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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

Itching Can Be a Symptom of Multiple Sclerosis

By March 8, 2011

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It was only after getting a couple of questions from readers about a possible connection between multiple sclerosis (MS) and terrible itching episodes that they were having that I made a connection to a time that it happened to me.

I remember that I was visiting my grandmother and was overcome with insane itching all over my torso and back. She was distressed and wanted to help me, applying various lotions, powders and, as the grand finale - Vagisil cream (for "feminine" itching) - all over my back and chest.

None of it helped. However, after about 15 minutes, the itching went away just as suddenly as it had come on. We were perplexed by the whole episode, especially since there was no rash or redness in the area. I had not eaten anything unusual or taken any new medications. After showering off the nasty combination of products that was on my body, the episode was over.

Thankfully, that episode has not repeated itself. I have to believe that it was one of the first symptoms that I had of MS, although it occurred at least 15 years before my diagnosis. The whole scenario meets many of the criteria of itching that accompanies MS as a paroxysmal symptom.

Itching as a symptom of MS is rare, but real.

Learn more about this symptom by reading the full article: Itching as a Symptom of Multiple Sclerosis

What about you? Have you experienced itching as a symptom of MS? What was it like? What helped? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.

March 9, 2011 at 8:33 am
(1) AngelMNM says:

For years prior to my diagnosis, and even until this day, I would get sudden bursts of very intense itch in random places in my body. No rash, no signs of allergic reaction to an agent, nothing. My the girlfriend/now wife would look at me like i was crazy, because i would immediately jump up and start scratching, and thought it was funny. Now its not so funny to her, but heck, laughter is a great medicine and even i have a chuckle.

But it can be quite uncomfortable when they happen in situations that scratching vigorously is not an option.

Strangely, they don’t happen nearly as much now that I am on Copaxone for my MS, but it definitely happens.

March 9, 2011 at 11:48 am
(2) D Cagle says:

I was diagnosed 6 yrs ago, I have had 1 major hives attack a few years ago and I was so miserable – my whole body itched. I have had a few moments since then of severe itching on my hands where I was clawing them and then it goes away. It has always confused me as to what it was caused by, but figured it was hives trying to come on again – I never thought about it being a “condition” of MS…interesting!

March 9, 2011 at 11:52 am
(3) Denise Baillie says:

I get insanely itchy at least once or twice a day! Usually on my head, legs or torso; less often on my arms or (weird) palms. I take allergy medicine most days and that seems to help control it most of the time. The only thing I have found that works during an episode, thanks to desperately trying anything and everything I could find when I was desperate for sleep at 3 a.m. but couldn’t stop scratching, is Vick’s Vaporub! I have sometimes scratched myself raw – it’s even worse in the cold, dry winter air!

March 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm
(4) Colleen says:

Yep, I get the itching too. For YEARS before I was dxd I’d get unexplained itching. A dermotologist even game me an RX for atarax (or something) just for my non-rash, non-hive itching. When I was filling out the questionnaires before being officially dxd with MS, I had an “aha” moment when I checked off the “unexplained itching” box. It comes and goes now.

March 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm
(5) MK says:

So glad to hear I’m not the only one! I’ve had problems with itching off and on for several years now. And yes, it can drive you crazy at times! The itching can happen absolutely anywhere from eyelids, scalp, torso, arms…you name it! And it seems more apt to happen, after a night of particularly poor sleep. (though I never get a full night’s sleep)

My neurologist said she’s never heard of “itching” as an MS symptom, and my regular doc couldn’t figure it out either.
I always suspected it was from MS…

March 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm
(6) sue says:

Itching in my scalp, feels like something is crawling under my skin and I can never catch it.I also get episodes on my inner thighs.

March 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm
(7) Pj says:

I have experienced hives associated with RRMS episodes. My neuro discounts the association, but I know better. Benadryl is the only thing that helps, but who wants to take MORE meds???

Stress definitely triggers the itching for me. When it happens I can’t wear jewelry, fragrances or anything that rubs against my skin. I get red welts and patches all over my neck, hands, shoulders, and trunk…sometimes even the bottom of my feet! Bra straps are especially mean!

Like I said, Benedryl to the rescue. Hopefully I won’t need prednisone in the future.

March 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm
(8) Donna says:

yes! Many years ago, suddenly whenever I was out in the Florida Sun, or take a hot shower, or heaven forbid get in a hot tub–I would ITCH where it was warm. I wanted to rip my skin off. It went away after moving to Massachiusetts & a cooler climate and have not come back…..EXCEPT; now, I get HIVES for unknown reason. Many blood tests & doctor visits, ther eis no answer. They can be very itchy, but go away withion a day, then pop up elsewhere. Now after 6 months, they seem to have subsided. I do blame it as an exacerbation of my MS.

March 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm
(9) lchoppel says:

Yep, I get itchy too. Right before a symptom appears and I flare. It can come anywhere on my body, but it is a preamble to my flare.

March 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm
(10) Michael R says:

I have fairly intense itching episodes almost daily. So far not diagnosed as anything, but I am hesitant to blame this one on MS. Itching conditions are quite common and sometimes hard to identify. I suspect in my case it is a histamine reaction, possibly to something in the environment, or possibly to my MS medication itself.

