Author Topic: itchy face, neck, arms :(  (Read 5578 times)

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Offline madhunter

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itchy face, neck, arms :(
« on: Sunday January 11, 2004, 04:55:05 AM »
Hello,

out of desperation I began surfing the web tonight because I'm having an itchy meltdown.  unfortunately, I'm not one for going to the doctor when I should and am wondering now if I should see a doctor to find out what's going on.

I have always had mild acne since I was a teen - at age 30, for the past year, I've noticed that it's a tad worse.  funny, growing up I always heard 'you'll grow out of it'.  fortunately, it's for the most part gotten better, with exception to this year.  

along with the change in acne for  the tiny bit worse,  I've noticed that about hmmmm, 6 months ago, I started getting itchy.   I thought at times that it was a reaction to red wine because my uncle gets a bit itchy and red in the face when he drinks wine.  at first, it was just now and then and I seemed to notice it mostly when I'd drink wine.  I eventually quit the wine but the itching didn't go away.  instead, it seems to have gradually gotten worse.  

I do plan on going to a doctor, but unfortunately, I know that when I call monday, the soonest appointment I'll be able to make is probably a month away.  until then I am going insane being clueless about this.

I do not suffer from dry skin, hives, flaking, bleeding or blisters of any kind.  when I am prompted to scratch, it's cause my face, neck or the underside of my arms has already turned a bit blotchy and just feels too itchy not to scratch.  when I do scratch, I notice that the skin turns bright red and gets very warm.  cream, lotion doesn't help - but I realize that it's probably because it's generic cream and not for treating skin problems.  the only thing that seems to help right now is to splash the coldest water possible on the itchy area and just force myself not to scratch.  I'm really good at this in public because I get so embarrassed and don't want to walk around looking like a tomatoe - but when alone, like now, I scratch away and at this very moment would give anything to just peel off my skin.

does anyone know what this might be? can anyone suggest what I might be able to try - to treat this while I wait to see a doctor?  please please help before I scratch my skin off.  I would greatly greatly appreciate it.

I apologize for the length, but I guess this typing has calmed me in a way, and I wanted to be as detailed as possible to perhaps get someone to recognize what I have.

-Madelin-

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« Last Edit: Sunday January 11, 2004, 07:05:43 AM by Fishs »

Offline lurker

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #1 on: Sunday January 11, 2004, 05:23:32 AM »
 :hi: Madelin,

    It is difficult to tell what you have as it could be a number of different things... I hope it is something simple like an allergic reaction to something those areas are touching... Are you allergic to anything that you know of?
 
   Acne for so long... I was going to say this could be rosacea but then again I don't think rosacea can show up on your arms...

   I think you need to get to a dermatologist to have this checked out, or at least a doctor.   Go ahead and make that appointment.

   Are you in the UK or the US or some other location?  

   6 months ago you said this itch started, right?  Do you remember anything that you changed at that time?   Did you move to a new residence?  Did you switch soaps, shampoos, laundry detergent?

  To start with , I would try a non-soap cleanser such as Cetaphil instead of soap in those areas.   Try using lukewarm water rather than hot water when washing.   Pat dry after wash/shower/bath, do not wipe.   Also use moisturizers that are noncomodegenic, in other words ones that do not clog pores.   Cetaphil also makes a moisturizer so that is a good one to start with.   Moisturel, Curel, Aveeno, Eucerin, and Lubriderm are also brands that I would recommend, although I do want to add a word of caution as the standard formula of Eucerin, Curel and Lubriderm have lanolin, which some people (like myself) are allergic to.

  You may be able to use some hydrocortisone 1% on the arm area and see how that goes before using it elsewhere.   As you seem to have an acne problem I would not use this on your facial areas.  Give it a try on a small area of the itchy arm.

  Welcome to SkinCell!  May you find help and heart here.

   - lurker

Offline Fishs

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #2 on: Sunday January 11, 2004, 07:13:35 AM »
 :hi:

Hi There Madelin

Welcome along to the forum

Hope you will get some  relief ..

