Seeking Suggestion Common Experience

Updated on May 11, 2014
V.G. asks from Costa Mesa, CA
6 answers

Yes, I'm experiencing itchy skin all over the body, just recently broke out in little bumps, red and itchy. I assumed it may be eczema so I began oatmeal baths, turmeric remedies and so forth, but it continues to be uncomfortable. The itchiness sometimes wakes me up at night. Initially started on the legs, then the itchiness spread to my arms, then my buttock...and now, the left breast only. Open to suggestions, I will follow up on what the doc says on Monday! This has been going on for 2-4 weeks, if not a bit longer..took long to finally see a doc due to no insurance. Luckily I'll be see soon!

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answers from Norfolk on

The last time I had poison ivy I waited 8 WEEKS for the reaction to go away on it's own.
It didn't.
Finally I woke up with bloody legs from scratching in my sleep and that was the last straw.
I went to the dr and he put me on a steroid series and that finally turned it off.
It's not just the oil that can spread a reaction.
Sometimes your immune system goes into hyper drive and won't stand down and the itch just keeps going and going and going.
Something that does help keep the itch away short term (for me) is Vick's vapor rub or you could try finding some Jewel Weed salve (google it).
It's what people used before steroids came along.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Welcome to Mamapedia!

I read this post and your previous one. It sounds to me like you have a reaction to something internal, not external. While topical remedies can occasionally relieve mild itching, they are not good long term. First of all, they are very expensive. Secondly, they are just treating the reaction/symptom and not the cause.

Some skin reactions are caused by topical irritants (detergents, soaps, plants like poison ivy or juniper that many people react to, etc.) but your problem sounds more extensive and is spreading. That's why I think it's based on something you're taking in. Antibiotics can cause body-wide yeast infections, for example, as can other disruptions in the body's balance of good bacteria. Allergens of any kind can cause a disruption when there is already a nutritional imbalance, however slight.

The body's instinct is to get rid of the irritant. There are only 3 ways to do that: pores (skin), mucus membranes (think spring allergies & runny noses), and digestive elimination (urine/feces).That's it. The skin is the largest organ and it's incredibly responsive to internal imbalances even though we tend to think of it as reacting only to surface issues (which is why we seem to always resort to creams and ointments and baths and soaks.

Barring any obvious change like a recent bout of antibiotics (and since you said you haven't had insurance, it sounds like you haven't been to the doctor). My guess is that, if nothing really obvious jumps out in your visit, the doctor will try a prescription cream all over your body and shortly thereafter propose a long and involved series of tests and an extremely restrictive elimination diet. These can be nightmares, and often ineffective. Before you undertake a long series of tests, since you have new insurance and maybe a deductible, please check on what this will cost you out of pocket. As what you'll be tested for, and what the next step would be depending on positive reactions.

Elimination diets take a long time - you'll be reading labels extensively for all traces of wheat, dairy, egg and so on, and you won't be able to go out to eat much (restaurants or friends' houses) because of the risk of cross contamination. I've gone through this with so many people in my work in nutritional epigenetics. Some people are content to do it but others find it a huge nuisance with limited success.

The easier approach that's also cheaper and with better results is to actually ADD nutrients to the body to restore balance. The old model of "eat right and take drugs" went into disuse over a decade ago after the American Medical Association studied the data and came out with the finding that virtually everyone in the US is unable to get their nutrition from their food anymore. There are many reasons for this. Then the idea of "eat right and take a vitamin you're 'low' in" was popular for a while, but that's gone out of practice and is no longer really recommended by any physicians or nutritionists who are connected to research and findings. There are still a lot of doctors preaching the same old stuff, but the cutting edge researchers have all abandoned that line of thought - research doesn't support it, and 30 years of doing it that way hasn't made the population any healthier - we have epidemic rates of "food allergies" and autoimmune diseases.