March 9, 2011 at 4:33 pm
(11) Lisa says:

I know this is lengthy but…
I have had itching for 13 yrs; it tends to be my back and arms and legs, but sometimes it is ALL over. It used to be off and on and I took atarax. But 3 ys ago it became constant and atarax could no longer help. It drives me insane and there is no rash or anything, I would scratch my skin raw trying to find some relief. Itching is one of my WORST symptoms, right up there with fatigue and pain.

I now take for itching: Singulair, Xzyal, Doxepin, Ranitidine, Oxcarbazepine, increased dose of Zonegran. During the hot/humid months, I take 5 mg. of Prednisone daily or I can’t function. I take atarx on days il can’t be controlled. I was believed when it was off/on , but not when it became constant – it was too rare. Once I started to bring in articles and percentages (someone has to be in that small %) my neuro finally listened and sent me to a dermatologist & he has helped me incredibly since.

It was easy to dismiss or look at it as a benign symptom because such a small % of patients have it – and the docs don’t have to live with it! I had to get rid clothes, use certain sheets on the bed, make our towels as soft as possible. The slightest bit of perspiration makes it worse. When at it’s peak, I lay in bed under the sheet with a fan blowing to keep the room cold, but I can’t let the air from the fan touch my skin or it makes the itching worse, and try to sleep as much as possible.

Beginning to see that itching is being recognized as a symptom is amazing – & finally having my neuro see that no matter how rare & small the %, I AM in that %.

March 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm
(12) Velma says:

My itching is in my hands and feet. They itch ‘inside’ where nothing – and I mean nothing – does anything to relieve it. I scratch and scratch and rub and shake and anything i can think of but I just have to be patient till it goes away. It lasts from a couple hours to most of the day and for several days in a row and then….relief. It is one of the most – if not THE most – ‘drive me crazy’ symptoms.

March 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm
(13) Susan says:

I have two different types of itching that come and go, but drive me crazy every time. I’ll get an overall itch that feels like bugs crawling underneath my skin and nothing seems to alleviate it. The other is an intense itch deep under my skin on my left thigh, left hand and left side of my tummy. The only thing I’ve found that helps these spots is placing a tennis ball on it and then pressing against the wall with as much pressure as possible. They both last for a few days and then recede.

March 9, 2011 at 9:16 pm
(14) Joan says:

Yes, I have had chronic itching for several years, particularly in my scalp. Thank God a low-dose anithistimine helps control it. I suspect the itching is a symptom of an immune system gone mad.

March 9, 2011 at 9:39 pm
(15) cathykelly says:

I was just finishing the titration part of my Betaseron injections when the intense itching started. It was so bad that I would wake up bloody because I was scratching myself while sleeping. Even the inside of my eyeballs and ears itched. Turned out that I was in acute liver failure from the Betaseron. It took 2 months for my liver enzymes to return to normal and thank goodness there was no permanent liver damage. I can no longer take an interferon and am very protective of my liver.

March 9, 2011 at 11:39 pm
(16) Alexandra says:

Misery loves company! I thought I was the only one that had the itch that cannot be scratched! I can see that this is not the case. My itching always seems to strike at night while lying in bed and thankfully is no more than an annoyance. However it is just one more “weird” and unexplained reminder of this lovely disease. I’m so grateful for this blog to give me some peace of mind for all the things my neuro would rather dismiss!

March 10, 2011 at 12:21 am
(17) Tony Roach says:

Just recently I had two episodes of extreme itching, the worst uncurable itch you have ever experienced. my lower back and buttocks itched for about half an hour and nomatter what I did only eased it slightly, I scratched until I started to bleed. I will learn to cut my fingernails more regularly in future. I can’t remember having this before but the cure for me was to get into the shower and semi scald it with the hotteset water I could stand, which is prety hot. Then quench it with cold water and alternated this a few times. I then dried off coating the reddened areas with sorbeline cream. The relief was so goooood ! I have also started to shower using sorbeline insted of soap as my skin seemed to be verry dry , my skin is now better everywhere after the change. I am not sure that the itch was MS related but it seemed not to be itchy on the skin surface but under the skin. Watch the hot water, as this can not only scald you but make some of your symptoms worse.

Kind regards
Tony (“,)

March 10, 2011 at 8:06 am
(18) Laurie says:

I usually get the “itch” in my hands which creeps up my arms to my elbows and sometimes in my feet. With me it happens when physical activity causes me to become over-heated. It feels like a swarm of bees are under my skin trying their darndest to get out. It is an extremely unpleasant sensation and all the scratching in the world doesn’t help! It is definitely on the short list of my Favorite MS symptoms!

March 10, 2011 at 9:28 am
(19) Sharon says:

Thank goodness I’m not the only one.
Just started this year for me, itching comes and goes and seems to appear in random locations. My face has been the worse. I thought it had something to do with my facial products, but I hadn’t changed anything. My hands and arms seem to be affected as well. I hate to blame everything on my MS, but lately if anything unusual pops up, I just say it is the MS. Reading all your comments as helped a lot, and once again confirmed my thoughts.