Lurker has provided some good advice and I am sure others will have more for you

Fish
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peterb

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #3 on: Sunday January 11, 2004, 08:47:51 AM »
 :hi:Madelin

A warm welcome to skincell.  I agree Lurker has given some excellent advice till you get to see your Doctor.

 :) :) :) :)

Offline kneecapper

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #4 on: Sunday January 11, 2004, 09:02:34 AM »
 :hi: Madelin,

sorry to hear that you have a case of the itches. Lurker has given some sound advice and I would like to ask you some more questions too. I must admit that my first thought was rosacea since you are reacting to red wine and get a flushed face.

Can you tell me a little bit more about your teenage acne? Did you also have warts? You say that your neck is itchy? Can you describe the kind of condition that you have on your neck and arms? Have you shown sides of getting the itch in the area of your sweat glands?

Also, do you suffer from other allergies? Do you get hay fever? Have you tried using an over the counter antihistamine to control the itch.

BTW, you have my sympathy over the desire to scratch. One does tend to get blood on everything with so much scratching. Even white nighties tend to turn blood red from the need to scratch  :-X  :-\

Maggie
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Offline Nick

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #5 on: Sunday January 11, 2004, 09:24:56 AM »
Hi Madelin and welcome :hi:

My initial reaction was to think of Rosacea too, but the arms itching ? ? ?
It may be that you have picked up a generalized infection of the skin like Tinea or Candida.

Try having a look through a site that we trust,

DermNetNZ

That might help throw some light on the problem :up:

Gobe

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #6 on: Sunday January 11, 2004, 12:06:59 PM »
 :hi:

Welcome to Skincell Madeline!

I am an eczema sufferer.  When I scratch my skin also turns red and hot.

Some great advice from Lurker there.

Good luck.

 :)





Offline totalfolly

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #7 on: Sunday January 11, 2004, 01:57:05 PM »
Hi Madelin, and welcome to SkinCell!

I hope you're able to get to a doc soon so you can get a proper diagnosis.  I had to wait 6 weeks!

totalfolly
 

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then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."
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Offline Ami

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #8 on: Sunday January 11, 2004, 03:36:51 PM »
Welcome to Skincell :)

Offline madhunter

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #9 on: Sunday January 11, 2004, 04:04:04 PM »
thank you everyone for the responses - especially lurker.  I really appreciate it.  

to answer the questions asked.....

I'm from the states, michigan to be exact...  so I'm currently freezing - not just itchy =)
I never thought until now of the things that changed in my life around the time I started itching a lot.  It turns out that I moved into a new home, switched shampoo, soap, and laundry detergent!  I switched because I was living with my family before and just using what they use before - where as now, I buy what I like - which is different all around.  I am visiting my folks today so I'm going to write down everything they use - and use that for a while to see if that makes a difference.

the only allergies I am aware of are to dust and mold.  I will say that this new house is much newer than my family's home and nicely enough - not as dusty or moldy. So, I've actually seen an improvement on the sniffles.

my teenage acne I think was pretty run of the mill.  Not too severe - but bad enough to be self conscious of during those years. I have never had warts.   to be honest, I believe the acne is due to another condition I have - I just mentioned it to make sure I didn't leave anything out when describing what I'm going through.

the itching on my neck is the same as on my arms and face.  all itching is the same.  I can feel my skin getting itchy, warm - in the blotchy areas,  I'll typically find a mirror to see how bright/bad the blotches are, then I'll splash with cold water and will myself not to scratch if in public, or scratch away if I'm alone.
when I start scratching the skin turns hot and bright bright red.

thank you again - so much - everyone for your replies!

-Madelin-

Gobe

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #10 on: Sunday January 11, 2004, 04:11:38 PM »
If you are allergic to dust and moulds you might also be allergic to dust mites so it might be a good idea to give your mattress a thorough vacuum.  Bedding should also be washed at a hight temperature to kill the dust mites.

What you describe really does sound like eczema.

 :)

Offline lurker

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #11 on: Monday January 12, 2004, 03:43:25 AM »
Hi again Madelin,

  Gobe raises a good point about the dust mites and the bedding... Also, Maggie has asked some good questions.  Thanks for answering our questions and I hope you come back and ask/answer some more so we can try to help you as much as we can while you await your doctor's appointment.

