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itchy arms = BRACHIORADIAL PRURITUS

all itchy arm sufferers....please look into brachioradial pruritus.  My arms, and only my arms, have itched for 10 years.  no rashes, no psiorias, excema etc.  The creams, allergery pills..my list is extensive as to what I have tried but nothing worked. ---------------The only thing that helps are ice packs. -----------------------
Recently,I had an x-ray to check if I had any nerve impingement in my cervical spine - one of the possible causes but nothing showed so I continue to search for answers.  I did get confirmation of the brachioradial pruritus from a great dermatologist who has only seen 3 cases in his 15 years on the job.  He did a biopsy that he sent to UC Davis for confirmation.  The diagnosis was actually a relief as I have been told that it is so many other things.  
I hope this helps.  I will keep posting if I find anything helpful solutions.  
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Avatar universal
I have posted about this before. I have been suffering from this for 6 years. After time and time again I finally found a Dr. that could help me. She prescribed my Hydroxyzine for daytime and Doxepin for at night. They are both anti depressants but for some reason help with itchiness. I am so happy to say that my itch is 100% gone!!!!!!!!!!! And the Doxepin also makes you drowsy to help with sleep. The only side effect I have is some back acne.  But I honestly do not care! So worth not being itchy , sleep deprived and in terrible moods all the time. I have been taking it for 4 months now.......Again the itch is 100% GONE !!!!!!!
Helpful - 2
Avatar universal
After more than twenty years of being driven mad with itchy arms, dozens of visits to doctors, taking different pills , using different creams , ice packs  etc, I now have the cure, at least for myself ad wish to share this information with all of you.
After much research, trial and error, I have found that the itching is due to too much acidity in the PH balance of my skin. All I did for 1 week was to take 2 spoonsful of non filtered Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of wáter 3 times a day before meals. After the first week I was much better and after the second my itching had stopped. Now after 4 months, on the rare ocassions, I may feel a slight itch,I immediately take a glass of water with ACV to stop it. I have now forgotten about this terrible condition and would like to help others through my own experience.
Helpful - 2
1 Comments
I am trying this RIGHT NOW i am crossing my fingers
Avatar universal
After two years of suffering diagnosed brachioradial pruritus on my left arm, I accidentally found the cure --- at least for me.  I placed a board under my mattress to make it firmer and was "cured" within two nights.  The problem, in my case, originated within nerves radiating from my upper spine and the firmer mattress relieved my symptoms almost immediately.  The rash, (which I was told was caused by constant scratching) cleared up in days.  A low-cost solution that is worth a try for all sufferers.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Hi, I'm new to this site. I reread an article today that was in The New Yorker in 2008 where brachioradial pruritus is mentioned. It was not until I read this article back in 2008 that I even knew there was a name for my itchy arm syndrome. I was diagnosed as having a pinched nerve in my neck when I was a child, but the BP didn't start until my mid-30s. Mine would flare up after doing yard work in the sun. The way I would stop the itching was to slap my arms with the opposite hand. Crazy, but it worked. I now realize it has been many years since I've experienced the itching and that it stopping coincides with having my son in 2011. I am wondering if pregnancy changed my body enough to have a bit of a fix. My latest issue is that this summer I have developed dark patches on my forearms in the exact same areas I would have the itching. Has anyone else had this hyper-pigmentation I am talking about? I know one explanation could be that my scratching all those years ago would have made those areas more susceptible to skin damage front the sun. Here is a link to The New Yorker article. It is a fascinating read: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/06/30/the-itch?mbid=nl_062115_Daily%20remainder&CNDID=36089242&mbid=nl_062115_Daily%20remainder&CNDID=36089242&spMailingID=7843512&spUserID=OTc2MTc4ODc3NTES1&spJobID=702594795&spReportId=NzAyNTk0Nzk1S0
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Hi Chris,
I really feel for you.
This has surely got to be the most debilitating and most misunderstood condition going, it feels like it anyway.
I have often thought, if it would get rid of the pain I'd cut both my arms off.
Fortunately common sense tells me that it's my brain sending the wrong signals or the nerves are interpreting the signals wrongly.