March 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm
(20) Maryellen says:

I’m glad I’m not alone in this.I have had unexplained hives and itching for years.Once I was diagnosed with MS I did put it as a weird not common symtom.My feet,lower legs and back are the worst.I use Atarax and Benedryl in an effort to control the histamine which is the culprit with no known reason.

March 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm
(21) Sarah Alexander says:

come to think of it, I broke out in hives for six months straight about ten years back…my entire body would itch and swell daily. No one could figure out why…I wonder if it’s all related??

March 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm
(22) janice phillips says:

i have had several episodes of itching, back, hands, chest. the only thing that seems to help is things that you would do for normal itchy skin or ms in general (as it seems to keep it from “getting started”. mild soap, creams, no exfoliation, stay cool. it is truly bad, mine lasted seveal months each time, like an exaterbation. my mother had the itchy hands and scalp as a part of her reaction to breast ca chemo, the dr told her it was a type of neuropathy from her nerves being temporarily damaged from the chemo. not doing dishes in hot water or bathing in hot water, and keeping her hands covered and still, as in under the covers helped.

March 11, 2011 at 11:35 am
(23) Pammie says:

My itching comes & goes quickly but while its there it is intense. I get it on strange areas such as fingers, palms, neck, ears. Scratching it vigorously then lather with cortisone cream helps.

March 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm
(24) maureen says:

last monday 3/7/11 i came home from work with a full blown rash all over my body. broke out in hives. went to my family doctor on tuesday he put on prednisone. came home called my ms doc he told me quit my shots for the week [rebif].took me off my antidepressant celex. couldnt sleep that whole night ithing like crazy. benedryl helped a little. ill know by next week if things are good or not. ive had those attacks before i knew i ms. just figured it was a rash. let me know if anyone has had the same thing.

March 12, 2011 at 5:54 pm
(25) Diane says:

I have had 2 bouts of this intense itching on my arms and only my arms which started suddenly and would last one to two weeks and suddenly disappear. No anti-itch creams or lotions would soothe it for very long. I had no marks on me until I scratched them raw. The first time happened before the diagnosis and the neurologist did tell me that could have been a symptom. I’ve had other times where I had unexplained itching but it wasn’t as severe as this was.

Thinking back…I had severe itching on my legs, I was on antibiotic at the time the doctors and I thought it could be from that, but it could have been the MS. Mosquito bites would be extra itchy, perhaps MS aggravated the itch of the bites.

March 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm
(26) Gloria Ford says:

I have MS for 9 years. Itching has been a regular part of my MS. Once it starts it last for hours. A lot of the time it seems like it’s after I take my needle. I get it on my back and face and head mostly. It’s a strong annoying itch that I don’t seem to be able to help. I have tried allergy medicine and it helps a little. Then as fast is appears it disappears.

March 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm
(27) janice says:

I had severe itching from my left shoulder and on down into my fingertips. I itched it so much that the skin almost became excoriated. It was reddened and the itch could never be sated. That lasted for 6 months and then talking to my neurologist he said it was my M.S. I also have an itch on the front part of my scalp frequently, in the same place. When I scratch that itch, it is never sated. also. As if I had never attempted to scratch it at all! I am glad you had brought up this symptom as I had began to think myself as crazy at thinking this symptom was my M.S and that I was the only one getting it.

March 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm
(28) samantha says:

I am surprised to read comments about itching related to MS! i have had hive rashes for MORE two years and infact im in the middle of having one now, started on my left lower leg then on my back and then my head. I was diagnosed only this year with MS. Obviously, i believe it to be an immune response gone wrong but never realised that it could be down to my MS, however, i havent ever found a reason or rhyme for getting hives. Ihave noticed that i get a pin size red dot and then huge red welts appear before i even begin it scratch. One good thing is the cold helps but if i warm up again then it comes back worse. An antihystamine works well most of the time. Good luck Msers and lets hope a correlation is found so that a cure can be developed :)

March 17, 2011 at 8:57 am
(29) Tami says:

Finally, to read about this odd characteristic for other people. For me, if I was to have a physical malfunction, my left hand and arm would itch. If I had a URI/bladder infection coming on, my right hand, fingers and palm would itch. Ice would help. And it could stop as fast as it starts. It rarely happens now. I am in year 17 of this challenge and I learn things all of the time. I feel like one big scientific experiment. It wasn’t until I went off Avonex that I learned that it could have been and most likely was the source of the UTI’s etc. Now that I am on Copaxone, I do not have that problem. Hindsight….gotta love it!

March 18, 2011 at 11:03 pm
(30) Jane Drebus says:

WOW! What a response to this seldom discussed subject of itching! I’ve had MS since 1973–39 years worth and have had periodic itching the whole time–but not as bad or long as some of the rest of you poor people. I even knew in the 60′s as a teen never to start scratching my feet or I’d never be able to stop. The usual place is my hands and more recently, my scalp. My former neuro told me itching was pre-pain. It lasts anywhere from 10-60 or so minutes. I have had some success using a brush or even a comb on my palms. Ice squeezed helps too. It is a helpless feeling to have it–and I’ve seen an awful lot of MS. I think it must surely involve histamines as well as changed nerves. Another of those challenges to try to “ignore.” Copax even seemed to cause it tonight.

