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.

@justmiserable

So I have had my 3rd nerve block in my neck now and the first time stopped the itching and burning for about 8-10 weeks.It stopped both sides from the itching and burning completely after about 10 days. I could sleep in the bed again but since the first one I have had 2 more of the blocks done and nothing happened for the left side. From the shoulder to the wrist the attacks continue and running for the ice still continues. Now I probably have 20 tubes of ointments and cremes laying around here that when I put on the areas where it was itching,that area just went wild and I had to get it off and use the ice to settle that area down. Someone mentioned some kind of CDC oil or ointment or something which I know nothing about. Didn't check into it because I don't need another tube of stuff I can't use laying around going beyond it's expiration date without being used and I don't know where to find any type of test samples so can't give my opinion on using that stuff for this issue.

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Ps- I made the mistake of shaving the hair off my forearm it was so sensitive.
I took muscle relaxers BEFORE bed for a week and that calmed down the spasms and tightness crushing the nerves. ALSO ONLY ICING I STOPPED itching the areas completely. There's a reaction in the extremity WITH rough contact – least contact it started to heal.

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Hi! Just joined this forum. Have been suffering with BRP for about 5 years now. Giving chiropractic a go next week to see if that changes anything. I have had x-rays with a chiro before and there were no signs of an upper cervical issue, but worth checking again. I really think my issue is self inflicted from too much sun exposure over the years.

Also, I'll share what has helped me. I use a brand called Emolent who makes a cream with 5% Lidocaine. I buy it off of Amazon. Really anything with a 5% Lidocaine concentration has worked for me in the past. It takes about 10-15 minutes to work and lasts about 3-4 hours before symptoms return. I put it on right before I go to bed and most nights just reapply a bit in the middle of the night. A pain in the butt to have to reapply, but at least it knocks out the burning sensation to let me sleep. Mine is more of a hot burning sensation vs. an itch…although it can get quite itchy at times. Like others, I used to scratch until I bled. I know some on here have mentioned they have had no luck with Lidocaine but maybe it helps others.

Have an appointment with a neurologist in a few weeks to inquire about Gabapentin. Have been to the dermatologist but they tell me what they tell everyone – antihistamines, ice it, etc. They referred me to the neurologist.

Glad I found this forum. Very insightful hearing everyone else's experiences.

Scott

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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…..

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I am self- diagnosed, but my symptoms are so much like yours. My itching is on my upper arms. It starts with a pinch, that feels like being stabbed, with a needle, then extreme itching starts, that is impossible not to scratch. No rash, ever, but the itching for hours. It does the go to the other arm, just as badly, but not as often.I do have a bad neck, and sleep, on a water pillow. Now, I don't feel like I'm crazy!!

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@jigglejaws94

Is this like notalgia paresthetica?

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Isn't that the lower extremities.

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@thedinnymurph

Hi I’m a sufferer who sympathizes completely with this maddening disorder. After pursuing treatment with dermatologists without success I did research on my own and found the cause (I think) for this horrible condition. I was already taking Neurontin for neuropathy. I have Sjrogrens and Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder. Noting it treated a weird skin itch also, I convinced my rheumatologist to order an x-ray which showed cervical spine problems…..long story short, this led to neurologist for MRI…he sent me for a cervical spine epidural. NO symptoms for 2 weeks….then a slow return.. This was in July and I’m due for a second on Oct 18
I’m as I said convinced this awful condition results from cervical spine inflammation. BUT saying that, the sun doesn’t help. I live in FL and try never to be in the sun.
The only treatment beside the epidural that ever helped is a steroid cream mixed with lidocaine. Provided only some relief. Promoxine (sp?) also helped somewhat. Icepacks remain the most effective. Hard to sit in meetings, restaurants, etc with them. This condition is very limiting socially. It’s made me cry, scream and have meltdowns not attractive in an adult!

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I agree, it comes from the neck. I was going to tell my Dermatologist, in Maech, but I canceled the appointment. She probably would have thought that I was crazy. Sometimes lotion or cream helps or ice, or sometimes nothing helps!!

