10 answers

Can't Stop Itching!!!

OK - so my scalp was itching like crazy for about a week. Then it moved down onto my neck and behind my ears. No dandruff, no change in soap, shampoo or detergent, all bed linens and towels washed in hot water, no rash - nothing but extreme ITCHINESS. I switched to Head and Shoulders and a tea tree oil shampoo from my hairdresser - didn't help. I went to my doctor who couldn't find anything wrong. He even ran a CBC on my blood, but found nothing. UGH!!!

About 10 days in, I developed a slight rash on my neck - on the day we left for vacation. He gave me a 7 day prescription for Prednisone. We were in Ohio the following day and the itchiness subsided and the rash was gone, so I didn't take the meds. Plus, having read the side effects, I really didn't want to chance anything when we were in Pennsylvania at Sesame Place (aside - a TERRIFIC place to take kids who love Sesame Street).

Flashforward to today... While my scalp never stopped itching (it just lessened in intensity), once we hit the Indiana/Chicago border, I started itching like mad again. I now have little bumps resembling bites on my shoulder, stomach and my head is an itchy mess once more. I'm at a loss. Should I break down and take the pred. or should I head to a dermatologist? I know my son's eczema became 1000 times more manageable once we hit the dermatologist route.

Anyone out there know what this could be? Our pets have been to the vet and they're fine. My husband and son are just fine, so if there's something in our furniture, car, etc - they only seem to be interested in my skin!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

After another few days of itching, I returned to my doctor who referred me to an allergist (I never took the prednisone). After scratch tests to find out I'm allergic to mold, we did a patch testing with 50 substances - 21 of which came from my house. I got the results yesterday. I'm aallergic to a chemical found in certain hair dyes, my Pantene shampoo and Snuggle fabric softner. Apparently, it took a while for it to trigger a reaction (I haven't dyed my hair since early May and my shampoo is almost finished).

I'm so happy to have a cause for my itchiness since I was going crazy. And these are all easy things to remove from my life. Thanks for all of your suggestions (that article in the New Yorker was very interesting). I love this website - you're all so helpful!

Featured Answers

I would think it was either scalp dermatitis or stress, I've dealt with both, dry itchy scalp, I tryed everything from tea tree oil shampoo's, to denorex (which I might add worsens the effect), to lemon tea baths, vinegar, to V05 hot oil, I now have a neutrogena deep conditioning conditioner and it is great. As for the body rash I get that as well itchy hives all over my neck and chest from allergies or stress you pick but I take allergy medicine for that and it goes away, you dont need the prescription, try the over the counter zyrtec and see if that works.

More Answers

Hey N.,
You might want to look into the Body Ecology Diet. It was specifically designed for people who have an over growth of yeast in their systems. From what you've described here, it sounds like you might benefit. The book by Donna Gates, www.bodyecology.com, stresses the importantce of eating probiotics and cutting all sugar. Eliminating the sugar kills the yeast off- it feeds on sugar- even the sugar from fruits. When you take antibiotics, that can just make the situation worse. My son and I have both been sick off and on with allergies- both food and enviornmental so I decided to put us on the diet. Its been two days and I already feel better. I hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

N.,
Go see a dermatologist. And then read the article in a recent New Yorker as well as in Scientific American's Mind Magazine. Both articles explain how itchiness is separate from pain, and that it is not a merely a minor version of pain, but rather it's a whole different sense of sensors and nerves that are rather exclusively devoted to the itchiness.

It will help you understand your symptoms as well as treatments. Prednisone is basically an anti inflammatory, but there are other classes of anti inflammatories as well.

R.

I would suggest the dermatologist too. Had a friend who had similar sx and it turned out to be Shingles. Her GP missed it but the Derm caught it immediately.

See the derm a.s.a.p. for your own comfort and peace of mind.

It could be influenced by stress, as your body can do that. I would contact the dermatologist.
I've also read about using a vinegar solution, but never have done so for myself.

good luck.

See a dermatologist! : ) (Regular docs can't always diagnose this stuff...) If you're in Chicago, I would see someone at Northwestern. Their research is so advanced - if its something rare, they're more likely to figure it out. Good luck!

Your post made me think of an article I read in The New Yorker a month or so ago. You can probably access the article through the magazine's website. There's a mirror treatment that's been helping people with severe itching. It's vital to stop the itching because our body's natural urge to itch can lead to more itching rather than relief. More itching can lead to. . . you'll have to read the article, but there are a few terrible scenarios depicted. If you find that the itching cannot be remedied with other treatments, you'll want to bring this article to your doctor's attention, and try this non-invasive option.

I would think it was either scalp dermatitis or stress, I've dealt with both, dry itchy scalp, I tryed everything from tea tree oil shampoo's, to denorex (which I might add worsens the effect), to lemon tea baths, vinegar, to V05 hot oil, I now have a neutrogena deep conditioning conditioner and it is great. As for the body rash I get that as well itchy hives all over my neck and chest from allergies or stress you pick but I take allergy medicine for that and it goes away, you dont need the prescription, try the over the counter zyrtec and see if that works.

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