April 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm
(31) evelyn says:

i itch alot now i cant say its all from MS as i dont know exactly how long ive had ms just diagonsed ayr ago but believed had it many yrs. i also have piching and itching at same time time is only thing i just wait till it quits and i rub spot sometimes itching seems to be everywhere or nowhere i mean i cant figure out the spot thats itching evelyn

May 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm
(32) Kara says:

I just started with itching on my right side of my neck. It comes and goes for the last 3 days. I thought my hair or something was tickling me. But it keeps happening! Have had MS for 17 years, never had this before! Hate it!!

September 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm
(33) rach says:

Im so glad ive found this!, ive been itching my hands, arms and head really bad, it feels like bugs crawling under my skin, I will mention this to my neuro wen I next go.

September 25, 2011 at 1:18 am
(34) Laurs says:

I have been diagnosed with ms for 2 years now and I have been itching a lot lately, and it only happens when its time for bed. I was thinking maybe I’m allergic to my laundry detergent. I switched detergents two times and still was itching. It just now dawned on me to look on the internet and see if itching is related to MS! Looking at everyones comments I see that it is,and I am not alone! Going to see my doctor ASAP!

October 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm
(35) connie coutts says:

I was diagnosed with MS in 2007 and my first”attack” occured while I was asleep at night. I was fairly healthy and I lost a high percentage of my balance and complete hearing in my right ear. Two years ago intense itching that is fairly constant crept up on me. My right ear(deaf one) is so severe my Doctor looked and said how “angry” it looked. He prescribed a steroidal ear drop….not much help but at least it eases for a while. It’s embarrasing to be so itchy in public. I obviously can’t scratch…people will think it’s contagious! My husband gets my back and I get quite grumpy from the constant itch. Thought I was going insane! Fellow sufferers…I feel for you. Ibelieve when it’s neurologically related there’s not much one can do for relief.Epson salts or baking soda baths…gentle cleaners for the body…none work. Hanging tough and hoping ONE doctor will believe me and I thiink it’s related to my MS. My neurologist is still telling me “not everything you experience is related to MS”. Yeah, thanks a lot. Ifound a new neurologist.I’ll see her in April 2012. Thanks for reading this!

October 17, 2011 at 12:51 am
(36) Kathy says:

I read this article back in March and was relieved to see that I wasn’t alone. Tonight my palms have been itching so bad that I’m about to go nuts!!! I also get the intense itch on the tops of my feet and on my upper arms. I’ve tried lotions, benedryl cream, etc. and the itch only subsides for a minute or less and then I’m back to clawing myself. Usually the itching lasts anywhere from a half hour to several days at a time. I’ll start keeping track to see if the itch occurs with other MS symptoms.

October 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm
(37) sharron melia says:

I have had MS for 16 years but only now has the itching started around my back with a burning sensation, i didnt even put 2 and 2 together but after reading the comments i am wondering has it got something to do with MS ???? I ask my husband to scratch my back for me and to give it some welly he can be there for some time just to let the itching subside. Next time i go to the hospital i will have to ask and see what they have to say, Im currently on Beta interferon

December 29, 2011 at 1:59 pm
(38) Sandeep Arya says:

i m suffering form serious itching on my whole body from 2 years, doctors give me medicine (cetirizine) it helps only 2 days and after that it again come and make my whole day and night disturbed. so please can any one help me to free me from this dangerous disease.

December 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm
(39) Sandeep Arya says:

i m suffering form serious itching on my whole body from 2 years, doctors give me medicine (cetirizine) it helps only 2 days and after that it again come and make my whole day and night disturbed. so please help me to free me from this dangerous disease. the symptoms are like if itching on my any part of body there is red and like little little on every wher…

December 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm
(40) Pamisue says:

I’ve been dx with MS since 2000. One of the first symptoms I experienced was numbness, tingling and this horrible itchiness. I would unknowingly be itching, until I would draw blood. (and welts). If I ignored the itch, it would change into a bite/sting pain. None of the antihistamines work without making me groggy. We noticed when I put ice on the spot, it dulled the pain it never completely relieved the pain. I discovered that it would flare up especially after a shower and after that particular part of of body was ‘touched’. For example, my left upper arm was the worst and woke up from scratching it. I figured out because I lay on my left side, my left arm had the most contact. Every time I had solumedral for new flares, I seemed to have a reprieve. I FOUND the magic bullet for this!!!!!
Allegra 180 was prescribed to just try it, a shot in the dark. I’ve tried EverythING. I am telling you, this stuff has saved my sanity. I still take it every day, the days I run out and hope my hardest that I don’t need it any more, the nasty, insanity provoking it h comes back. I have not met anyone that has this as a symptom of MS. I am thankful that I am not the only one. I’m not sure how old this board is, as I just stubbled upon it. Allegra 180 is now over the counter, and is available in off brand. I’ ve been using Walgreens brand and is working beautifully.

January 7, 2012 at 11:47 am
(41) Laura says:

I am so relieved to have found this! I have had itchy welts or hives for the past 9 yrs (since the end of my 1st pregnancy). All docs have said it is stress induced. For the past yr I have been tested for MS. 5 lesions on the brain and another MRI in a couple weeks. The itchy welts have gotten so bad lately that I have been bruising my legs/arms/trunk from the intensity. I never would have thought it to be related. Will definitely bring up to my neuro now. Thanks everyone!!!

