it gets too warm run more cold water.
    At first i didnt think it would work but it did and now im a very happy camper and whoever found out about this capzasin you are a miracle worker. nothing works overnight , give it a few days ๐Ÿ™‚

  194. Donna Holland says:

    I had suffered with BRP for 3 years to the point that I could not let any sun touch my arms even through the windows in my house. After seeing 2 regular doctors, one dermatologist and 7 neurologists. I believe I have now found my cure. I have always had neck problems and headaches. MRI shows deterioation but not enough for surgery. I felt that if the headaches could be cured, my arms would also be fixed. With much prayer, I finally found a neurologist that agrees with me. He gave me nerve block shots in neck then botox shots that will continue every 3 months. He put me on 1 valium for muscle spasms and 1400mg Gabapentin as a nerve blocker. So far, I am finally living a normal life again which is a miracle to me after so many doctors telling me all different things.

  195. I have this! Yes, I had a severe case of sunburn in th 80’s. I notice that the sun sets it off. I think temperature does too. I also have LUPUS.
    The itching makes me crazy. I take Benedryl every day in the Summer.

  196. I have had BRP for about 7 years now. I tried the capscaisin (sp?) HP cream and it burned like hell. I heard others say they tried it and it burned too much so they had to stop using it. I don’t really think they have BRP if that’s the way they feel about it. I was so glad to have them burn instead of itch it hurt like hell and I liked it. If your arms itch so badly you enjoy the sensation of feeling like someone poured gasoline on them and set them on fire you probably do have BRP. Sometimes the sticking and stabbing sensations go up and down my arm in waves for 20 or more minutes until I have to fill the kitchen sink up with water and scream into it because I can’t stand it anymore. I am also self diagnosed, as many of us are. I went to 2 differrent general practitioners and neither one could figure out what the hell is wrong with me. Sometimes, it just starts itching by my wrist and continues up my arm to my neck and I scratch until I am bloody and my arms have tiny little holes all over them. This is disghusting. I heard the histamine theory–I was glad one Dr. mentioned that because I have so much histamine in my arms during an attack–a bad one–that it looks like I have cellulite on my forearms. It goes away when the itching stops–sometimes it plauges me for hours and wakes me up at night. A couple of years ago it seemed to go away for a while-it was in the winter, but it returned full force in the summer. I am a former sun-worshipper. No more-it’s sunscreen and pepper cream for me. I am also taking one loratidine 10mg a day and Benadryl 25mg as needed. I put the capscasin on my forearms and forgot about my neck-the itch stopped on my forearms but my damned neck started to itch like hell. THE CREAM DOESN’T BURN AFTER AFEW DAYS. TRY IT!!!! The only thing that was a pain in the ass about the cream is that it’s hard not to get it on your hands even if you wear gloves and wash thoroughly after application. It burns when you get it wet, too, so don’t use prior to pool or bathing. I wind up getting it on my lips, nose, & eyelids all the time. Small price to pay. I have no neck pain but when I touch the area directly beneath my neck at the top of my shoulders, it feels rotten all the time. I have had some stiff necks in the past but I thought that everyone gets a stiff neck now and then. The capscasin is really doing well at killing the exasperating itch. Believe me when I tell you I have itched so badly I was screaming and digging at my skin with a vent brush, slapping myself and crying because I felt so helpless. Maybe if we all write to a show like The Doctors or Dr. Oz they may feature this if they realize that there are enough of us out here. I have also felt the blessed relief of an ice pack. I wish I could be cured of this-right now I feel like when referring to BRP I have my finger stuck in the dam as far as the symptoms are concerned but if I take my finger out–?? I still have the underlying whatever the hell is causing this wicked itch. I have had to wrap my arms up with Ace bandages before just to go out in public because they looked so disghusting if you saw them at the time you would have vomited. I am 45 years old now but I have had this since I was around 38.