  On the subject of the doctor, I would see if they can put you on some kind of wait list, so if someone cancels then you can take their spot.   Also, see if you can get across that this is a bit urgent...  A month wait for a doc?  If it was a dermatologist I would understand...  Are you with some kind of HMO, where you have to go to your Primary Care Physician first, even to get a referral to a derm or something?   I have a PPO plan where I am allowed to go basically to any doc/specialist I want.

  New house?  Congratulations!   But of course, you do see where we are coming from with this as you picked up our train of thought there... You may be sensitive to the new stuff you are using, even new blankets, pillows, mattresses...

  The locations that you describe for this "rash", you mentioned face, neck, and underside of arms (forearms or tricep area or both?)... Does it appear anywhere else? Legs? Body?

  If those are the only areas then would think carefully as to what comes in contact with those areas and not other areas...  A good example is the pillow for the face and maybe even arms... another example is some kind of facial cleanser that you don't use anywhere else.  Do you understand where I am going with this?   If it is soap/cleanser I do like to recommend such things as Dove cleansing bar and Cetaphil bar and their liquid cleanser...   The shampoos are another possible culprit so I am glad you are going to look into that as well.

  If you find the cold water helps, then perhaps you could try putting your moisturizer in the refridgerator and apply it cold when you get an itch.   You can also do this with hydrocortisone.   Since you are in the States you can get a brand called Cortaid, which is what I used to use.   The "maximum strength" version is hydrocortisone 1%.  I liked the cream better and I think for you the cream would be preferred over the ointment.

  The acne thing is a bit troublesome.... did you say you had another medical condition that is causing this?   Are you on any other medication?

  Laundry detergent and soaps are always top suspects, so let's see if we can't get you something that will be good for you to use...  Please find out what you were using before you moved... What are you using now?   I always recommend the ALL brand, they make a "Free and Clear" version in a white bottle.   Liquid detergent is better than powder because it dissolves and mixes better, doesn't leave the residue that the powders can sometimes.   Also, the dryer sheets, I would ditch those.  Gobe says they are evil :evil: and I tend to agree.  If you are not having an issue with using these then that's fine, but we'll still think they're evil  :el:

  Let's see what you were using for laundry, dishes, soap, shampoo, etc. before you moved, and what you are using now... When you find out please come back and let us know ;)

 - lurker



 

 

Offline madhunter

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #12 on: Tuesday January 13, 2004, 12:42:33 AM »
Thanks again for all the help on this!!!  As for the dustmites - I wash my bedding about everyother week.  The mattress is 6 months old.  How often would you recommend I vacume?  The only thing that doesn't get cleaned on a regular basis is my pillow - so I'm going to wash it tonight. I don't really think this is the culprit though because it's only on my face, neck and the underside of my forearms..  if my bedding had anything to do with it, I think my back, chest and legs would be itchy too - but they're not.  To get more detailed, my face and neck are worse than my arms.  

As for the doctor, usually it doesn't take long to see a doctor - however, I'm in the process of looking for a new primary physician after having the daylights scared out of me with a serious misdiagnosis.  Going to a doctor for the first time for some reason always takes about a month.  To be honest, I don't even know who to go to so I'm going to close my eyes and pick out of a book.

Tonight after work, I bought the following :  Suave shampoo and conditioner - since that's what my folks always bought.  I also bought dove and cetaphil.  It's replacing what I have been getting since moving out which is Garnier Fructis shampoo/conditioner and lever 2000 body wash.

Also bought the cortaid and just tossed it in the fridge.

one last thing, this morning after I checked the board, I went to the basement to get my dryer sheets and they went into the garbage immediately =)

Gobe

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #13 on: Tuesday January 13, 2004, 12:54:37 AM »
 :hi:

I vacuum my mattress every week when I change the bedding.

I bought those washable pillows coz when you think what is in a pillow eeeek!
dead skin cells and all sorts of nastiness.

I also use pillow protectors and mattress protectors and also change them and wash them every week.  A bit extreme but I am allergic to dust mites.

Glad you have replaced your toileteries and ditched the laundry sheets!