February 16, 2012 at 2:59 am
(42) lil-pete says:

I also get extreme itchiness. Like others have mentioned, my comes on fast and then leaves fairly quickly too. But, when it is here, it is extreme itching! Mine occurs on the sides of my neck. Its an awful feeling.

February 24, 2012 at 12:19 am
(43) Kelly says:

I was diagnosed in 2001, but my problems began years before then. IFor years I have itched on my legs so bad that I would scratch until they were raw, I still do. My mother kept changing the washing powders and soaps that I used, but nothing seemed to work. We just assumemed that I had very sensitive skin. Now that i have been married for 9 years I still have the problem. I also get the itching sensation in my hands and feet, underneath the skin where I can’t really scratch. I have been dealing with this itching since I was like 12 years old, and I am 31 now I will be glad to know if there is something that I can do for it. Can anyone tell me what they have done that has worked?

March 20, 2012 at 8:59 am
(44) beth says:

hia i have just been dx. i asked the nuro about itching. he said it was NOT a ms thing!!!

i get itchy, an scratch myself raw sum times.

there must be sum thing in this soo many of you have commented!!

April 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm
(45) Sharon says:

I wouldn’t say that the itching ever stopped. 2 years ago I received a shock on the back of my neck, it was very strange, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. Then I realized that the very same spot went numb. The numbness started to continue to move around the right side of my neck and into the right side of my upper chest.

While this was happening I was also getting quite an opposite feeling of intense Hypersensitivity. The one bit of hair that was touching my neck felt like someone was tickling me with a feather and then a burning feeling. If you touched my neck regularly there wouldn’t be any problem. But the slightest touch would send my neck into an intense itchy (bugs crawling) type of feeling with an after burn. I thought I was going to rip a hole in my neck with the scratching.

I had this for two weeks, and couldn’t sleep since I was sleeping with my husband, every time he moved the sheets would creep up and of course wake me up with the intense feeling.

I went to the doctor and he gave me muscle relaxers after an Xray saying I had a muscle spasm. and moist heat….OMG!!! That was the worst thing! Humidity and Heat for MS is a Bad combination. But we didn’t know it was MS. I took that for a few days and no releif. Then, Vicodin, still…..no relief. I told him I thought it was a nerve problem. He had me go see an orthopedic surgeon to take a look, the surgeon said he thought it was a nerve problem too. Put me on Neurontin so I could sleep (which it calmed it down) and sent me for an MRI of the area. Turns out I had leisions on my spine, so I went for a Brian MRI and further evidence of lesions. Then finally a spinal tap, recommended by now a neurologist. And that was the final confirmation of MS.

Since I have had bladder problem, mid afternoon fatige and have yet to go into remission.

April 13, 2012 at 7:29 pm
(46) Nicole says:

I was diagnosed with MS 3 months ago and I remember the very day I got the dx I went to the gym to sort things out. I was over exerting myself and to top it off, the machine was placed right in front of the wall that faces out and is like a huge window. All of a sudden my body itched to the point it felt like burning. When I stopped, it eventually stopped as well.

After and before that I have episodes where my entire back starts itching like crazy and despite the fact I feel relief scratching, the moment I stop it feels just like it did when it started. No creams, ointments or cold showers help soothe it.

I have realized it is worsened by heat, something we should avoid.

April 14, 2012 at 7:22 am
(47) Cas says:

Ive had ms for 17 yrs and some nights I just wake up with a killing itching sensation in one hand then it spreads up my whole arm. I run the hand under cold water then just put whatever hand cream I have and it seems to work for me. It is very very frustrating and almost painful.Y

May 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm
(48) Dave says:

I am so, so, so, pleased that I happened accross this Blog, I have not yet been Diagnosed, but have had a long road of investigations which have identified many indicators for MS. My latest annoyance is this Darn itching which I have never connected with MS, and through all my investigations have never been asked if itching was a problem for me……… is this symptom widely known by GP’s & Neurologists? it seems not. Reading this blog has given me so much information and has helped to put my mind at rest. My sympathy and best wishes go out to all you itchy people who probably at times thought you were going insane untill you read this blog. Scratching one’s groin in public can be embarracing, but the temptation and need for relief often out ways the embarracement for me. Everytime I see someone scratching at the supermarket from now on, I will have plenty of sympathy for them.

June 25, 2012 at 6:04 am
(49) Johnrue says:

I have this kind of itchiness too whenever I feel stress or over thinking too much at night. It gets worst whenever I lack of sleep. Not to mention during shower that i always use moisturizing soap because somehow it helped not to get itchy after taking a bath and i use different soap i got itchy skin again. I always make sure to use air condition to when i sleep so that i can have a better sleep and it somehow lessen the stress and the itchiness only come sometime. I had this condition a year now and I was able to manage how to handle myself not to get rashes and scratches. I was taking medicines that time but afterwards it came back again after 2 days, so i have decided not take a medicine since its useless because it keeps on coming back.

