Brachioradial pruritus. (severe itching on forearms and neck, no rash).

Posted by Patrick Cotter @patrickcotter, Mar 19, 2012

Does anyone know of this. I think its rare but does exist. My neurologist does not know about this. I have compression between my c5 and c6 cervical disk and have had alot of sun damage to my skin.

@castlemac

Hello, I have this exact diagnosis – same everything, no rash, severe SEVERE itching on forearm(left only) issues with my neck, and sun damage. I want to find out all I can regarding this – I am going INSANE with the itching. Only thing so far that TEMPORARILY takes the itch away is ICE…..

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Although I have only been affected with Brachioradial Pruritis (BRP) for less than 2 years, I can empathize with your frustration with health care providers that have no idea how to manage this condition. I also have tried a dozen approaches to control the itching, especially at night, that deprives me of sleep. I've achieved considerable relief with intermittent cervical traction (30 min twice daily) and recently started using aspercream patches applied on the back of my neck at bedtime which has helped to ease the night-time itching. I am of the impression that my condition results from compression of cervical discs aggravated by poor posture and inadequate hyperextention of my neck.

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Hi, Well it really is nice to find out that I am not imagining this. It first started in about 1994 and the Doctor had no idea for helping it apart from topical ointment. Later one prescribed Lyrica but actually I stumbled across the idea of ice myself…and even resorted to getting a bag of peas at the grocery store when one episode started. It would happen on and off for a few weeks at a time and sometimes I could go several months without one. The strange thing is that I mentioned it to my sister once and she said she had the same thing…we thought we were crazy and decided to not mention it lest it caused it to start up. Found out my brother had the same thing. Now it has come back and using cold compresses held on with Ace bandages gives relief but only for a while. I am hoping that this episode will not continue but I also have found out that I have some disk (disc?) issues and have had episodes where my neck gets numb when I sit at a desk for long. The neck complains but the "bottom" is happy to be resting. (and spreading out, unfortunately) I think it takes the "relaxed fit" label on my jeans too seriously…..anyway, these description I have read are so spot on….I find that if I have anything tight around my elbow (like a shirt sleeve) it will start up, also.

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Hi, @ruthelaine — welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Glad you've joined the community and found some benefit from reading the posts in this discussion. I can imagine it would be a great feeling to realize you are not imagining this severe itching.

Sounds like you've found some good ways to help cope on your own — that is great. Interesting about your siblings also experiencing this condition.

Are you feeling okay with your cold compresses at present, or are you looking to find other remedies? How have your brother and sister been managing this condition?

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Hi Patrick… Yes, It seems that most individuals that have Brachioradial Pruritis (BRP) have given up on finding a cure. Some report that their symptoms go away and return intermittently; others have non-stop itching without relief except for ice pack application directly to the affected area. I've found that cervical traction lessens the intensity of my itching and getting in the bathtub full of very hot water provides relief for several hours. I don't know of anyone else that has tried this approach. It was interesting to read your comments and I hope you are able to whip this awful condition.

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I’ve had this for a long time, never knew what it was until now. Ice does work immediately but my regular doctor did blood work and found a very low B12 level. I did a series of three therapies giving myself shots of B12 (requires prescription) the stuff at the mall doesn’t work. I had almost immediate relief after the first shot. It’s been a little over a year and the itching is back, I’m definitely going to try it again. I have a spinal cord injury as well but regardless of the cause the shots worked. Also…. instead of gabapentin which is horrible I suggest lyrica. You only take this medication when you need it so you don’t have to maintain a level in your system which I find causes brain fog. Lol.

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Charlana… Thanks for your sharing your experience with BRP and revealing what has worked to ease your itching. I certainly will discuss this with my physician and ask if I am low on B-12. Iwill also check outhe Lyrica; I've tried everything I've heard about but nothing seems to cure this constant itching, mostly my left forearm. Thanks again; I appreciate your remarks… John

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For all suffers…may I suggest Clove oil…it deadens the nerves at least for me. Doctors dont know or care what causes this disease. Ive given up trying. I refuse to take there very dangerous drugs and those that do so need to proceed with caution, understanding that this is so maddening you dont really care and all you think about is relief. I have lumbar and cervical spine issues..I am also convinced that I have an autoimmune disease of some sort but cant find a Doctor knowledgeable in these either..It is a never ending battle and this disease has truly ended my life.

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Wow I’m shocked at how many of us are suffering from this insane Brachioradial Pruritus. I’ve had it for approximately 12 years now and there have been seasons that it’s disappeared but then come spring & summer it flares up with a vengeance. I’ve gone to many doctors and chiropractors & found no answers until 2017 I stumbled upon a dermatologist who finally knew what this was. He put me on Amlactin cream which has offered very temporary relief & I’ve tried bio oil, coconut oil, steroid creams, antihistamines, etc… all to no long term relief. The other day I was on one of these forums for BRP and came upon a woman who has fought this for years and she decided to research it in a healthy natural way and she has now been itch free for 2 straight years. I’m starting her regimen once I receive my shipment which is:
DoTerra Essential Oils consisting of •Deep Blue Rub for immediate itch relief, •DDR Prime oil, •Copaiba oil •Veggie Caps
Directions: 2-3 drops of DDR Prime into the Veggie caps & take 3x daily until you start seeing a decrease in flare ups then gradually work down to 1 capsule daily, Mix the Copaiba oil in with a 100% organic coconut oil and rub on arms & you can also ingest 2-3 drops of the Copaiba oil when in severe itchy times, Use the Deep Blue Rub on arms when needed to calm the itch.
This is what has worked for her and I’m the 4th or 5th person she has been able to share her success with who also suffers with BRP. I’m praying this will work for me too. I will touch back here & post my results in a few weeks. My investment is $170.00 for my first month…but I’m willing to pay to stop My misery in itching 24/7 & my life being upside down because of this…
God bless us all through this crazy sickness I know there have been way too many days I’ve just cried out to Jesus to take me home to heaven because I can’t stand another agonizing moment of BRP!!!

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I have been suffering from this for several years now and it can make a person lose it!
I haven’t had any flares for about a year, but 2 weeks ago, it started up again.
I hate that the “itch” is so severe that I can’t help but to scratch it bloody, and then I have to keep explaing to people when they comment about the condition of my arms.
People love to give their opinions and they tell you to “just stop scratching”.
It’s maddening!
I guess I will look into to the chiropractor angle and see if that works.
I also have RA and I had a bad flare 3 weeks ago and the itching seemed to have started again about the same time,
Thanks for listening and I’m glad I’m not the only one out there suffering.

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I also have RA but I don't think it is connected. I think it was too much sun.

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@castlemac

Hello, I have this exact diagnosis – same everything, no rash, severe SEVERE itching on forearm(left only) issues with my neck, and sun damage. I want to find out all I can regarding this – I am going INSANE with the itching. Only thing so far that TEMPORARILY takes the itch away is ICE…..

Jump to this post

Hi Darlia, I finally found relief from BRP when my neurologist prescribed "gapapentin capsules". I didn't notice any improvement for the first 3 days but then it kicked in and now, at last, I can sleep the night through without clawing my left arm until it bleeds.

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Why isn’t there a mayo connect group designated to BRP sufferers? This thread was difficult to find! For anyone that is interested, please join the Facebook group where over 600 of us connect.

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