Sunday, January 09, 2011

Brachioradial Pruritus

We continue to get questions from readers -- but many do not leave an email address. If you want specific questions answered, I will try to do so but need an email to respond to. As of March 18, 2012, we've had 68 comments to this post -- and some people ask specific questions. If you want a response, you will have to include your email address. Otherwise, we have no mechanism to reply. We do not share email addresses with anyone. We do not bill anyone for anything.

June 15, 2012.  NEW LINK:  WE HAVE POSTED AN INFORMATION SHEET ON DermatologyCentral.  It's a work in process but should be helpful:  Brachioradial Pruritus Resource Page.
 
I have had an interest in Brachioradial Pruritus (BRP) for over 25 years and published a paper on it in 1985 and co-wrote a chapter on BRP for eMedicine.com. (Actually, the lion's share of the writing was done by Julianne Mann, then a dermatology resident at Oregon Health Sciences University.) As a result of the eMedicine.com chapter, I receive a few requests for information each year. Two came in recently and, with their permission, are presented here. Perhaps, some of our readers have suggestions for management of this annoying and occasionally disabling problem. Note: It is amazing how many comments have been made by people who suffer with BRP. Around 55 at this time. If you wish to leave a comment, and would like us to acknowledge it, please send me your name and email address. It will not appear anywhere on this site; but if you want me to relpy to you I need your contact information. Thank you, DJ Elpern.

1. This is from a 32 y.o. equestrian
I am an otherwise healthy woman desperately searching for a doctor who may be able to discuss some treatment options for my very itchy arms! I am 32 year old, 110 lb, active, female resident of New England and have been suffering with itchy arms (without rash) for at least four years now. When I finally sought treatment- I was referred by my primary MD to a dermatologist who informed me that I had dry, sensitive skin, and prescribed a topical cream and an oral steroid - I carefully followed his advice for 2 years - with absolutely no relief from the itch. The only thing that relieved the symptoms (which flare more intensely in the evening hours) was ice packs. I was often woken from sleep by the itch.

The itch occurs in cyclical pattern- symptomatic for months, followed by a month or two of none or very mild symptoms, then followed by another flare. it is present in sunny months as well as winter.

Finally, frustrated by the unresolved symptoms, at my own expense, I had one visit with a dermatologist in a nearby large city who very quickly diagnosed brachioradial pruritus and prescribed topical Capsaicin. Capsaicin works - sort of. But, it is a total pain in the butt for minimal relief. I am seeking alternative treatment.....acupuncture, chiropractic, anything ... ? Do I need an X-ray? What do I do? I am on my own out here in a sea of medical professionals who seem unwilling to take this condition seriously or look for possible causes that may be an underlying cause for this condition of itchy arms....

It may also be of interest that I have a large amount of muscle/ligament type tension in my neck and shoulders- it's pretty severe, some of this tension is a manifestation of stress, some results from my very physical occupation as an Equestrian.... I am personally tempted to think that all the tension in my neck and shoulders may have something to do with the arm itch - but this conflicts with the cyclical nature of the itch. Has the tension is chronic?
To me, BRP it's a big deal!


2. This is from a 37 yo health care professional:
I have suffered with this for no less than 5 years. Until about a year ago it was sporadic, but has been substantially worse and constant for the last year or so. Nights are particularly difficult, as the itching becomes intolerable and uncontrollable. I have recently found some comfort with ice packs, but naturally having to traipse off to the kitchen several times a night is inconvenient and exhausting. The most recent prescriptions I have tried are 10mg cetirizide for daytime and 25mg doxepin (1-2 at bedtime), and also betamethosone cream. The cetirizide helps with other allergy issues I have, but doesn't offer any relief to the itchy arms. Also, the doxepin helps me get a few solid hours of sleep, if I take 2, but, as with hydroxizine, I feel "hungover" the next morning... AND insatiably hungry.
I do LOVE the sun, and have always found that I feel better through the cold months if I go tanning a couple times a week. In the winter months, I spend a bit of time tanning prior to spending any significant time outside in the summer. I have fair skin, and it helps prevent burning before spending a day at the beach. (which I do, ALL day, as often as possible.) I do not, however notice any increase or decrease in the itching based on exposure to sun/tanning. In the last year, however, I HAVE starting being a bit more careful and use a minimum of SPF 30 during peak hours at the beach. Here is a recent picture:
(Editor's note: This shows some typical findings. The skin looks a bit dry and lichenified and there is evidence of excoriation. Not all cases show these changes, some are more subtle.)


