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Any CURE for brachioradial pruritus? (besides ice as relief)

Thousands of people are suffering with Brachioradial Pruritus, including myself, in my tenth year. It is the most maddening disease and I have learned of no cure. Ice is the ONLY thing to provide relief, and acupuncture has not been effective for me. I have tried all the expensive prescription and steroid creams to no avail. I am losing sleep, and my sanity, b/c it keeps me up all night. I am staying out of the sun, but every year, this persists until December or January. I have read countless articles and blogs about BRP, am sure that is what I have, but have yet to find a cure, and therefore some hope that I don't have to suffer with this every year for the rest of my life. Any new ideas/solutions/cures??? PLEASE?!!!!
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Avatar universal
CURE...

CARESS bar soap. Just wash with it. (could only find it with a flower fragrance. but I would rather smell like a flower then not sleep due to itching.) Sounds to easy. 30 yo male suffered for 4 years from BRP. Saw a post with this soap and tried it. After 3 days no itch no more ice packs, biofreeze, duct tape, or any other symptom reliever. It has been 2 weeks now and no sign of symptoms returning. Happy to say I haven't debated cutting off my arm while scratching it till it bleeds.

When this works for you please come back on to help others.  
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2 Comments
YES!!! worked for me.. so glad I saw your article.. I bought caress soap and started showering w it. and after a week my itching was gone.. I had tried cetaphil soap and all sorts of creams.. who would have thought something so simple would give me such great results. ive continued to use it for 6 months and still no itching.
I just bought some and am crossing my fingers...
Avatar universal
I had this insane itch for a few years back and in all my attempts was able to get rid of it. It came back this year and misery. This time I knew the cause and went for the sure thing that works. I visited my chiropractor who specializes in Atlas Orthogonal alignment and he instantly stopped me scratching... again. But it does linger around. When you have a nerve that's being pinched, it's not going to heal instantly. But releasing the pinch begins the heal. I purchased a neck traction device online and the thing is amazing. Basically it makes you stand up straight, by your head/neck. OK, here's some proof it's a pinched nerve that's causing your itch. As you read this, stand up. Now stand up military style. Really stand tall, lift your head so that it goes thru the roof, literally. Do it now. If you're not close to being tip toe, then you're not lifting your head enough. If you want this itch gone, then use your muscles and lift your head higher than you've ever lifted it. See, your itch calms significantly. Now buy an inflatable neck traction device, they're $7, what's to lose. Throw your shoulders back and stand tall, your itch will be gone very soon. Other stuff I used that really helped was Clorox Disinfectant wipes in the yellow container. No other brand.
Helpful - 1
1 Comments
Sitting up and stretching my neck as far as I could really did lessen the itch. Do you think a teeter would help by hanging upside down and stretching your spine?
Avatar universal
I am so happy that I came across this site. I have done google searches before on "itchy arms" & never came across until I was talking with a dermatologist about my symptoms & she said Brachioradial Pruitis.  I have tried most everything I knew. I have had symptoms for almost 20 years & have seen various Drs., specialist, & tried natural remidies.  Now I have a few more to try. Since starting to read blog, I feel hopeful to try some of these that have helped others. Mine started with maybe a one month episode the first year or two & had progressed to almost constant, just switching arms. Just saying I am happy to have a word for it & some new things to try.  
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I found a very inexpensive treatment that works for me. My right forearm started itching unmercifully about 2 months ago. I tried many anti itch creams, lotions, mineral oil and ice, but nothing worked. I would wake up every night with terrible itching for hours of torment. One night before I went to bed I saw some old sun block lotion NIVEA SPF 50, and I said "what the heck", so I tired it, and it did an amazing job, reduced the itching about 90%. It makes your skin feel dry rather than moist, almost like it's impacting the skin  I tried other sun lotions BUT THEY DIDN'T WORK.  I tried  NIVEA SPF 30. and it DOESN'T work. If you look at its ingredients,  the SPF 50 is different than SPF 30. It must be the SPF 50. I rub it on generously once a day after I shower and it takes away most of the itching 24 hrs. Sometimes I use it twice a day  There may be different Nivea SPF 50's, so get the one that has the word MOISTURE in the title in bold letters on the plastic container. It may be called SUN AND MOISTURE, but I only remember the word moisture for sure in the title. Don't get a tube, buy the blue plastic container NIVEA SPF 50. TRY IT,  IF  IT WORKS FOR YOU, PASS THE WORD!
Avatar universal
I'd like to share my insight into BRP. I'm a 30 year old white male, going on almost 10 years of this seemingly seasonal, insane itch. I havnt noticed it every year since I first noticed it, this year has by far been the most severe. I've never had any serious head, neck, back injuries or surgeries. I've had some sunburn on my body, including forearms in my life.. maybe quite a bit, but not as much as someone who lived in a warm area and spent tons of time on the beach.