 :hugs:


Offline lurker

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #14 on: Tuesday January 13, 2004, 01:19:10 AM »
The only thing that doesn't get cleaned on a regular basis is my pillow - so I'm going to wash it tonight. I don't really think this is the culprit though because it's only on my face, neck and the underside of my forearms..  if my bedding had anything to do with it, I think my back, chest and legs would be itchy too - but they're not.  To get more detailed, my face and neck are worse than my arms.  

Madelin,

   The locations of your outbreaks is actually the reason I am suspecting the pillow and the bedding! ;)   Alright, I have another question - do you put the sheets over the pillows during the day?  Do you put anything over the pillows during the day to cover them (besides the pillowcases, obviously)?  Like, do you pull the covers over teh entire bed, pillows and all, after you get up in the morning?

Quote
As for the doctor, usually it doesn't take long to see a doctor - however, I'm in the process of looking for a new primary physician after having the daylights scared out of me with a serious misdiagnosis.  Going to a doctor for the first time for some reason always takes about a month.  To be honest, I don't even know who to go to so I'm going to close my eyes and pick out of a book.

I hate that too... and you have to pick out of THEIR books...  Can you ask anyone at work about their docs?   If you work with them they must have the same health insurance, so they pick out of the same book, right?  And they probably live near you?   Then they may be able to recommend their doctor (or recommend that you find another one as theirs is no good - that has happened to me too).   Do you get my drift here?   I think this might be better than picking randomly... You can try to use other's experience.

Quote
Tonight after work, I bought the following :  Suave shampoo and conditioner - since that's what my folks always bought.  I also bought dove and cetaphil.  It's replacing what I have been getting since moving out which is Garnier Fructis shampoo/conditioner and lever 2000 body wash.

Also bought the cortaid and just tossed it in the fridge.

You are quick, Madelin!

The Dove, some people don't like it, so I would try it in a spot first...   Lever 2000 I found to be OK, just not as good as the Cetaphil.   Did you get the Cetaphil bar or the liquid?  Or the Cetaphil moisturizer?  I like the moisturizer, but I use all three.

Try putting some moisturizer in the fridge too, as you may want to only use the cortaid on the stubborn parts.   The moisturizer would be better for multiple uses per day type thing, where I would say on the label of the Cortaid I think it says not to use it so many times a day, or somesuch...  Probably not more than 3 times a day in the same area.


Quote
one last thing, this morning after I checked the board, I went to the basement to get my dryer sheets and they went into the garbage immediately =)

:lol:  Well, I am not so militant against these, but I did want you to think about whether they could be a problem or not, as if they weren't the cause then you can continue to use them.   I think I would have just stopped using them for a while to see.   But now that you have made a commitment ;), you will need to wipe off the inside of your dryer to get the residue off so the next time you use it you won't get the stuff on your clothes.   Also, try using an extra rinse cycle on your clothes the next time you wash them.   Did you figure out what you were using for laundry detergent at your parent's house?

Please keep us posted, and feel free to ask any more questions.

 - lurker

Offline nubby

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #15 on: Wednesday January 14, 2004, 06:02:04 AM »
sorry to hear that you are not doing so good, In the past months, (you said it has gotten worse) have you changed any laundry detergent from other that what you usually use? If so, try using less detergent and , If, your wasing machine has it, use the extra rinse cycle. The newer, ULTRA, ATOMIC (lol) detergents have become so strong that pediatritions dont want mommies to wash newbies laundry in the stuff.  It actually eats, yea, eats the stains away.  Just a thought  smiles ::)

Offline Fishs

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #16 on: Wednesday January 14, 2004, 07:04:22 AM »
 :hi:

   :up:

That's an excellent point you make there  Nubby .

Please use the double rinse facility on the washing machine or run the rinse cycle again .This is an excellent suggestion to get all the powder etc from the clothes ..If you can use a liwuid wash  thats far better .

Fish
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Offline lulu

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Re:itchy face, neck, arms :(
« Reply #17 on: Wednesday January 14, 2004, 02:12:30 PM »
Sorry I can't help you but just wanted to welcome you to skincell.

                                                                     lulu :hi: