This Infernal External Itching!!!

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Hello there! Tonight I had to write about a common symptom that is experienced by lupus patients the world over. It is itching. 

I am interested because as I write this, I am literally stopping and scratching. The itching comes and goes. It is horrible. It can range from my scalp to my legs to my arms to my face and neck. Well, you get the point. I scratch so hard, especially in my sleep, that I have been known to draw blood.

In the interest of research, I visited several web sites and health forums to see if I am in the minority or majority.It appears that most lupus patients experience this itching at various times in their disease course. Nice to know, yet I wish there were some types of treatment to help the itching stop. Personally, I tend to over take my benadryl, like every three hours or so, to help lessen my itchies. Does it work? Some, but not really well. 

I read that some use cortisone cream. That is my next course I will try. For some reason, after reading others experiences, it seems that itching either precedes a flare or appears during a flare. The concensus seems to be that it appears when disease is active. Yippee!

To help those who do not have this symptom, let me explain how it feels. When you get a normal itch, you scratch and it is taken care of. This itching I get is bone deep, unrelenting itching. No amount of scratching seems to help. It absolutely demands attention because it is hard to stop it. Even in sleep, it can and does wake you up. I have drawn blood from night scratching. Even then it is not stopped.

Apparently the medical community in general are not sure whether lupus is causing this itching or if it is some other underlying issue. Some medical professionals think it is caused by dermatomyositis. Others think it is a form of vasculitis. I have posted about vasculitis in this blog before so if you want to read more about it, feel free to check out that post.

This time I am going to see about dermatomyositis. From what I read on the Mayo Clinic site, it is a form of skin rash that develops. Well shoot, that is not what I have. I do not have a rash where it itches, just this underlying itching. I may get a rash after I scratch it to pieces, but that would hardly be the same thing.

So, I will try cortisone creams and see if they help. I will update the progress or lack thereof. In the meantime, I wonder if you all could tell me if you have experienced this infernal external itching yourselves. I am interested is seeing how many of you have had this too. This is not a scientific study by any means, but I am interested because I wonder if it is indeed lupus related or something entirely different. Your feedback will help. Thanks and here’s to pain free days!

Jen 

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