I have always held tension and had strong anxiety, probably relating back to emotional insecurity habits started in childhood. I've always been a bit quiet and shy, and probably "held in" a lot of mental and physical things. I noticed recently I've had Forward Head Posture for a long time in my life, meaning I did not have proper posture in how I held my head on my shoulders. I developed snoring, which became sleep apnea, low back tension, and cervical spine tension. I imagine as I held my head forward throughout life the rest of my spine gradually started to clench to compensate for the improper posture near the neck.

Now, back to BRP. I've tried creams, I've tried scratching, I've done the ice packs. I want to CURE, not TREAT this madness, as we all do. I began to start with proper head and neck posture, making sure my, particularly my C5-C7 vertebrae were not bunched up and compressed. I began proper diaphragm breathing, in through the nose, and also out through the nose (to simultaneously help with anxiety and sleep apnea). I noticed an IMMEDIATE relief in my anxiety, my mental pace, and my airway blockage. I began doing certain cervical spine yoga stretch routines and noticed an IMMEDIATE relief in BRP symptoms.

Yes, as you begin to correct your posture your upper back and shoulder muscles have to work in new ways, and can get fatigued. When I need to rest I lay flat on my back, no pillow, with my head in the same posture I work on while sitting and standing. I breath deeply into this feeling and try to release as much as possible.

I have focused on my posture while driving, sleeping, sitting, typing, standing, and even how I look at my cell phone and tablet devices. I hold them up to my eyes, rather than drop my head down to them.

Chin tucked, back of the skull lifts, drop your shoulders down and back. You don't want a perfectly straight spine, a gentle concave curve is normal. If posture has been causing your BRP, like I believe it has for me, you will notice a larger than normal knot around your C5-C7 vertebrae, basically between the tops of your shoulders. Look at yourself in the mirror from the side, do you resemble the hunchback of notre dame a bit? :) I know I did (I say this somewhat exaggeratedly).

Whether your are into spirituality, yoga, eastern medicine energy thoughts or not, you WILL notice circulation sensations reaching EXACTLY where the BRP itch is when you start to correct your posture. This is your body telling you you are on the right track!

Let your belly hang out, its beautiful, I've got one! Lift your chin, let your chest proudly go out, release all your held tension that isnt necessary for standing up. Breath at an even pace, do all your activities at an even pace (other than exercise) and keep your posture in check throughout the day, constantly!

I've noticed better circulation, less obstructed airways, and best of all, relief to my damned itchy arms.

Posture is key, especially in our head region. Our heads are essentially 11 or so lb bowling balls resting on a delicate stick. Even just slightly having our head forward, over time, many years/decades, will gradually stress the neck and back out a LOT. We also drive and sit at desks a lot in our society, this adds to this unhealthy habit.

Every doctor I went to didnt know jack about BRP and wouldnt acknowledge it. They insisted it was eczema, dry skin, allergies. I have incredibly oily skin and my doctor still tried to convince me I had dry skin. Creams that will destroy your skin if you use them for too long are NOT the answer. They only treat anyway, not cure.