I'm in my 10th year, the last 3 months have been the worse. Every day, every night, intense itching, both arms that now include both upper arms.
Odd also, is that my arms, starting at the top feel like they are on fire within 3 mins of being exposed to water ( ie, shower, bath, etc)

My partner is very sympathetic but is unable to help.
My daughter recently had an accident causing her to have a compound ulna nerve injury, she now has a good understanding of the pain.

I've yet to meet anyone in the medical profession who has come across or understands the condition.

After much research, Capsaicin cream 0.075% is the only thing that helps! the more regular I use it the more it helps. In uk it's only available on prescription.

Use a pea sized amount and dab it sparingly around the affected area, use gloves, tissue, cotton wool to apply, it's lethal if it gets on your fingertips ( I know, I wear contact lenses )

Use it regular to keep it topped up, wear loose,  long cotton sleeves. The sleeves will protect others and you from touching skin if you do scratch.

My doctor doesn't want me to try Gabapentin but my neurologist does. I'm going to wait until I've had more tests.

As for the sun being the culprit, I guess its possible. I love gardening, walking, bike riding so the groundwork could be there.
I've also been told this is quite likely genetic.......

Let me know how you get on and keep in touch, sad but I'm so glad someone else is in the uk that understands how I feel.

X
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
About 3 years. Its from my elbows up, and on my shoulder. I dont have it on my forearms or wrist. Its the same as you, very bad at night. The strange thing is that my sister who is only a couple years younger then me has started experiencing it as well. She has all the same things and i can tell she is suffering from what myself and everyone else is suffering from. The fact that she has it has me wondering if now it could be genetics. There are so many questions that i would like answered like why only certain areas of the arm are itchy, why is it seasonal, and so on and so on. I was prescribed some sort of sleeping pill by my regular doctor but it did nothing but make me groggy so i stopped taking them because i felt so awful in the morning. I think that it def is Brachioradial pruritis it just seems to make sense. From what i have read it had to do with vertebra and your spine so i think im going to get acupuncture and maybe adjustments from a chiropractor. I am at my wits end with this as im sure you are too. Have you looked into acupuncture and adjustments by a chiropractor, or heard of any other solutions. I also recall reading something about electro stimulation or something to that affect.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have tried acupuncture once, but to no avail...that doesn't mean it won't work though. At that time (4 years ago) we thought it might be something systemic, like an allergy or an internal infection....so maybe we weren't going after it the right way. I do have a few questions about the Brachioradial Pruritus (BRP) thing though...IF it is a neurological thing, and due to cervical spine/nerve damage, then why is the itch seasonal? And IF it is caused by sun exposure, then why does it wait until July/August to show up (I am outside almost every day--I now live in Austin, TX, and I used to live in Colorado where I was outside all spring/summer/fall April-October, in short sleeves, but the itch would continue thru December/January in winter when I was skiing, etc...)...so why wouldn't it itch on days you are exposed to the sun, etc, and go away sooner? I have not been outside much this summer, but am still suffering, even worse--it kills me to stay inside all the time, and it hasn't seemed to help anyway. :(  What kind of climate do you live in? Interesting your sister has it too--my mom thought she had it last year, but hers went away so it was not the same thing. My cousin experienced severe itching too, but his was due to yoga mats in a hot yoga studio and is now gone.  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I live in central New Jersey. I absolutely think its Brachioradial Pruritus, thats the only thing that makes sense. I personally believe its neck/spinal problem causing the itching not sun exposure. I know that i had a problem with my neck when i was younger and maybe that is what has started causing this now. I also have a slight case of scoliosis. Many people are debating the cause and reasons for this its been written about in journals but there is nothing concrete. A few of your questions are criticisms for the Brachioradial Pruritus diagnosis because the itching is seasonal which doesn't make sense if its a nerve problem. Im 23, how are you if you dont mind me asking?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
hi ladies.  Notice that its mainly ladies that seem to have this problem.  Streamboattracey - I mentioned the prudoxin but I failed to mention that I now wear a sun shirt whenever I am going to be outside for an extended amount of time.  I found that the hotter the weather, the worst the itching became.  Mine was year round until this prudoxin and sun shirt combo.  Now its very, very occasional.  My husband's theory is that there is a connection between epidurals received while giving birth to my kids. The itch started after my second child.   Now I am in the menopausal stage of life so do hormones play a part?  Its about 12 years now since it started.  It was gradual - just an occasional itch somewhat seasonal moving onto both arms, from shoulder to wrist, and all year round.  I have had some issues with neck aches but nothing consistent.  Also, have religiously tracked my diet eliminating gluten for example but to no avail.  I see that someone posted using the flucinonide .5%  - that worked for about 4 months and gradually stopped plus it thinned my skin tremendously.  Keeping my fingers crossed that whether its the prudoxin, sun shirts or menopause,  I am just hopefully that this is ended.  My heart goes out to you all.  I am amazed how many dermatologists are oblivious to this, making you jump through so many hoops over and over again starting with anithistamines then a battalion of creams.  I started sending printouts to any dermatologists I had visited about this Brachialradial pruritus just so less people would suffer.  Keep posting.  Best wishes with the baby Tracey!  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks for the wishes and thoughts! I will try prudoxin (after Baby gets here). On the hormone thing, I have read many posts from younger people over the years, and mine started when I was 25 (10 years ago), and on the epidural thing, well, I haven't gone through that yet, and hoping not to have to use one.  So, I'm not sure there's a connection there. Perhaps hormones do have something to do with it, but again, mine started long before menopausal age, and also, there are many posts from males as well, with the same symptoms. But we need to keep making these connections and drawing common threads...thanks again.