July 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm
(50) Toni says:

I’ve been suffering from horrible, “crawly” itching too. The worst is my scalp. I try to do a little unobtrusive one-fingered scratch, but the itch seems to “travel” all over my head. I cut my hair off so its only 1/2″ long all over yet it still didn’t help. Finally I’ll have to take both hands like claws and violently “scrub” at my entire scalp. Still no relief. Instead, it spreads down to the tops of my ears, then to my face and neck. It’s almost like it’s alive and trying to taunt me by keeping just one step ahead of where I’m scratching. I feel for the poster who mentioned scratching one’s groin in public; today at the supermarket Mr. Crawly suddenly attacked right under my bra cup. I snuck into an empty aisle to scratch but it wouldn’t go away. Right now I’m lying on the bed in front of a fan (it’s been in the 100s here for weeks) feeling like I’m covered with an army of spiders. So I Googled itching and MS and I’m SO glad I found you guys. Tomorrow when I feel better (20 minutes at the grocery wiped me out for the day) I’m going to Walgreens for every remedy in every post. Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories.

August 5, 2012 at 1:18 am
(51) Nykohl says:

I have had this terrible itching problem for over 20 plus yrs now. All over my entire body nonstop itching. It comes at night right when I lay down and sometimes carries over into the next day. No OTC OR PRESCRIBED meds make the itching go away. My drs have tried EVERYTHING AND SO HAVE I. At night Im in tears because the itching is intense I cant sleep and no one can seem to help me. It feels like my body is being tortured. Its all over from head to toe and all places in between. What can this be? Ive tried everything!

September 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm
(52) nraj says:

I have itching almost for more than 10 years, Itch starts at one point, as I start scratch at the point it slowly moves, then i need to scratch there, it will take few days to move from one place to the next, generally it is from lower abdomen to towards chest, some times at thighs, some times at hands, after some time itch tendency reduces. at again it starts one or the other point.

Itching will be more in the early morning, when undressed. I am using homeopathy medicine “KS6″, it is ok it reduces the intensity of itch but it will not cured complete itching.

September 7, 2012 at 1:42 am
(53) Thelma says:

DROP BAD NEUROLOGISTS….Dermatologists, internists & neurologists clearly do not know about the MS Itch. And, MS Neurologists & MS Nurses ay not fare better. I have been suffering and crying all day long for a couple of months. My MS Neurologist is “famous.” Years ago, I thought that l was so lucky that he was an in-network provider. Simply put, both he & his nurse incredibly do not know how to treat this condition. And worse, they don’t know that they don’t know! They keep making bad guesses. Further, they are not compassionate people. I will be selecting a new MS Neurologist soon – there are 2 local candidates that I will be checking out. They don’t take my insurance, but actually, I should have switched a long time ago. I hope this itch goes away.

September 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm
(54) Emily G says:

Ok! so i am not going crazy! i have had the most annoying and deep itch on the right side of my face, forehead and even upper and lower eyelid! my skin is so raw and sore that its about to drive me insane. its been on and off every day for 2 weeks now and nothing helps. my neuro said the ms wouldnt do that, i was recently diagnosed in feb and take avonex. this is the first time i have experienced this and it is quite bothersome. feels as if someone is dragging a strand of hair across my face. but i guess i’ll take this over the double vision i had right before getting diagnosed, i just wish it would go away already!

October 4, 2012 at 11:48 pm
(55) Kim says:

I was diagnosed with MS in 1998 and was put on the various MS interphrons. How every shortly after taking them I broke out in chronic itching. Although it was in 1998 I can’t stop the CRAZY chronic itching it is crazier at night but I still itch. My neurologist and family physician do not agree that my itching is MS related. I don’t care what the cause is all I want is to STOP Itching. I was given gabapentin 300mg I started taking 1per day which was not enough. I was bumped up to my current regiment is 14tabs a day which is no longer helping. I have added over the counter
Allergy pill to assist but I take 24 tabs (3x) a day which is not helping. PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME.i JUST WANT THE ITCHING TO STOP!

October 6, 2012 at 12:21 am
(56) foster says:

I itch most of the time but I have little white on the end of the hair on my arms,the hair pulls out very easeley

October 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm
(57) Michele Tetrev says:

I am so happy to read I am not the only one.I have tried everything too.There are a couple of medicines the doctor is going to let me try.But like alot of you I am up all night long.She put me on sleep medicine but they where off after a while.I have had MS for 10 years and only been itchy for a year now.I hope something works. Bless

November 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm
(58) Michelle says:

my itching is inside my ears….there is no infection just an itch that I can’t get rid of. Anyone get itchy ears??

November 11, 2012 at 12:08 am
(59) Mike B says:

I have very specific itchiness only on the right side of my neck, usually when I go to bed. Makes it hard to fall asleep. Been pretty much a constant for me since my diagnosis 6 years ago. In fact, the itchy neck was probably my first actual symptom. Lorazepam usually helps a little

November 20, 2012 at 2:19 am
(60) diane w says:

i suffer itchy hands, feet and lower legs. it gets worse at night. i scratch so much i bleed with no relief from creams and such even holding them under hot running water didnt help. i dont have ms but do wish i knew what was wrong with me. i am 59 could it be menopause??