Epigenetics is the science dealing with the messages that your cells get that tell them which genes to turn on and turn off. When too many bad genes get turned on and the good ones get turned off, cells don't perform as they should. The results can be anything from inefficient processing/functioning to autoimmune reactions to inflammation. Using a dietary ingredient that has been shown in research to repair the epigenetic response and help the cell function properly through cellular nutrition has been shown to reverse so many of these unpleasant health trends. I'm working with the scientists involved in this, through a partnership with such organizations as the NIH, the American Heart Association, the National Cancer Institute, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the FDA Good Manufacturing Practices, and numerous university research departments. It turns out that a non-prescription approach to systemic cellular health offers much greater relief with no side effects. The news media are picking up on this, but too slowly. Too many news shows are still paid for by drug company advertising as well as the processed food industry. So it will take a while for this to become common conversation but it's definitely well researched. And eating our way to health makes more sense than elimination diets and endless testing and drugs.

Your problem is not that long-standing so my guess is that you would start to see relief pretty quickly, maybe 2 weeks, and with results building over time. It's another way of looking at your problem without a long road of GI tests and prescriptions which may or may not have side effects.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Please keep your doctor's appointment. All the moisturizers in the world won't really matter if the issue is not dry skin but an allergy or other issue. And if it's an allergy, just dosing yourself with over the counter antihistamines may not be the right thing to do, depending on the cause of the allergic reaction. Get to the doctor, and give the doctor every detail you can think of. Before you go, write down a log of anything that has changed in the past 2-4 weeks -- diet, laundry detergent change, a new soap or body wash, new mattress, new pet, new routines or new job, or time spent in a place where you weren't before....Tell the doctor every detail of how and when it spread. Your earlier post just focused on the breast but this post really starts to tell the larger story that the doctor needs.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Don't waste your money on a doctor until you've tried some better remedies than oatmeal and turmeric. Those are food-stuffs. I'm sorry, but I have a child with extremely severe eczema and the last thing I would think to treat her is with food. I realize oatmeal can be calming for certain mild conditions, but an acute outbreak of eczema with severe itchiness needs a little more proactive care.

Buy some hydrocortisone cream. You can get .01% over the counter, so start with that. My daughter has to use a .05% on her face and in folds, and a completely different and stronger steroid cream called Aristocort on the other parts of her body

Use an antihistamine to control the itchiness. You could try Benadryll - I think that's probably the most popular one - and especially use it at night to cut the itching. Zyrtec works for my daughter during the day, and at night I give her Atarax, which is a prescription medication that used to be used to treat anxiety but is now mostly used to stop itching and aid in sleep. It's by prescription only, so try the Benadryll, Claritin, etc, first.

Do you have access to a product called Vanicream? It's manufactured by Mayo Clinic and I don't know how far their market reaches, but it's probably the best moisturizer out there for people with sensitive skin. If not, you can try straight Vaseline, Aveeno, etc - something hypo-allergenic, no fragrance, no dyes, etc. You can also bathe in a special bath-oil called Robathol (capful per tub) which is also manufactured by Mayo and is hypoallergenic. It makes the water feel silky and makes the tub a pain in the butt to clean, but it works WONDERS.

The key to preventing this, so thinking proactively, is to make sure your skin stays moisturized. Use one of the above moisturizers frequently (several times a day, at least), drink plenty of water, protect your skin in the sun, and take a ten minute bathe every day in just warm water with the bath oil. Hypoallergenic soap helps, as well as laundry detergent, etc.

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answers from Santa Fe on

Are you pregnant? With my first pregnancy I and this happen on my legs. The Dr. said it was a rare side effect of pregnancy for some women. I took oatmeal baths and just had to suffer. Once I had my baby it miraculously went away immediately.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

You might try taking an anti-histimine at night (causes drowsiness, so may be challenging during the day) to cut down on the itching. Also, there are some OTC eczema lotions that may be worth a shot until you can get something better from the doctor.

2 moms found this helpful
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