ANY OTHER MALES ON THIS POST?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Has anyone tried eliminating sugar from their diet for at least 3 weeks?

Any other dietary attempts that have worked or not worked? Anyone met with a nutritionist? Even if a dietary change did work, I still don't understand why the itch would be seasonal (July thru December every year)??
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Has anyone tried eliminating sugar from their diet for at least 3 weeks?

Any other dietary attempts that have worked or not worked? Anyone met with a nutritionist? Even if a dietary change did work, I still don't understand why the itch would be seasonal (July thru December every year)??
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Has anyone tried eliminating sugar from their diet for at least 3 weeks?

Any other dietary attempts that have worked or not worked? Anyone met with a nutritionist? Even if a dietary change did work, I still don't understand why the itch would be seasonal (July thru December every year)??
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Has anyone tried eliminating sugar from their diet for at least 3 weeks?

Any other dietary attempts that have worked or not worked? Anyone met with a nutritionist? Even if a dietary change did work, I still don't understand why the itch would be seasonal (July thru December every year)??
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Has anyone tried eliminating sugar from their diet for at least 3 weeks?

Any other dietary attempts that have worked or not worked? Anyone met with a nutritionist? Even if a dietary change did work, I still don't understand why the itch would be seasonal (July thru December every year)??
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have been dealing with this since 2003 with increasing agony as time has went by. I am in the middle of all the tests now along with alot of medical bills. I am at the point of doing anything to get answers. Tonight I decided to search on-line and found this forum and could not believe what I was reading. It was as though I had written it all. I then proceeded to research brachioradial pruritis and am still in awe of what I have found. I have printed quite a bit of reading for my doctor on the next visit. I did rupture the C5 AND C6 in my neck and had to have surgery, this definitely has shined some light on my misery. Thank You all so much for taking the time to tell your stories because this has probably not only saved me more unnecessary expense but has brought me hope in a diagnosis.
Tylersmam
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi! Wow, ladies, I'm glad to have found this thread, too. I'm 37 and have dealt with this itchy arm thing for at least 7-8 years. Of note---my oldest son is about to turn 8 this November.  Not sure if there's a correlation.  Also, I initially thought mine was seasonal, too, but I'm not sure it is. I used to live in Virginia and now live in San Diego...and it's bothered me year-round in both locations.  A few months ago I began to think it was wheat/gluten-related, but I can't seem to make sense of that, either. I think I'm going to check into chiropractic care to see if some neck/back manipulation will help.  I've found occasional relief w/ hydrocortizone, then vagisil, of all things, but neither of those works consistently. AAHHHH!  We've got to get this figured out! My husband and friends think I'm crazy!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I was also diagnosed with Brachioradial Pruritius.  My doctor prescribed Gabapentin 100 mg 3xdaily along with a twice daily application of Fluocinonide Cream 0.05% and the horrible itching went from a scale of 10 to around 1 or 2 within a few days.  It still itches a bit but it's nothing like the nightmare itching before I began the Gabapentin and Fluocinonide.  Please give it a try folks.  It has made a miracle difference in my life.  