November 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm
(61) Tiger(realnamenogimmiks) says:

My mother just had a horrible 15 minute itchy episode. You could tell she was in pure agony and I felt terrible there was nothing I could do to help her. She refuses to go to the doctor. She thinks she was having a panic attack (which she does have often) she has been diagnosed with diabetes and is blind in one eye. I dont know if that would have something to with it BC this is the first time its happened so after reading all these similar experiences im wondering if MS is a possibility also, or if this was because of her diabetes?

December 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm
(62) Al A says:

I get episodes of intense itching. What I do is muster all my willpower and simply not itch it, and only rub or tap the area when absolutely necessary. I’ve found that most of the time, if I just maintain my willpower, the itching will go away in a matter of minutes. The more you itch, the worse it gets, that much we can say for sure.

December 12, 2012 at 5:57 am
(63) Tricia says:

I have a severe itching problem every day. It always seems to start after 2pm on my upper arms and around 6pm on my foot. On my upper arms it begins with what feels like a bee stinging me which is almost impossible not to scratch. The minute I scratch the itching takes over for about 1 to 2 hours and then mysteriously goes away as quickly as it started. It’s sooo frustrating that while happening I just want to break something (rage) or cut it out (I litterally considerred this a few times as the only way to stop it). No I didn’t actually do it.

My neurologist has never heard of this as a serious symptom of MS.

January 15, 2013 at 6:31 pm
(64) AngelaH says:

Just wondering if anyone thinks that the itching could be caused from the nerve damage of MS? I have not been diagnosed yet but everything I deal with SCREAMS MS. I have had two extreme itching episodes within a week or so that have lasted hours or torment and I have no redness, no outward skin irritation, just crawling skin sensation from head to toe, inside ears, scalp. Slathering with anti-itch lotion is no help, showering can make it worse, etc. I can deal with pain better than itching and I think it could truly drive one insane!

January 22, 2013 at 6:16 am
(65) Lisa Franco says:

Omg I can’t believe there are others with this it h. It’s really real. I’m looking online for a possible link or explanation as my Dr told me today if it was M.S it would be localised to one area, prob my rebif but I looked that up and said only at the site of injection. No… It’s ll over my back, scalp, earns, legs, buttocks, stomach, everywhere all over, even my eyelids and scratching does nothing. Im trying to work out why.? I’m worried I’m relapsing as I’ve had a few weeks feeling well and not been in hosp and started having blance probs, dropping stuff again, feeling so I’ll, and that unbearable fatigue that precedes my relapses. So glad to see its not only me … Even though that sounds terrible.

April 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm
(66) Lenny says:

It has been 6 years since DIAGNOSIS of my M.S., my INTERNAL ITCH attack takes place only in one of my ARMS, it is the worst thing to experience. Many doctors and Neurologist don’t even know about this or understand it. They think it is something else. Mine gets activated when I am stressed or angry or do any hard physical activity. It can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 8 hours. I have scratched myself to bleeding status. The end result is swollen hands and arms all scratched up. Nothing helps, I have tried all home and natural remedies including suggestions from doctors.

May 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm
(67) jan says:

Trial and error. That’s what it’s all about. A neurologist who doesn’t believe that itching can clearly be MS -related should not be allowed to treat MS patients. PERIOD. Usually (never “always” with MS) the itch is not all over one’s body. Neurontin (GABA) at various doses helps many – not all. Home treatment—numb with ice to get some relief. Although creams don’t usually work because it is about our nerves, not our skin, for some reason, Benadryl gel somewhat eases the itch for me– SO MANY other creams have no effect. Also, itch can be related to past case of Shingles. A good neurologist should ask re Shingles if complaining about itching. Don’t give up –spend he money and travel if necessary to see a really good pain specialist. You need to be under the care of someone who really understands how debilitating this itch can be.

June 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm
(68) Dianw says:

I am itching intensly as I type this. I’ve had this for 3 yrs. It is always my right foot and it is intense and I am miserable. I used to have this mostly at night which seems to be the worst time, but now it is during the day also. No rash, no redness; just deep itching of toes, and arch of foot.

Nothing works for me. Tried local products and medications to take internally. Most of the drugs the neuro gives me just wipe me out; cannot tolerate them. I could cry and occasionally I do, but nothing makes it go away. Yes, I have MS and have had it for years, but the itching began about 3 yrs ago.

June 14, 2013 at 1:41 am
(69) sandra ruongo says:

i really dont know what mine is… it occurs immediately after i take a bath. i start itching randomly all over my body, hands, back, butt but mostly, my legs and thighs. it irritates me because, i take almost 5 minutes to just sit and scratch. it started some time back n i ignored, but now, its my daily routine and i really need help please. and, is it something serious? though it doesnt cause any rashes, am just worried. help me please, i am in Kenya. thanks.

June 14, 2013 at 5:25 am
(70) Gazala says:

I am going crazy scratching day and night but more o in the evenings and first thing in the morning. Mainly on my arms and face especially my eyebrows. What is it??? I thought it was bed bugs but it can’t be because we had pest control to treat the whole house, twice over. And I’m still scratching. HELP

June 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm
(71) Tamara says:

I started itching about 8 years ago at the onset of summer, I would scratch at various spots for about a month. After several Dr’s telling me it’s just a allergic reaction to something I just excepted it every summer along with the heat. I was finely diagnosed with M.S. 6 months ago and now so many things are clear. I now get this ITCH ON MY FACE that drives me nuts!!!!!

