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.

Yes, I too have " moderate to severe disc space narrowing and anterior osteophytosis at C5-C6. I have been experiencing the sting/burn/ itch for many, many years. It started on my neck and on really bad years (during summer and into fall) such as this one, has spread to my elbow area on my right arm and to my wrist on the left arm. It seems to be mostly at the area around the joints (neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist). It took me years of searching the internet to come up with my diagnosis, which was later confirmed by a dermatologist. I have also been diagnosed with MCTD and the rheumatologist prescribed gabapentin 300mg at night. This helped last year to make it bearable, but certainly didn't eliminate the itch altogether. This is a very small dose and I'm wondering a couple of things….number one, what dose has been effective for others? And….is this more common in those of us who also have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that causes arthritic problems? I know the feeling of wanting to rip off my skin, or have a shirt with sleeve inserts made of freezer gel packs, or wanting to smash my head thru the wall being driving mad with itching. Talk about something that interferes with "quality of life"!!! Is there anything that actually "cures" this?? One wonders how many people with or without a mental illness may have been diagnosed as being delusional after complaining about feeling like there were bugs crawling under their skin, that may have actually had BRP. I usually describe it as feeling like the "Backwoods Off" commercial where the guy puts his arm in a screened box full of mosquitoes and they swarm all over his arm. Too bad "Backwoods Off" does't work for this….sigh. The only thing that works for me is ice (and the Gabapentin takes the edge off, usually). The areas of my joints also are much warmer to the touch than the rest of my skin with some redness and mild swelling. It's awful! What medical specialty deals with this problem….rheumatology? neurology? orthopaedics? I do know that dermatology doesn't, as it's not really a skin disorder. I'm so discouraged….

REPLY

I just knew I wasn't crazy. BRP is tormenting me. I can't sleep right now because of this. The only thing I have found to help is ice, which is also uncomfortable, but more tollerable than the itching. My itching is on my uper arms…close to my shoulders and armpits, on both arms. I recently started seeimg a chiropractor because I have neck issues. The chiropravtor has given me relief for my sore neck but unfortunately, it hasnt helped the itching. I am just desperate for sleep.

REPLY

Hi Leah… I suffered through the same agony of BRP for two years until my neurologist prescribed Gabapentin capsules that at first provided no relief; however, after about a week of daily dosing, my symptoms slowly decreased and after two weeks on Gabapentin I was cured. It worked for me! That was six months ago and now I only have the memories of all those sleepless nights, scratching my arms until they bled.

REPLY
@leah3789

I just knew I wasn't crazy. BRP is tormenting me. I can't sleep right now because of this. The only thing I have found to help is ice, which is also uncomfortable, but more tollerable than the itching. My itching is on my uper arms…close to my shoulders and armpits, on both arms. I recently started seeimg a chiropractor because I have neck issues. The chiropravtor has given me relief for my sore neck but unfortunately, it hasnt helped the itching. I am just desperate for sleep.

Jump to this post

Give the Chiro some time. it worked for me.

REPLY

I have suffered with this condition for 29 years. Many drs., types of cream, laser treatments, gabapentin, (other medications) electrical stimulation, chiropractic care, etc. I do not have any compression in my cervical spine & I avoid sunlight. I believe cause is unknown. My brother across the country suffers from it also, but not as much as me. I keep coolers at the bedside, so I can apply ice & hold it in place with velcro straps. Always worse at end of summer and at night, usually after 7 pm. Ice does provide relief. (I keep instant ice packs in my car too.)
I am going to try acupuncture next week.

REPLY

I have finally found relief from BRP with gabapentin capsules. It required several days of dosing before any relief was noticed but after a week I was completely free from itching; after three years of suffering and clawing my forearms, it is finally resolved!

REPLY

I just tried a new cream (formula 6b) from Transdermal Therapeutics, a company in Homewood., Alabama. I do get relief, FINALLY. I am also going to try acupuncture next week.

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Welcome to Connect, @cropsey26
I moved your message to this existing discussion where you can read messages from @donnany @castlemac and @patrickcotter. While they haven’t been on Connect for a long time, I’m hoping that someone will return to share their experiences with you. In the meantime, here is some information about the condition from Mayo Clinic, including treatment options.
– Itchy skin (pruritus) http://mayocl.in/2fFJrKD

Cropsey, have you had any prescribed treatment?

Jump to this post

I have been suffering for 29 years, I don't have cervical spine issues, & I avoid sun. I use a cream (formula 6B) from a company in
Alabama, called Transdermal Therapeutics. You will need a dr. prescription. It is the only thing that works. I am going to try acupuncture next week. I have tried, chiropractic care, laser treatments, a million creams from dermatologists, electrical stimulation of my arms & only ice works. I believe the cause is unknown, my brother across the country suffers from this also, but only slightly. (My burning, etc. is usually at night & worse in the Fall.) I am a carrier of Fragile X syndrome and in mid life there can be neurological symptoms associated with this genetic disorder. I'd be interested to see if there is a link.

REPLY
@autumnmoon

Yes, I too have " moderate to severe disc space narrowing and anterior osteophytosis at C5-C6. I have been experiencing the sting/burn/ itch for many, many years. It started on my neck and on really bad years (during summer and into fall) such as this one, has spread to my elbow area on my right arm and to my wrist on the left arm. It seems to be mostly at the area around the joints (neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist). It took me years of searching the internet to come up with my diagnosis, which was later confirmed by a dermatologist. I have also been diagnosed with MCTD and the rheumatologist prescribed gabapentin 300mg at night. This helped last year to make it bearable, but certainly didn't eliminate the itch altogether. This is a very small dose and I'm wondering a couple of things….number one, what dose has been effective for others? And….is this more common in those of us who also have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that causes arthritic problems? I know the feeling of wanting to rip off my skin, or have a shirt with sleeve inserts made of freezer gel packs, or wanting to smash my head thru the wall being driving mad with itching. Talk about something that interferes with "quality of life"!!! Is there anything that actually "cures" this?? One wonders how many people with or without a mental illness may have been diagnosed as being delusional after complaining about feeling like there were bugs crawling under their skin, that may have actually had BRP. I usually describe it as feeling like the "Backwoods Off" commercial where the guy puts his arm in a screened box full of mosquitoes and they swarm all over his arm. Too bad "Backwoods Off" does't work for this….sigh. The only thing that works for me is ice (and the Gabapentin takes the edge off, usually). The areas of my joints also are much warmer to the touch than the rest of my skin with some redness and mild swelling. It's awful! What medical specialty deals with this problem….rheumatology? neurology? orthopaedics? I do know that dermatology doesn't, as it's not really a skin disorder. I'm so discouraged….

Jump to this post

I empathize with your BRP and I've had this problem for three years now. I've tried every remedy and only Gabapentin capsules have provided any relief. It took over a week of dosing before it finally took effect, but it completely relieved the maddening itching and I was finally able to get some sleep.

REPLY

Ice is the only real remedy for me, but it is messy and hard to carry around, I have however recently tried Biofreeze which really helps especially at night time or when I am really hot.

REPLY

Try clove oil…..straight…it works much better than bio freeze and look up the group on facebook this condition is real and I wish someone would take an interest in it…

REPLY
@njcarolnjn

Try clove oil…..straight…it works much better than bio freeze and look up the group on facebook this condition is real and I wish someone would take an interest in it…

Jump to this post

What's the group called please?

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment