I know this topic has been discussed on this forum before, however the answers/suggestions have not yielded relief for me. Apologies for the lengthy post:
I am a 30 year old male. I was a collegiate athlete and remain in good shape. Healthy diet, active lifestyle. I noticed itching after a shower nearly 6-7 years ago and it has gotten progressively worse. Here is the history:
2006-2007: I noticed itching after showering in the morning (mainly legs). No visible rash, no visible dry skin, etc. At this time I did not itch when going to bed. I usually limited showers to one per day (mostly mornings). I tried changing water temperatures, shortening shower time, and only received relief when using Baby Oil in the shower right before drying off. I played around with various soaps, no soap (at times), changing detergent, etc. The itch typically lasted 30-45 minutes and then stopped.
2007-2009: The itching got progressively worse. After showering the itch was not confined to my legs, it started happening on my lower back, mid back, upper arms. For whatever reason, when I was out of town (hotels, etc) the itch did not appear to bother me. I thought this could be psychological, and/or my water at my house was too hard/soft or overall pH level was off. I installed a total home filtration system for my water to filter impurities out of the water (other than being expensive this did not help). I started playing around with my diet to see if the itch was related to a food allergy; even went to an allergist (I am not allergic to any known foods). I do have dust, pollen, grass, tree allergies so I started taking Allegra daily but this did not appear to help the itch.
*** The itch happens 75-80% of the time. I always use the baby oil in the shower because it calms the itch, doesn't solve it. Without the baby oil it is unbearable.
*** The Itch: (Pruritus) is not a constant itch. It is pin pointed. For example, it is as if someone took a feather and tickled 3-4 specific spots on your body at the same time. Once you scratched/itched the location it would stop and a new one would pop up. Again, no visible rash, no visible dry skin, very pin pointed itch all over. This makes me believe it is circulatory problem?
I have seen two separate Dermatologist and neither could diagnose the problem. One thought it could be Aquagenic urticaria, however this was never confirmed nor is it accurate because rain, sweat, etc does not affect me. The other prescribed medicine that is used for treating mild depression and itching (obviously was not using it for depression)... this to was unsuccessful. One dermatologist even suggested tanning every now and then (as in once or twice a month). Not sure the reasoning and somewhat odd a Dermatologist would suggest tanning?
2009-Current: Itching after showering has not gotten any worse, but it certainly has not gotten any better. It still happens 75-85% of the time and I have to use Baby Oil or Lotion immediately after the shower to tolerate the itch. HOWEVER, now over the past 3-4 years I have now started itching at night as i'm trying to relax to go to bed. My face has started itching (as if a fallen hair follicle has fallen on my face and I need to itch that area). It is hard to relax and has led to many many sleepless nights and insomnia. The itching at night has very little to do with showering because I rarely take showers at night (by rarely I mean hardly ever).
ANY HELP OR ADVICE WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED...
Here are the items I have thought about:
Circulation problems? Plycythemia Vera (blood disorder)- however I have had blood work done and no signs of irregularity. Stress could play a certain role in my insomnia, but still doesn't account for the itching?
I used to sweat a lot playing sports, now I don't because of work. I thought my body might be having a hard time riding itself of any impurities (although as I type this it seems a bit silly).
Any thoughts would be extremely helpful!!!!