If you live in a state where medical or recreational cannabis has been approved, look into CBD creams, pills, tincture. It's the NON-PSYCHOACTIVE ingredient in marijuana responsible for muscle relaxation, anxiety and mental mood boost, and even anti-inflammatory properties. It does NOT get you high like the famed THC chemical does. This will help with muscle relaxation as you rest and hold your posture. Remember to breathe evenly.
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4 Comments
If anyone would like links to the youtube videos I use for cervical spine and posture correction; be it stretches, strengthening exercises, or general information on how to recognize what you need to work on in those regions let me know. Or type "cervical spine yoga" into youtube.
Again I should ALSO mention that massage and acupuncture are great for helping "catch up" on releasing years of tension. A regular stretching/yoga routine not just relating to cervical spine is good. And of course good, regular exercise and diet can only help matters.

A lot of us are stressed in life, whether we realize it or not. Whether it causes obvious mental symptoms or not.  It's easy to allow posture to slip without realizing it.

Please consider that treating the arms is not the source of the itch, though it manifests there. Our nerves are linked to our spine, and the brain tells the spine to send signals to these nerves. If you have not had a serious injury and still have this insane itch, look at your spine and see if there's attention needed there. There may be no "cure" a doctor can prescribe, but you CAN cure this condition I believe by adjusting your overall posture and health. I have not yet fully cured this, as these are more recent realizations of mine. But I've noticed much relief already. I'll keep posting as I progress!
I dont mean to totally bash on the creams the doctors will give you. In SHORT TERM they can provide immediate relief as you sort out the true source of the problems. I use them as an emergency when my itch gets its most intense and I just need to sleep or let my mind relax. I rarely use them, and have needed them less as I work on posture and circulation/stretching. But it may be wise to have some pharmaceutical creams at hand for emergencies. I have triamcinolone acetonide and a perscription strength hydrocortisone.

these wont cure it but will provide emergency relief. But theyre not a long term solution! Theyre not safe long term and your doctor will tell you that.

Gabapentin supposedly helps some people, my doc wouldnt give me that. It may be a wise temporary emergency solution as well.

Posture may not be everyones true cause of BRP but I feel its mine, and may be for many others. Also please dont do the stretches and exercises I do if you have had serious injuries or surgeries as again, I have been lucky to NOT have any of those in my life. My BRP seemingly "came out of nowhere" but my anxiety and posture have always been issues.

Thanks for your comments on correct posture! I'd love to fix the cause of my BP, not just cover up the symptom. What you said makes a lot of sense and seeing how most people with BP have underlying cervical spine issues, it's worth a try to correct my posture. I've never injured my neck but carry all my tension in my neck and shoulders and have horrible posture. I am praying that in correcting my posture it will help relieve my arm itching. If anything, at least I'll carry myself better. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Avatar universal
I've been a sufferer of BRP for about 4 years now.  Primarily in my right arm, but sometimes in left only, sometimes both.  Maddening itching that would keep me up at night, make me scratch my arms until they would bleed, and it would also make me think I was going insane.  Initially, ice packs were the only things that provided relief.  Then I found Biofreeze, and that helps in a pinch.  

About 18 months ago, I developed serious neck pains, numbness/tingling in fingers, and knots in my upper back.  I went to Ortho, who ordered MRI.  I don't have my MRI results immediately available (they are at home; I'm at office) but the short version is that the disc between my C5/C6 is shot.  Severe compression.  Based on the timeline of everything, my guess is it was caused by a wake boarding accident.  I do not have DDD in the remaining discs.  So, first attempt to resolve was facet joint injections and pain blocks.  I got no relief. Also tried Mobic for inflammation (intended to help neck, not BRP). Ortho had heard of BRP though and he prescribed me Gabapentin.  300mg, 3x daily seems to do the trick.  Very few BRP outbreaks now.  Still, neck pain continued, so he referred me to neurosurgeon.  

Neurosurgeon recommended neck traction; only got relief while wearing device.  Believed neck pain was mainly due to non-stop muscle spasms.  Tried Robaxin; no change.  Neoro recommended ACDF of C5/C6.  Said I would be a good candidate for ADR (disc replacement) but he no longer did it due to insurance issues.  I passed on ACDF, sought new options.  

Met with a spinal surgeon.  He also said ACDF would remedy my issues, but to see Chiropractor first.  

Four visits with Chiro - no change.  She refers me to another Ortho surgeon in different city.  Meet this surgeon in May, 2017.  He reviews MRI, takes X-Rays.  Confirms what all others say.  C5/C6 disc is bad.  Needs to be replaced.  Currently scheduled to have ADR in Dec, 2017.  Surgeon seems fairly confident this will also fix my BRP.  Said it may take a while for the nerves to stop sending the itching signals, but they should stop eventually.  

I'm certainly not saying all BRP cases are due to C-spine issues, but I do believe mine is.  Hoping the surgery fixes both my muscular/skeletal issues and my nerve issues (BRP).  Not advocating surgery for everyone, but in my case I believe it is needed.  I'll post back with results after surgery.

Non-surgical treatment that has helped my BRP = Gabapentin (900 mg daily).  Ice packs are still on-hand at the house at all times :)
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Well I've has bracheradial puritus off and on for over 36yrs and may have recently found a cream that works. I have tried everything, and I mean everything including every neurological nerve meds know to man, along with ice packs and acupuncture and ice packs are the only thing that works.
Take this with a grain of salt because I don't know if this is because I am at the end of my itch cycle but the cream I started using for my tendonitis works for my itch.
I have 98% relief for over 2 weeks now. PENETREX is available on Amazon or direct from the mfg and is over the counter.
I HAVE NEVER HAD A CREAM WORK FOR MY SEVERE ITCHING until 2 weeks ago. All I can say is it comes with a 100% money back guarantee and I just ordered 2 more tubs. Simply amazing or maybe psychological... who knows. It's worth trying.
PENETREX  cream has given me relief for the first time in 3 months..... PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF IT HELPS!!!
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Avatar universal
Some folks feel like sun exposure causes their condition.  My feeling is the sun is definitely not the cause but yes it does heat up our skin and increases the skins sensitivity and consequently itching will increase from heating up but is not the underlying cause. Whereas applying ice packs limit skin sensations and helps relieve itching.  So it's the heating of your sensitive skin that only increases already itchy skin.
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Avatar universal
I am unbelievably grateful to have come across this site.  
Every year when the weather gets warm I begin to itch uncontrollably.  It lasts for a week or two and then subsides. But will often return on a later date. I have L4 L5 disk problems so the nerve connection makes sense to me.  Now I have information that I can  use to help treat this "mystery aliment" doctors have said I have.  To help the only thing that has works is  Benadryl Itch cooling spray.  I keep it in the refrigerator so it feels cold when I apply it. It helps for a while when I'm trying to get to sleep.
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Avatar universal
I'm using Lidocaine patches on my arms, 12 hours on, 12 off. They are working amazingly well and allow me to actually sleep at night!!! Also, Aspercream with Lidocaine for day time flare ups.
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2 Comments
I use Lidocaine patches as well and the aspercream with Lidocaine but the patches work best.  Do you use more than one patch at a time?  I only use one and it helps tremendously for sleep--it just does not necessarily calm down the other arm.  I read of a case where a woman had surgery and she found relief but this sounds too extreme for me except at night when I am itching so much I could cry.
I know these posts are two years old, but i am so grateful to have found them!  11years offering from intense arm itching, just diagnosed as likely BRP this Spring.  Afternoon years of creams and ointments not working, I tired acupuncture ($600,) gabapentin, physical therapy, chiropractor (massages, manipulations, table decompression), and even bought a min in freezer to keep next to my bed,because only ice packs brought relief.  Many sleepless nights and stressful travel.  Last night, i tried the Aspercrme/lidocaine patches, and THEY WORKED!!! Unfortunately, they were $10for a box of 5,and I never do them all.  I’m trying the acyclovir tonight.  So grateful for this blog, although pinger on it with an iPad creates some crazy sentences.
Avatar universal
I have suffered from this for years when I finally went to a dermatologist that he knew right off what I had. I was so relieved that I wasn't crazy!!  He said that cortisone shots have helped people in the past.  So for the last 3 years about every 10months I have to go in and get a shot.  This has not taken it away completely but 90% gone and when it does itch its tolerable that ice for about 5 min does it and I'm good for a while.  It has been fantastic!!  I am interested in smoother tx I have seen on this web site too to see if I can get it to 100%  This is a condition that I think no one else has any remote idea on how bad it can be.  It is really indescribable!!  I hope there will be a cure all some day.
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1 Comments
LGU
My dermatologist also was the one that diagnosed BRP.  She did not know of any cure or treatment and did not suggest cortisone.   I am interested in where they gave you the shot, in the arm? what section.   thanks so much my itch has come back full blast and not even ice is the fix.  I would like my dorm to administer shot   thanks LGU
535822 tn?1443976780
check out environmental allergies..ask for a Heavy Metal toxicity test
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Avatar universal
Hi I have had the same problems and I am wondering how you are doing and what has worked?
Thank you
Ellyn

I am on gabapentim right now
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Avatar universal
Hi guys
This disorder (disease?) has driven me crazy in the summer months for years. Sun damage is undoubtedly the cause. I've never tried prescription meds. The only thing I've found over the counter that helps is Eurax anti-itch cream (Crotamiton). It works in about 15 mins and repeated application relieves it to tolerable, but you must not scratch while it is working. Give it a try, I hope it works for someone. This can be such a horrible condition!
Rick
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Avatar universal
Ive had BRP for about a year and a recent low back spasm put me down for a few days. During this time, I was itching my forearm, neck, legs etc to death. Waking up at night with my forearm on fire. So as I always do I put ice on it then go back to bed. My Dr. had prescribed my Flexerol 10mg for my back spasms. I started taking one pill about 7pm once a day and the itching has
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Ive had BRP for about a year and a recent low back spasm put me down for a few days. During this time, I was itching my forearm, neck, legs etc to death. Waking up at night with my forearm on fire. So as I always do I put ice on it then go back to bed. My Dr. had prescribed my Flexeril 10mg for my back spasms. I started taking one pill each evening at about 7pm once a day. I soon discovered by mistake that Flexeril actually made all my itching completely stop. After about 5 days of taking the meds, I stopped. So far little to no itching,  I have finally been able to get good quality sleep. I told my Doc about this and he said that Flexeril blocks nerve impulses to the brain. Anyhow,  I hate taking drugs but anybody knows that BRP isnt fun and it can affect many things in our lives.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Ive had BRP for about a year and a recent low back spasm put me down for a few days. During this time, I was itching my forearm, neck, legs etc to death. Waking up at night with my forearm on fire. So as I always do I put ice on it then go back to bed. My Dr. had prescribed my Flexeril 10mg for my back spasms. I started taking one pill each evening at about 7pm once a day. I soon discovered by mistake that Flexeril actually made all my itching completely stop. After about 5 days of taking the meds, I stopped. So far little to no itching,  I have finally been able to get good quality sleep. I told my Doc about this and he said that Flexeril blocks nerve impulses to the brain. Anyhow,  I hate taking drugs but anybody knows that BRP isnt fun and it can affect many things in our lives.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have had BRP for about a year. Kept me awake for meny nights. The I accidentally discovered "Moringa seed oil."That is 3 weeks ago. I never had any proplems since then. (unless I forget to put it on.) Remember, it has to be 100% pure oil.
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Avatar universal
I was going mad with the itching on my arms.  NOTHING seemed to work.  After a few years of this, I finally made an appointment with my dermatologist.  He took one look, and told me what is was.  Brachioradial Pruritus.  Previously, I had extensive cervical spine surgery.  He explained that many doctors are using gabapentin but he had something else for me to try.

He advised me to go to the drugstore and purchase a cream called Capsasian.  It is generally use to relieve arthritis pain.  It is ordorless, colorless.  Rub on arms 2 - 3 times per day and return after 2 weeks.  WOW!  I don't even have to use it more than once per day.  The idea of it is to block the nerve singals.