  197. I am 59 years old and have had this itch since I was 24. Always been fit, active and healthy except for this damned curse. I do sympathize with you Melissa, your experience is so familiar to me and yes it seems to be worse in summertime. When it first started happening I nearly lost my mind with the intensity and persistence of this thing. Scratching only made it worse. It would temporarily ease, maybe for only a few seconds and then “bang” double the intensity, as if it had a life of it’s own. like some alien living under my skin! It has come and gone over the years and I have learned to live with it because no GP’s I have asked had any clue and did not really understand the symptoms nor the distress it causes. It is the most chronic itch, as you would all know, like being stuck from under the skin with multiple needles dipped in some ferocious itchy powder.
    No rash on top, no visible signs and generally no indicators of an onset. Almost always on the forearms although in later years it has now shown up on the biceps and shoulders although rarely. In the early years I would literally like a lunatic almost pulling my hair out with the severity of this thing and no way of stopping it until complete exhaustion would set in. I began to guess it may have been neurologically based and finally about 5 years ago found a way of alleviating the pain/itch. I place my fingernails over the affected area with firm pressure – no scratching – in a pattern that needs to be adjusted until the right shape is formed covering a line or area of itch, as if to interupt some line of energy or nerve travel. It works for me almost every time – does not completely alleviate it but certainly contains and controls the monster, but really difficult to sleep like that,face down locking my arms and fingers in place with my body weight, although years of practice have enabled me to actually
    do it – even on both arms at once, with opposite hands covering the itches. It makes for a very light sleep. I am so glad to hear of all you other sufferers out there struggling with this thing and now I’m going back to my GP with new info. I’m liking the sound of the BRP solution.

  198. I can’t believe I have finally found an answer for my itching arms. Mine started when I was about 29, when I still lived in South Texas (very hot, very sunny) where I was born. My doctor thought it was some kind of allergy and gave me cortizone cream, which didn’t help but after a few weeks or months it did go away for a few years. I moved to Australia in 2001 and the itch came back with a vengeance when I was pregnant. I was told “wear loose clothing, moisturize, blah, blah, blah.” No doctor here has had a clue nor seems to care very much, so I decided long ago to just live with it. Sometimes I pour vinegar on my arms which works great for a short time because I always have bleeding, open sores from scratching, so the vinegar burns and “confuses” my nerve endings. The skin on my arms is thick and scarred from scratching. My next step will be to try to find the capsacin.

  199. I like everyone else am so glad to know I’m not crazy!!! My arms have been itching on and off for the last 5 years now and as you have said it may be one arm today and both tomorrow…who knows. It is the most intense itch and I don’t understand why it gets worse once you touch it. Sometimes I think me just thinking about it makes it itch! When I began waking in the night having to itch, not able to sleep, I decided to seek help. I have been to my dermatologist twice and my general practitioner. My dermatologist does think it is nerve related but I can’t get my gp to have an x-ray done (which was recommended by my dermatologist). I do wake up with stiff necks and do believe it is a pinched nerve in my back some where. One way or the other I will get to the bottom of this or I’ll go crazy. I REALLY appreciate finding this site and will be able to go back to the doctor with some proof, an actual name of a condition, for which he can focus on. Good luck to everyone! And as for the previous post…yes, I would rather feel the pain of burning rather than itch for another second! ๐Ÿ™‚

  200. Thanks for all the suggestions and sympathy. Solutions do not work for everyone but I can say that someone I work with had this for a year and said he finally found something that worked, Shea Butter. He recommended Burt’s Bees Shea Butter and he suggested applying it liberally right when you get out of the shower….leave your arms almost a little wet before you apply. I tried this last night before bed and IT WORKED!!! It was the first night I slept through the night without waking up scratching. I am praying it continues to help. Hope it helps others. ****Please keep working Shea Butter!!!!****

  201. Oh, it is so good to find that others are going through this hell! Not that I would wish this upon ANYONE, not my worst enemy, but NO doctors seem to know anything about this – MELISSA, what a GREAT idea to get hold of the producers of the Dr. Oz Show!! I’m game – if there are enough of us, I would bet they would use it. I’ve been suffering for this for about 8 years now, off and on, I have scars up and down both arms from the digging. My skin is now very tough and raw, looks horrible. Everyone thought I was crazy when I would attempt to describe the intense burning and itching that seems to come from under the skin, and with no rash. My mother said to put Cortizone on it, “it works for me”, but she has no idea of the intense pain and burn that accompanies the horrific itching. Nothing topical helps, although, I must say, I have used Ben-Gay (or, the Wal-Mart Equate version works just as well) and if you can stand the smell, it seems to work temporarily, along with ice packs. *I have also started taking 1 Aleve (220 mg) along with 1 Benadryl (Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride, 25 mg) at night about an hour before bed – it seems to help somewhat. I will try ANYTHING to get rid of this nightmare. Hope my tidbits help – Let’s keep sharing, it helps, if nothing else at least mentally!

