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What causes itching all over your body?

Dec 2013
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 4168 Questions
For about 5 months now, I have had itchy skin. Occasionally, I get a rash, but not always. The itching is everywhere, in my hair, and even inside my ears at its worst. Nothing seems to alleviate it, although allergy meds help somewhat. A few weeks ago, I eliminated tomato products after a very bad bout of itching. About 4 days ago, I eliminated milk products. Both have shown significant results, although the last 2 days, I have had some itching. I am waiting to see an allergist. Nothing scheduled yet. When I was young (around 10 or so) I had a kidney infection. Otherwise, good health until recently. My doctor discovered I have an irregular heartbeat, and I am on meds for that, as well as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a nerve problem in my right leg I have had for about 12 years. I am 67, morbidly obese and trying to lose weight. Severe arthritis inhibits my ability to exercise, although I do about 20 minutes a day of my own creation. I have had a knee replacement a year ago, but it seems to be causing pain again. I am due to see my family doctor next week. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.
Posted Wed, 25 Dec 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 49 minutes later
Brief Answer: Kindly provide important details Detailed Answer: Hello, Welcome and thanks for posting your query to healthcare magic. I can understand your concern for the itching all over your body since last 5 months. There can be multiple of possibilities of itching. The history provided is too brief to reach to any conclusive point. I request you to please kindly elaborate your query in detail so that I can help you best regarding the health issues. Kindly elaborate the problem in terms of - - Is the itching present through out the day or only some hours of day. - If present for some hours of day then any specific time period you observed for the same like in day or evening or night time. - Is the itching present continuously from last 5 months or you got phase of remission in between and then it restated again. - Do you feel any thing aggravating these eruptions like by exposure to sunlight, heat or humidity - Any kind of eruptions or red areas or any bumps you felt along with the itching. If yes then can you send a picture of that area so that I can analyze it better. For that you have a feature to upload images by yourself at the right side of the query page. Or else, you can send as an attachment to YYYY@YYYY with the subject as "Attn: Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia. - Any other systemic change you experienced. - Your job profile- are you in desk job sitting continuously for some hours. Kindly also provide anything related to query which you think is important to tell us. Hope to hear you soon from your side to help and guide you best. With good health wishes, Dr Sanjay Kumar Kanodia MD- Dermatology
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes itching all over your body? 4 hours later
The itching is all over, and does not get better or worse with any specific time of day. There only were 2 places where I noticed bumps, and that was onthe inside of my wrists. There was a large rash on the inside of my thigh, just to the left of my knee, close to the back of my knee on the right knee (not the knee that was replaced.) I cannot send you a picture. I do not have the knowledge. The itching seemed to bet better at times, and got worse at times. Once, I made some food using tomato paste, and I ate it for 3 days. That was when itching was very bad, and all over. So I stopped eating the tomato products and it seemed to get somewhat better. I thought perhaps I was allergic to some foods, so that's when I started to pay close attention to the food products. I have stopped using cow's milk or milk products, and I have had significant relief. But not completely. If you think it may be food allergies, I will continue to try to investigate that. If you think I should look for another cause, such as kidney problems etc. I can alert my family doctor. I have never had this kind of problem before, so I am searching for any information. ps. I am retired, and spend a lot of time at a desk or seated. Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 12 hours later
Brief Answer: Kindly see the detailed mail Detailed Answer: Hello, Welcome again and thanks for your follow up. After reading your complete information and analyzing these with diligence I can make out the possibility of Allergic dermatitis in yourself. In this condition there is itching on contact with that particular product or chemical. It can be due to skin contact as well as due to ingestion or inhalation of that particular thing. Now this allergic dermatitis can be confirmed by two important things: - Patch test : it is a type of a special test devised to check the most probable of the contact allergens causing itching. Multiple of small patches are applied to the skin for 48 hours and accordingly the results are seen after that. - Allergy blood tests: These includes- Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, or EIA) & Radioallergosorbent test (RAST). ELISA & RAST tests measures the amount of allergen-specific antibodies in your blood to a particualr food product. ELISA test is more advanced then RAST. Along with the food products there can be additional aggravating factors to your problem such as by dryness of skin and exposure to external environment such as extremes of heat, cold or sweating and humidity. I suggest you some important points to prevent itching and you can follow the suggestion below: - Keep your self away from hot and humid climate and extreme cold. - If possible then take two times bath. - Wear cotton clothes and cotton undergarments to be changed two times a day. Do not wear any synthetic or tight garments. - Do not sit continuously for long hours. - Over the red areas or where you have bumps you can do XXXXXXX warm compression or warm water compresses according to the weather condition. Take a tub half filled with water. Pour pinch of table salt in it. Sit in it for about 15-20 minutes and clean the area well or you can do compresses with a towel also if you are not comfortable in sitting. Do not try to scratch and just be gentle. After that you apply any bland moisturizer cream without fragrance in it. -You can take oral anti histamine like loratadine 2 or 3 times a day under medical advise if there is moderate to severe itching is present. -Don't try to scratch or rub the area as can lead to further aggravation of the problem. - Most importantly you must avoid all the citrus (sour fruits) and milk products as these appears to be most important offending thing in your problem. You can follow the above regimen till you meet a specialist doctor for the best management. Hope these informations will help you. If you have any further queries I will be happy to help. with best health wishes, Dr Sanjay
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