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Dry, itchy knuckles, knees and elbows. Applying cortizone, clotrimazole. How can the itching be cured?

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Practicing since : 2005
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Hi Doctors; In the last 2 months I've developed dry, itchy knuckles, knees, and elbows. They are peeling, mostly the elbow area. On two or three occasions during the last 2 months, there have been very small clear bumps that when I scratch release a small amount of clear fluid. I been applying a 50-50 mixture of cortizone and clotrimazole. Though the peeling has subsided (I've basically peeled all of the skin in the areas off), the itching continues. HELP!
Posted Mon, 18 Jun 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 2 hours later

Thanks for writing in.

The condition you are describing classically fits the diagnosis of dermatitis herpetiformis .However it can be number of other things also like scabies, contact dermatitis.
Dermatitis herpetiformis is characterized by Itching over elbows ,knees,knuckles ,buttocks followed small blisters over the area followed by peeling of skin and eczematization.

Also I would like to know
a) Do you have any oral cavity problems?
b)Any gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea ,bloating of abdomen?
c)Are you on any other drugs than simvastatin.

Answer the above questions and I would be in better position to help you.

Till then you can take Zyrtec tablets for itching which are over the counter antihistaminics. Also you can apply aloe vera lotion for cooling ,soothing effect twice or thrice daily.

Anticipating your reply.
Dr Sudarshan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Dry, itchy knuckles, knees and elbows. Applying cortizone, clotrimazole. How can the itching be cured? 28 hours later
I have had an issue with a root canal for 4 years. After the initial procedure I still experienced discomfort. A year ago I was in pain. Returning to the endodontist, he discovered a canal that had formed or that was missed (rare, but it happens he says). I've still experienced pain in that area of my mouth - and believe a cavity on the other side is forming.

No unusual bloating; bowel movements are daily and regular.

Occasionally take omeprazole if stress is high - reduces acid reflux-like symptoms.
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 35 hours later
Hi and thanks again,

Based on the information provided, I stick to my previous reply.

The dry and itchy lesions associated with bumps could be related to dermatitis herpetiformis. I encourage you to visit your local dermatologist for a direct examination. A skin biopsy of the affected region will confirm the possibility.

As far as the current problem of itching is concerned, continue use of zyretec once a day and cortizone cream. Topical soothening agents such as aloe vera

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other concerns.

Best Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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