The low dosage of Gabapentin does not make me sleepy or dopy and once I am used to it I can increase the dosage if necessary.  This is one goofy ailment and hardly anyone has heard of it much less experienced it.  You have to be proactive with your doctor and say you want to try the Gabapentin and Fluocinonide.  Good luck.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Fantastic to find this forum!  My problem started in July on a particularly hot day - I remember my arms got burnt and my right upper arm hasn't stopped itching since!  It's been driving me insane just like you all describe - have tried at least six different creams to no avail.  It's worse in the evenings and often wakes me up during the night.  BP sounds like exactly what it is.  I have cervical root compression and arthritis and that may be the underlying cause, but it was probably triggered by the sunlight damaging the nerves.  If Gabapentin helps, then I guess it's almost certainly nerve-related.
I put an ice pack on tonight after reading these posts and it's the only thing that's helped so far.  I'm loathe to go to a dermatologist as it doesn't sound as if they can suggest much........I spoke to my neurologist about it last week and even she didn't believe me!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
So it looks like these are some of the creams/remedies that have at least helped other sufferers a little bit:

Gabapentin and Fluocinonide
Prudoxin
Elidel
White Flower Oil

ice of course, to numb the nerves
chiropracric work
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
add to your list:
   avoiding direct sunlight on the arms.  (That seems to be a trigger for me at least! )

would still love to find out the cause of this malady!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
So I have read and read and researched and researched, as have all of you.  So what now?  Has anyone ever had a doctor that knew exactly what was going on?  With so many sufferers why is there not someone, anyone, to help us?  My story mimics all of yours combined.  I can't continue to sit here without answers!  I live in the Los Angeles area and will go see any doctor that lives within walking, running, driving or flying distance; if you get my drift!  Does anyone have a recommendation? I am going to start with a neurologist, as I do believe if this is the brachioradial prutitis, I should start with my cervical spine area.  Anyway, I so feel for all of you.  Feel free to write, call, Fed.Ex. (!!!)anytime.  Need some humor here...   my name is Kathy.  Email is:  ***@****   or cell is:  661-714-2787    no Fed.Ex. #  Thoughts are with all of you!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
And I meant to say also, it's just not normal to go to a restaurant and have to ask for ice bags from the host, because my itching started and I knew the only thing to stop it was ice!  Nice restaurant, daughter's birthday, all the family there; I looked nuts!  I'm going to start saying I injured my arms and have to ice them at times because that sounds better than saying my arms itch!!!  Anyone relate to that?  ;)
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
I almost asked for one at dinner last night in Chili's!!!
Avatar universal
Yes, also add to the list: avoid direct sunlight (and often, even just heat sets mine off)

To Mduck--so sorry to have to welcome you to this forum. It seems all of us have been through going to all kinds of doctors, dermatologists, AND neurologists and spent hundreds of dollars on all kinds of steroid creams, and still no "cure", just maybe some ideas for temporary relief. This is why I am wide awake and typing at 4:39 AM!  :( It's truly miserable. Hang in there, and keep communicating...maybe with all of our resources and a heck of a lot of hope, we'll find a cure someday?! I think we are all willing, at least I would be willing to go to GREAT lengths and expense to find a cure, b/c this is a QUALITY OF LIFE issue. :(  steamboattracey

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