It's very cool that journalist Nancy Churnin picked up my itchy back post and wrote an article about it in the Dallas Morning News! I love understanding how the skin works - or doesn't - and I love sharing it with my patients and dermatology blog readers. I wrote this itchy back post after attending a seminar on notalgia paresthetica at the 2011 American Academy of Dermatology's Annual educational meeting. I was excited to see good evidence and a scientifically credible explanation for a common skin problem that I'd treated for years. Jump over to DallasNews.com and see what Nancy had to say. Notalgia paresthetica is truly a common skin problem and one that I continue to see in my dermatology practice every day. It's the same thing as brachioradial pruritus (itchy arms) and one of the more common causes of genital and anal pruritus (itchy groin). These itch conditions are vexing. My favorite skin care fixes for them are:
- My Anti-aging Body Kit to exfoliate and hydrate the skin so that the itch cascade is harder to trigger.
- Using anti-itch remedies like Sarna or Prax for temporary relief and/or prescription cortisone/itch relief creams.
- Slapping on an ice pack when the itch won't remit.
- Reiterating how important it is not to indulge the itch by scratching!
Dr. Bailey, I would VERY MUCH like to thank you from the bottom of my/our heart(s). I am the husband of a VERY SPECIAL woman that has SUFFERED with arm itching off and on for many, many years. She/we had tried dozen of different remedies to no avail. During her most recent and most severe attacks we Googled "arm itching" and found what we consider, a miracle, YOU!!!!! After reading and studying your advice, we contacted our Family Doctor for help. We forwarded your wisdom to him and he prescribed Amitriptyline HCL 10mg TAB Qual. THE ITCHING STOPPED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AND HAS NOT RETURNED!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom online. Sincerely, Dan M Dr. Bailey, Thank you, thank you, thank you. My arms began itching about three years ago during the summer. The condition seemed to worsen during the following years. My dermatologist prescribed topical lotions and an antihistamine which helped, but I continued to need ice daily to ease the unbearable itching. A friend recommended your website as a resource. I began using AmLactin after each shower and Zolbar before going outdoors. I’ve only used ice once or twice during the last three months. I continue to use my prescription for Pramosone 2.5% lotion occasionally when I feel an itch coming on, but I’m now practically itch free! Linda M. A Dear Dr. Bailey, Just wanted to thank you for keeping us updated with the fact that maybe nerve compression in the spine might be the root of our discomfort. All the information seems to be very old and just people like me looking for relief. I have had all the same blood work tests, which doesn't tell the doc anything new. It would be good if they would admit they really don't know how to help us. I think I will try the chiropractor and see if it can help. Thank you again for keeping us in the health news, the insurance companies must drive you dermatologists crazy with not wanting to pay for our tests. You're the best! Gail LThank you all for reading and emailing, I love sharing dermatology with you. Please know that I am sharing my passion with you, and receiving emails that share your stories, are fantastic rewards! Cheers, Cynthia Bailey MD