I have seen several doctors, including a dermatologist, regarding this debilitating itch and NOTHING has helped enough to warrant the side effects. I cannot seem to get anyone to understand that it isn't like a skin itch, it feels like its UNDER my skin. I scratch so much, especially at night, that I bleed. I am not a crazy, irrational person.... but the loss of sleep and inability to find anything that relieves this itching probably makes me seem as though I am.

Comment: Both of these patients appear to have chronic BRP. I see a similar patient once or twice a year. While most patients with BRP have episodic, relatively easy to treat disease, there are a few patients who have disabling symptoms. There is an aphorism, "It is often more important to treat the patient who has the disease than the disease the patient has." I think this applies to persons with chronic BRP. In a real way, these are orphan patients. Few dermatologists have the expertise, and fewer the time, to adequately evaluate and treat these patient. If you have suggestions, they would be most appreciated.

Actual Use
Most patients with BRP will get some relief from ice packs.  3M makes a reusable pack thatsells in the U.S. for $2.50.  This is an inexpensive way to start treating BRP if you have not used ice already.  You could use this 2 - 3 times a day for 15 - 20 minutes or whatever works best for you.

145 comments:

  1. Dr Parveen K Gupta M DJanuary 09, 2011

    Normally, it is due to some irritating factor like woolen clothes,soap used to bathe the equestrian,some cosmetic, or some food like asparagus,spinach,drinks like some particular brand of whiskey etc. For relief, she should wear pure cotton full sleeve shirt and apply a moisturizer or calamine lotion having thymol or apply silver sulphadiazine cream b.d. She will have to continue this for at least 3 weeks. This generally cures this condition at least for 3-5 years.

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    1. Dear Dr Gupta:

      I am sorry to disagrr with you but I am also a healthy female equestrienne who was ladt year stricken by BRP. This is not an allergic reaction or itchy clothing but a nerve response that is somehow related to bulging discs in the neck or something along those lines. It is a nerve condition and that is why medications such as gabapenyin, neurontin of elavil have helped some sufferers. Often ice is the only relief.

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  2. I had success in a pt with BRP using gabapentin 600mg at night ( start with 100 mg a night x 2 nights and then 200 mg a night x 2 nights and so on until 600mg a night; if symtoms not resolved , then add 200 mg in am and increase by 200 mg every 2-3 days until 600 mg bid)

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  3. Ice packs are helpful for immediate symptomatic relief.
    Few options that can be tried are BRP
    1.Topical capsaicin
    2.Soothing lotion containing menthol and camphor
    3.gabapentin /pregabalin
    4.amitriptyline/nortriptylin

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  4. UPDATE From the 32 Year old equestrian with BPR:
    I have begun to seek Chiropractic care from a very good chiro Dr - who is also quite sympathetic to my symptoms of BPR .
    I had some Spinal Xrays done -- along with some minor arthritic changes and curvature in my thorasic and lower spine, the X-rays showed significant 'misalignment' in the cervical vertebra. Quite notable is a very tight spacing (with some arthritic changes) between many cervical vertebra... this may be indicative of disk damage and nerve irritation --- IN THE AREAS of origin of the BR nerves! I have had several chiro adjustments in the past few weeks and will continue on this TX course for a while to see if it makes a difference in the itching. I say this very, very tentatively at this point, as it could be just coincidence (given the nature of BPR symptom 'flares') -- but the symptoms of my BPR have been much, much milder since my second chiro adjustment......