I have been using is for a few months now with excellent results.  The only recommendation I have is to either wear rubber gloves when applying or use a cotton ball.  Make sure to wash your hands good.  Should you touch your eyes, lips, or your bodies sensitive areas, it will burn like Bengay.

I strongly recommend this be tried before any thing else.  You might be surprised.
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Avatar universal
I have also suffered from intensely itchy arms for 10 years and I was in tears and just today stumbled upon BRP as an answer...finally! I feel like I've hit the jackpot to just even have a name of a syndrome! I also was in a car wreck and have no neck curvature and super sore, tight shoulders which used to burn so badly they would almost go numb (just a year or so after the itching began). Did you ever come up with a connection between the two? I just scheduled a chiro exam today so I'm just starting out on this path. But hoping to find some answers...and some relief...very soon. Thanks for posting!
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Avatar universal
I developed this skin rash, itch, burning on upper body AFTER my second
whiplash (car accident)...there is a definite correlation between this skin problem and the cervical nerves which are being impinged.  I was suffering
and on tons of gabapentin until I discovered an orthopedic chiropractor who
uses the cox technique (check internet for practitioners) and a laser on my neck.  Guess what - this problem disappeared after 2- 3 treatments.  
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1 Comments
I just made appointment with Chiro who uses this technique..I'm crossing my fingers..personally I'm on the verge of killing my self...I cant stand this anymore.
Avatar universal
Hello fellow BRP sufferers.  This whole nonsense has to do with the dermatomes  from C-4, 5 and ennervate on your body.  Google 'dermatomes' and see exactly where your issue begins.   I have experienced all the same nastiness of this syndrome as you.  I thought I had scabies, dermatitis, psoriasis or some other crap,etc., People think you're insane, and I have scratched my self bloody and scabby too. I have scars all over my upper and lower arms.  All the topical stuff in the world for skin does not work, except for what i read about capsacin (sp), as it all has to do with nerve endings from your damaged C-5 and C-6 vertebrae, and impinged nerves.  Ice works becasue it dulls the nerve endings; so did gabapentin -ketoprofin cream you can get from your local compunding pharmacy.  What i found that worked for me, with no more creams, steriod injections, ice, and insane scratching is acupuncture, chiropractic, and if you can stand the heat, Bikram yoga.  My life is soooo much better now.  Gabapentin capsules made me gain 15 pounds, and they have undesirable side effects.  I have had to get off the expressway, and run into the gas station to get ice from the pop machine to rub on my arms, becasue the itching was so intense and relentless.  It is soooo wonderful to be free of this terrible affliction.  Now if I can just keep the arthritis at bay for a few more years!!!  Best of luck to you.
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Avatar universal
I have today, based on 2 x biopsies, been diagnosed with brachioradial pruritus after 4 1/2 months of torture (lack of sleep and on fire upper arms).  Have also been advised there is no set treatment, just hit and miss bandaids.  I note that most of you quote damage to your spines with this, I am unaware of any spine damage.  Just to advise, I was given a can of beeswax last night which I have been using and have not had any intense itchiness since then, fingers crossed.
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Avatar universal
I've been suffering with this for a couple of years. I don't have it all the time. I am fine for several weeks, then am afflicted for several days. Holding a bag of ice on it for half an hour or so will usually stop it for several hours, but it can be less than convenient, especially at night.

My wife and son get migraines, and I used to, so it suddenly occurred to me that maybe this was my version of a migraine. I've been trying taking Excedrin migraine (actually, generic equivalent), and I'm cautiously optimistic that it's working for me. Last night, it definitely worked. The itch started up and I popped two Excedrin migraines. I just barely contained myself from ripping my arm apart for about 15 minutes, then it stopped. It may be placebo effect, but if it works I don't care.

If anyone else tries this, I'd love to know if it helps them too.
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Avatar universal
My dermatologist just read an article in a med magazine and the patient stated he has had relief for four years from ketamine, triptyline 0.5 %, 1% vanicream..it has helped unless I just stay out in the sun for a long period and it took about two weeks to really help a lot but I have been two weeks sleeping without ice so I am hoping that this is the ticket
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