  202. After experiencing the intense itching and burning on both arms and across my upper back and neck for 11 years, I found this website last year. This condition seems to be somewhat seasonal. It calms down for several months in the winter here in Michigan. I had been to doctors and dermatologists, but nothing they said to try helped. I tried capsasin once, but it burned the raw skin too much. After reading many of the comments from last year, I decided I needed to go to a neurologist and get him to prescribe Gabapentin. When I went to see the neurologist and told him I had finally found the answer for my burning and itching skin and gave him the name I had found on the internet, he said he had not been taught that in med school and wasn’t about to check it out any further. But I did get the Gabapentin I think because it is recommended for Restless Leg Syndrome. This is the time of year that it really gets going. Gabapentin I think is the answer. I am taking 3 pills a day–300mg each. I need an exteneded release pill. I take a pill and as soon as the burning and/or itching returns I take another pill. I am going to talk to the family doctor about taking a higher dose. I am very thankful for this nerve medicine as I am able to sleep now and I hope to have things smoothed out after I get the correct dosage. Until this website I couldn’t find anyone who had this. What a lonely feeling. I agree that Dr. Oz or the Doctors would be a good place to get the information out and maybe help others.

  203. Dianne Boomhower says:

    Hello fellow sufferers…
    I have had this BRP for over 10 years. I first discovered ice therapy several years ago and it worked great for a long time. I had a period of time, about fall 2009 until May 2011 that I had no symptoms at all. It came back with a vengenance. Ice will help, but as soon as I remove the ice the screaming itch begins again. The other day it was driving me mad and I had some Mitigator (for ant bites) and rubbed that in real well. I went over 24 hours without itching! In the experimental stage…itching is back horribly this morning and I am going to try the Mitigator again today and see what happens. Will keep you posted.

  204. Hi Janice,

    I would like to know the doage of gabapentin and how many times you take it a day. The gabapentin really helps, but I just starting taking this med and have not got it regulated for the worst part of this condition which is late spring, summer and into November. Thanks.

    Diane in Michigan

  205. (I THINK I HAVE FOUND A CURE)….Oh my god, I never heard about this before I got it more than a month and a half ago. I thought it was hives, because I had that years ago, or poison ivy from being outdoors so often. Ive had shoulder surgery years ago twice on the same arm. I thought I was going to RIP MY ARM OFF! I tried EVERYTHING. Finally, after about 6 weeks, it seemed to go away slightly….then two days before I went to see a dermatologist, it CAME BACK EVEN WORSE! So, that night I decided to put some Tiger Balm on it…you can get it at any or most drug stores. Its a vaseline kind of cream, smells strong like ben gay, and it does have a burning sort of sensation. Its meant for pinched nerves and sore muscles, etc., but it PENETRATES THE SKIN, so it gets deep inside where I believe the problem is. If youre like me, and dont mind a little hot sensation compared to horribly painful itching, this only lasts a little while. The burning sensation meets up with the itching, then overpowers it, and within minutes, the itching dissipates, leaving a slightly “cool” feeling…THIS LASTS FOR HOURS AND OVERNITE AS WELL! It did come back the next day, but right away, I gave it another dose and soon, it was back to relief, with absolutely NO ITCHING. The doctor said if that helps, it should be fine. He also prescribed Prednisone 10mg pills…, which I havnt taken yet, because it may cause diabetes….nice…I dont want that either. He also suggested I am under alot of stress, which I am. Sunlight was not an intense factor but maybe not a good thing. (I am a sunworshipper, and have won tanning contests years ago, but havnt done this in a while) He also suggested Lupus, which I hope to god is not my problem. Nerve damage from a previous accident or surgery was also discussed, which is possible…but I hope to god that someone on here finds a great final cure, because I certainly dont want this to last for YEARS like some of you! (Arggghhh) So for now, try Tiger Balm…IT REALLY DOES WORK! peace, love and light to you all…..

  206. This problem surfaced when I was in my thirties. I am now 55. In the past, I have seen a few doctors and they prescribed antihistamines and topical cortisone creams – neither helped. Year after year I have suffered with the intense itching, mostly starting in June and ending in December. Ice packs were my answer. Now it’s August and the problem has surfaced again. I decided to search the internet about my itching and am now here at your web site. I am positive I am having the same problem. I have always enjoyed the sun have had many sunburns in my life. I have also suffered with hives my entire life and my bottom lip used to swell in High School. I had shingles when I was pregnant at 29. All of these problems have surfaced in posted comments and I feel somehow they may be connected. Thank you to everyone who has written in – I am now sure that what I have can possibly have a diagnosis or at least some hope of a solution. I will try the hot pepper cream. And, I am going to talk with my chiropractor too. And, use UVA/UVB cream and avoid direct sunlight (hard one – I have a pool in my backyard and live on the coast). Best wishes to all of you – you are not alone!