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@salemm72

Felt compelled to reply… I stumbled to this site looking for new info on BRP (=bracchioradial pruiritis)… as it is making me go mad, mad, mad! I can totally relate to “cry, scream, meltdowns” too. It is so maddening!! For those looking for temporary relief, my go tos, here in Canada, are: Xylocaine 5% (which I think may be Lidocaine in US)… this numbs your arms (but takes an hour to take effect, i find) and Stopain!, which is a strong menthol-type roll-on cream that feels super cold… so cold that it hurts a little (but at least you don’t feel itchy). Hope this helps someone.
As for next steps, for me, I’m booking an appointment at chiropractor. Hopefully he’ll take xrays and see something? Or perhaps an “alignment” of my spine will help? I’m desperate! Keep looking for answers people!!

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I have been told, by more than one Dr., that my neck is in the opposite curvature, as normal. They always ask if I had an accident. Not that I know of, although I took plenty of spills skiing. I also was accidentally poisoned, at 9 mo., and took convulsions, for hours.
I am going to consult with a Neurologist.

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@sunbird461846

I am self- diagnosed, but my symptoms are so much like yours. My itching is on my upper arms. It starts with a pinch, that feels like being stabbed, with a needle, then extreme itching starts, that is impossible not to scratch. No rash, ever, but the itching for hours. It does the go to the other arm, just as badly, but not as often.I do have a bad neck, and sleep, on a water pillow. Now, I don't feel like I'm crazy!!

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Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect @sunbird461846 and @scottshere

Scott, what did you learn from your appointment with the neurologist?
Sunbird, is this the first that you've learned about brachioradial pruritus? You mention that you've self-diagnosed. Have you suggested the diagnosis to a doctor?

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My wife was diagnosed with BRP bout 10 years ago. She went to a few dermatologists, an allergists and everyone referred her to a Dr in Manhattan NY. We went there and he finally diagnosed her problem as BRP.. It started on her left arm, then spread to the other arm and has slowly spread all over her body. Topical cremes did not help, were only temporary, injectkions of some well known drugs on TV. Light treatments for 2 months, acupuncture and what else. She went to a neurologist and he sent a scathing letter to the Dermatologist practically suggesting that the Dermatologist didn't know what he was talking about. My wife also has the pressure between discs 5 and 6. So we stopped going to the Dermatoloigst after 12 year s or so, sincethere is not cure for this. my wife has found that Capsazion (OTC) and a numbing crème have helped her a lot. Not a cure but gives some relief. The numbng crème we got on Amazon.. I am sure there is more to say.

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@colleenyoung

Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect @sunbird461846 and @scottshere

Scott, what did you learn from your appointment with the neurologist?
Sunbird, is this the first that you've learned about brachioradial pruritus? You mention that you've self-diagnosed. Have you suggested the diagnosis to a doctor?

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I plan to, when I'm able, to see my Neuroligist. I have a feeling that nothing will really help, unless I have PT or surgery, on my neck. It is not constant itching all of the time. If I felt this itch all of the time. I'd probably be living in a padded cell!!

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I have had this condition for years now and I am just figuring it out now. Self diagnosis through research. This condition for me usually starts late summer and goes through the winter. Usually I get a break in the spring and early summer. Not this year. Worst year ever! That is when I started really trying to figure out what was really causing this. I have had x-rays indicating 4 different problems with my C5 & C6 vertibrae. Previously I have seen dermatologists and had light therapy. Used lots of different creams and steriods and nothing really helped. I recently emailed my doctor about trying Gabapentin after reading that it may help. It is helping a bit, but I'm still suffering. Ice is the only thing that helps, but when you have a break out on both arms in several locations at the same time it makes it hard to ice.

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@dll0

I have had this condition for years now and I am just figuring it out now. Self diagnosis through research. This condition for me usually starts late summer and goes through the winter. Usually I get a break in the spring and early summer. Not this year. Worst year ever! That is when I started really trying to figure out what was really causing this. I have had x-rays indicating 4 different problems with my C5 & C6 vertibrae. Previously I have seen dermatologists and had light therapy. Used lots of different creams and steriods and nothing really helped. I recently emailed my doctor about trying Gabapentin after reading that it may help. It is helping a bit, but I'm still suffering. Ice is the only thing that helps, but when you have a break out on both arms in several locations at the same time it makes it hard to ice.

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Welcome, @dll0. Has it been suggested that correcting the issues with the C5 and C6 might alleviate or cure the brachioradial pruritus? Have you tried physiotherapy?

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Well my primary (shes fairly new, moved here recently ) said it's simple as a pinched nerve in the neck. I went to many dermatologists for 30 years, all worthless. I have given up. Like everything in my medical history of now 12 diseases and syndromes and 4 rare diseases several I have had to self diagnose. After years of research found this on this website.

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