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General Questions and Answers For learning, sharing your experience, and exchanging information about Multiple Sclerosis. Please discuss medications in the Medications forum, and natural supplements in Tara's forum.

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  #1  
Old 11-08-2011, 01:42 PM
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meeegun meeegun is offline
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itching(!!!!!!)

Hi all,

I have been having a recent increase in itching. It is mostly my lower legs, but its to the point that I can't put my pants on after a shower and have to either rinse my legs with freezing cold water until it stops or rub on a couple of layers of hydrocortisone cream. I have had problems with "dry skin" that caused itching after I get out of the shower for probably almost 10 years. I am thinking now that it is not dry skin, but my MS acting up after a hot shower. I am still on the fence about whether having dry skin is increasing the itching because it is stimulating those receptors that lead to overreactive nerves that are going haywire from the hot water (which is maybe why the hydrocortisone seems to help).

either way, i need relief! i am not ready to go on something like neurontin because in the last few weeks lhermitte's has all but disappeared for me and this is the only remaining neuropathy symptom i have (can i get a woohoo!!). since it is situational, i would prefer to try something naturopathic or topical (both?) to try and control the itching. i don't think that hydrocortisone is a good long term solution because it is a steroid cream that can thin the skin over time. i was wondering if anyone here has had this sort of symptom and had a natural solution for it. i was thinking of maybe a capsacin cream or something similar. dousing my legs with ice cold water is effective but not very pleasant!

i welcome your thoughts and ideas.

thanks
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2011, 03:57 PM
Bob698 Bob698 is offline
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Benedryl OTC.
I get the dye-free gel caps. I also get the itchies that aren't there.
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2011, 04:20 PM
Bob698 Bob698 is offline
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Just a follow-up.
As always, check with your Neuro/GP first. I had something like what you described (its off and on) and was also pondering if I had to look into Neurontin, which I didn't want to do. In my case, I'm pretty sure its one of the more bizzarre MS side effects.
My Neuro said to try Tylenol PM because it had benedryl in it and also would help me sleep (I could sleep if the itching wasn't driving me nuts).
The Tylenol worked but I wanted something that wouldn't knock me out and found Benedryl caps, instead.
I use the ones in the pink and blue box, they're also fairly cheap at around $3.50 for 16 caps. Check the OTC aisle for allergies and colds and you should find it.
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  #4  
Old 11-08-2011, 04:47 PM
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valeriem2220 valeriem2220 is offline
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OH how I know what you are talking about. The beginning of this year I was scratching my shins until they bled, and then scratching some more even though it hurt terribly.
My lower legs looked like they had been ravaged by a crazed lion.
I just attributed it to dry skin, even though I kept them doused with lotion, and it was just my legs below my knees. I even had a bottle of lotion at work so I could reapply all throughout the night.
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2011, 04:56 PM
Bob698 Bob698 is offline
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If its a neuro thing, you can put on lotion until the cows come home and the only relief you'll feel is if you strongly believe it works.
Not to get anyone worried, but if its due to MS its a really close cousin to neuropathy pain, that's why you should talk to your Neuro.
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2011, 05:07 PM
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jazzgirl jazzgirl is offline
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Wink

http://www.internalmedicinenews.com/...thic-itch.html

As Bob said, if it's neurological in nature there are some things you can try to alleviate this form of pain.

Good luck...it's awful, I know!
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2011, 05:25 PM
Bob698 Bob698 is offline
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Bingo.
Its also (very) possible that its allergy related, you'll need a Doc to figure that out, though.
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2011, 06:49 PM
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meeegun meeegun is offline
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i have thought for years that it is sensitive/dry/allergic skin. i have completely cut out all fragrances, harsh soaps, etc. i only use natural soaps and lotions now. i even make them myself. after a shower, looking at my skin, there are no bumps, no redness (unless i have been scratching), and only small patches of dry flaky skin. i do use lotion and jojoba oil afterwards and if i am consistent with that then i usually don't have any problem with itchy skin (until recently that is). the itching sensation is not the same sensation as when i have a mosquito bite or a rash. its more like i am being poked or scratched. sort of a noxious sensation, almost like the tingling i had.

my opinion on the matter is that i have MS-related neuropathy that is aggravated by the heat from a shower. when i combine that with dry skin and the sensations it causes, it overstimulates these damaged nerves and sends the itching into overdrive. i think that it is a combination of both. as bob mentioned i will talk with my neurologist about it, but since we have already discussed neurontin because of the tingling i was having, i am pretty certain that is where the conversation will lead.

i had forgotten about bendryl. isn't there also a benadryl cream? to everyone who is also dealing with the itching, if i find anything that works for me i will let you know!
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2011, 02:21 AM
Bob698 Bob698 is offline
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I mentioned Benedryl gel caps because they worked for me.
Think this through, if you believe the itch is neurological due to MS then it is not topical. What good is a topical cream going to do if you can't apply it to where the problem is (ie, your nervous sytem)?
Of course, you could get the cream and if it doesn't work then you could probably eliminate allergies as a cause.
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  #10  
Old 11-09-2011, 07:03 PM
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meeegun meeegun is offline
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hi bob,

i think its both. there was another board member here that wrote about burning arm pain and when they tried to put on a wrist brace, the added sensations of the brace touching thier skin increased thier neuro symptoms.

i think what is happening to me is something similar. i know i have MS-related neuropathy. under normal circumstances, it causes me little problem. however, i also have dry skin in the same area that i have neuropathy. the extra sensation of tight, dry, itchy skin sets off my neuropathy. the reason i want to try a cream is because if i can control the dry skin and itching, then i will hopefully not aggravate my neuropathy.

if i had it other times then i would be more interested in meds but it is completely situational. these itching attacks only happen after a shower. why take a medication with side effects everyday to control something that only happens after a specific event? if the cream doesn't work then i can move on to something else. also, not loading up on the meds now means that i will have something new to try in the future--i'm 30. i have a whole lifetime of MS symptoms ahead of me!
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