  207. So glad to have found this site ! I’m 51 and have been suffering from BRP for about 25 years. Unless you suffer from it you have no idea just how intense the itching is. My arms are covered in scars and white marks from the scratching/rubbing. Much worse when I get hot – I would like to wear long sleeves to cover my arms up because they look horrible but that just makes them itch even more. Wakes me at night, probably when I get hot. I’ve seen several doctors about it, none had come across it before and none were interested. I’ve been prescribed various tablets and creams over the years, but nothing works. The only thing that will stop the itching/burning temporarily is to apply an ice pack – I keep a couple in the freezer at home and a couple at work. I firmly believe it’s due to nerve entrapment/damage in the cervical spine. I had a car accident resulting in whiplash just before the start of my BRP and have done lots of heavy lifting which makes my neck even more painful leading to itchy arms getting even worse. Am in the process of getting xrays of C4-C8 (cervical spine) to check for damage, and will ask for an MRI scan of the same area if xray don’t show anything. Hope something works it drives me crazy. Good luck to everyone else out there – hope we can raise the profile and get some effective treatment.

  208. I posted a blog here on August 3rd, about how I believe I found a cure for this horrible affliction, and it is still working….however, my blog has not yet posted and it is 5 days since then. It says it is awaiting moderation? Im not sure why it is taking so long. My email is, if anyone would like real relief regarding this. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  209. My trouble with BRP started when I was pregnant with my daughter, 12 years ago. My OB/GYN told me I should see a psychiatrist…needless to say she is no longer my OB/GYN! It makes sense that it started when my spine would have been going through changes to support the big belly. I am a natural health consultant, and make every attempt to avoid any OTC or Rx meds, so I stick with ice. That’s it…ice. I have lost so much sleep over the years and I am so frustrated with this whole thing. I have learned that the only way to not get itchy is to not touch my arms in the first place. My kids can’t touch them, nobody can. Once you start it’s downhill from there. My chiropractor has been a huge help, really the ONLY help. I find that I usually itch worse right after an adjustment, but then have a little time off from it after that. People always ask me what happened to my arms…anyone who doesn’t know me well would probably think I’m a cutter! The one thing I know of that I haven’t seen on any blogs is that you should never wear any type of halter-tie top. Bathing suits are hard to find, but it’s worth finding one that doesn’t put pressure on that part of your neck.

  210. I have the same symptoms!!! Itch and scratch till I bleed. Went to the dermatologist today and she recommended capsaicin which you can get over the counter. I got the roll on application only cost $7.99 at drug store (Walgreens). I have tried SO MANY creams, that did not work!!! Waste of money. Doctor thought I was stressed, but I don’t think so, and why would just my right arm from the elbow to wrist itch in that one area?? Anyway, wish me luck with the capsaicin and I will let you know how it works. Good luck everyone I know what you are going through. Its so hard to explain to someone who doesn’t have this problem.

  211. I havent been to the Dr. yet but I am convinced I have BRP. Everything I read on the subject describes my symptoms perfectly. I just wondered however if anyone has an associated symptom of involuntary arm jerking / movement with the severe itching. I dont know if it is a secondary symptoms or completely unrelated. It is focused on the shoulder area where the itching is the worst.

  212. Barbara Rose says:

    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!


  213. 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

    Best wishes,

  214. I tried the tiger balm. No such luck for me.

  215. 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???

  216. 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….

  217. Margaret Woodward says:

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

  218. 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??

  219. 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!

  220. 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.

  221. 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.

  222. 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.

  223. 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.

  224. 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.

  225. 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.

  226. 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!

  227. 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?

  228. 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.

  229. 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.

  230. 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.

  231. marie howard says:

    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.

  232. 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

  233. 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!!

  234. 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!

  235. 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!

  236. CAPSAICIN WORKS!!!! Put on your arm and it WILL BURN, but it stoped the itching! The itching stopped immediately and here it is December. So far so Good.!!!!!!! My dermatologist said the cream adjusts the nerve endings. Remember, it does burn so be careful when putting it on.

  237. 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.

  238. 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!

  239. 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!!!!!

  240. 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.

  241. Miki Williams says:

    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.

  242. 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?

  243. 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.

  244. 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 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!

  245. 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?

  246. 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.

  247. 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.

  248. 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 !

  249. this is a great site for support, only wish i could find more information on what it is and why its happening

  250. 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!

  251. Great! I’m so happy to hear you found relief, Gwen.

  252. nora martin says:

    are you talking about alleve the pain reliever ?

  253. 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!

  254. 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

  255. Frank J. Ilardi says:

    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.

  256. 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.

  257. Take Alleve!!!

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