June 27, 2013 at 1:43 am
(72) Neallie says:

I have itching in random places, but mostly my forearms. My husband says I do it in my sleep. I have woken up with scratches all over and they scab over. It feels deep under the skin. The only thing I have found to give any relief is ice packs. I think it numbs my arms until the itching subsides.

July 3, 2013 at 7:27 pm
(73) Pamela says:

I developed chronic hives after I moved from LA to GA 17 years ago. I used to laugh and say it was because I was allergic to GA. I began taking Atarax on a daily basis and it had always controlled my symptoms but occasionally my hives would get out of control and I had to take steroids. About 3 weeks ago I started with itching on my arms, legs, thighs, and buttocks. I would scratch which brought out the hives and scratch more until I made myself bleed. I doubled up on my Atarax but it did not seem to help. The pharmacist suggested I try Benedryl since the Atarax was not working. I also bought Benedryl spray and that has helped the most so far, but it seems like it is beginning not to work. It is always worse after I take my clothes off before I go to bed. It is driving me crazy!

July 9, 2013 at 2:43 am
(74) tina ferreira says:

I have had itching on the palm’s of my hands,between my fingers and on my feet. Itching in and on my ears as well as on my thighs. On my neak and chest. Between my legs and it’s driving me insane! I tried cream as well as vasiline. It helped for a little while but came back. What I did find that helps…and believe me it really was helpful, blue dish soap (walmart brand) on my itchy palm’s. It drys out your hands but it is a relief from the itchys. Didn’t try it any where else. Afraid to cause a rash. But it helped with the hands. Oh..and use hot water,feels so good :) Hope this helps anyone and everyone experiencing this annoying alignment. God Bless you all! ~~* Sincerely Tina

July 12, 2013 at 8:59 am
(75) Morris Cartwright says:

Today I was made aware of, (for the first time) the severe itching episodes and a tie in to MS by Dr. Kevin Kia, My Dermatologist in Dallas TX.
In an unusual, unrelated conversation I was having with Dr. Kia about my RRMS today, I mentioned to him that back in the early ’90′s I was being treated for these extreme itching episodes that I used to have.
About 7 to 8 years before I was ever diagnosed with RRMS I began to have extremely severe and painful itching episodes, only on on my left arm. I was being treated for these unusual outbreaks and several years later, in April, 1999 I had my first full blown MS exacerbation.
Dr. Kia then went on to tell me about a tie in to those episodes and MS.
That was absolutely the first time that I ever heard this and now I have researched it and found it to be true.

July 30, 2013 at 11:36 am
(76) Jennifer Houser says:

I have intense itching between my first and second finger and that is always my signal that an exacerbation is soon to follow. There is no sign of a rash or anything on my skin I just get this tingling/itching feeling and I can’t relieve it. I just have to wait until it goes away by itself. On a positive note, at least my body is telling me to get prepared for what is soon to come.

August 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm
(77) Jennifer Champeau says:

Having recently been diagnosed with MS I have some but not all of the symptoms. One of which is intense iching in the palms of my hands. The iching is really terrible but what does help me immediately is a bag of ice. I put chopped ice in a baggy and hold it and within 5 minutes the iching is gone. This works for the worst of iching and i am sure it will help with feet and other areas.

August 16, 2013 at 11:59 am
(78) Kook says:

I get itching too! On scalp, on skin (all over)!!
Bit the worst is I get it immediately AFTER a shower!?!
Anyone else?

August 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm
(79) paul says:

I have been itching for 10 years. It started after taking a shower. I tried all the creams and pills nothing worked. The last few years I itch and different times of the day and night. Steriods worked for awhile but not a cure. I havent been told I have MS.

September 22, 2013 at 7:20 pm
(80) Victor Raspberry says:

I am so glad I am not crazy… Your comments helped me to understand what is going on with me at this time. I scheduled an appointment for next week about this itching problem I have on the top of my head that comes and goes. THANK YOU!!!!

December 28, 2013 at 3:38 pm
(81) imawalkingal says:

For a few years now I have been having numbness, tickly(bug crawling sensations on my body. Lately ,I have been having other issues such as itching especially on my lower stomach, lower back. I am also having more and New tingly, bug crawling sensations on my face,neck, head.
I have not been diagnosed with MS but with me doing my research I looks like I have some of the symptons. Going to my general doctor next month.

January 28, 2014 at 5:16 am
(82) Tony says:

What a relief to read all of these itchy experiences! I was diagnosed about 9 years ago & have never experienced the prickling, burning itch I have over the last couple of weeks. No rash & no changes in anything which may explain the sensation I’m feeling in my left arm. Just a desire (which I’ve held in check so far) to keep digging until I find the cause.
A cold, wet flannel or cool water in the shower offers some relief, as does a mild antihistamine cream, though I’m expecting to be woken tonight by the intense desire to scratch again.

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