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    1. I am very interested in whether your chiro treatment worked, i am from Qld , staying in fiji at present and going thru hell with this

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    2. Hi,
      I had X-rays of my cervical spine whilst in Saudi Arabia and a very good course of physiotherapy- BRp probelm was reduced significantly. Definite 'hooking' of the bases of my cervical spine on X-ray apparently [possible pressure on nerves] and I have BRP very badly since but oddly enough do not get symptoms when my neck itself is painful- it's almost as if a 'mild' compression causes the nerves to fire off down my arms but if my neck is 'locked up' then perhaps the pain or disturbance is localised to the neck only. My mother also has BRP.
      James

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  5. I am a 46 year old female and also have been suffering with BRP for many years. It has become worse over the past year or two and it amazes me that no one seems to be aware of this condition! Primary care, derm, and neuro were all clueless. I did research on my own and told the neurologist to Rx gabapentin. It works, for sure. I started with only 100mg once/day and increased it to three times/day. He also prescribed Doxepin cream, which is a tricyclic antidepressant. Didn't seem to help. With the more constant and severe attacks (especially at night - sleep is impossible without ice packs!) I have had to up the dosage to 300mg three times per day. Even with the higher dose I'm still getting the itch so I just grab an ice pack and wait till it's totally numb.
    C-spine xrays showed mild degenerative disease. The neurologist wanted an MRI but the insurance co. said no mainly because this "diagnosis" is not a known entity. More people have this debilitating condition than we are aware - there are forums on the internet (like "itchy arms") where people are suffering with BRP but don't yet know what it is because the medical community isn't familiar with it either. It would be nice for all of us sufferers (and we really do suffer) to finally get recognition of this awful condition and some research underway to find more effective treatments.

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    1. you can say that again, i'm thinking i have this, but i thought i just had an allergic reaction to some meds, but just a while ago my arm started to itch and i have not taken the meds. it is awful, my arm is all scratched up. i'm keeping track of when i itch and see what happens, i'm not sure who to see at this point. i'm thankful to speak or write to others about this.

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  6. I am 68 and have had this condition for over 30 years.Never went to doc just suffered. Started on both upper arms. After 20 years traveled to lower arms upper back and throat area. Started out on and off. later almost constant. I have been in the sun since I was a kid. Have arthritis in back So I fit both catagories.Used ice and later heat. Haven't had itch for 6 months but woke up with pain in both arms.Pain hasn't stopped. been going on for 6 months guess this is a substitution for the itch. I'll take the itch

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  7. I was able to find relief BPR by going to a physiatrist. After an MRI and extensive X-rays in my cervical area, I was found to have a neck whiplash on my left side. After 3 procedures after 7 years, I found complete relief. I had to be very aggressive to get the proper diagnosis and did not accept indifference from various physicians.It is absolutely necessary to get the facet injections done by a spine clinic-not necessarily an orthopedic group. The complete information can be found on google. Type in treatment for brachioradial pruritis, then select the information about cervical rib and compression

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  8. Hi Iam Jesy

    Every page I have visted all said brp occurs in middle-aged people.
    Well in my case not true. I am 23 and live in Hawaii and has fair skin I am a red head.(Hahaha) but my arms itch like crazy. So bad I get little sores and bleed. They say ice and water helps the flare go down again not in my case. I am itching right now. I sometimes take an itching pill but it only last an hour. Help!!!!!!! And if u wanna get a hold of me hit up my e mail clay_aiken_101@yahoo.com

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  9. AnonymousJuly 16, 2011

    Iam a British woman aged 44 who has been suffering from this debilitating condition for around 12 years. Doctors just aren't interested and don't seem to take it seriously as there are no visual symptoms. I have been given Gabapentin and Amitryptiline years ago but just couldn't function with them -let alone the weight gain. My last doctors visit about this condition was just ridiculous. It was over a year ago and I took some research with me about Brachioradial Pruritis and was told - "All that means - is itchy arms - it's not a diagnosis" It's a condition that you feel no one will understand and that people will think you're a complete hypochondriac. However, the intense itch, which, once you have scratched turns into a ferocious burning agony, as if someone has set your skin on fire is no joke. I have sat next to the freezer all night long numbing my arms with ice packs, and when it happens at work during the day - I'm done for - yesterday I was sobbing with pain - it was unbearable. I hate it when people say - it's obviiously due to stress or offer me some cream - it wont work - its much deeper than any cream could reach - feels like my nerve endings are on fire. I spent 37 hours in labour - it didn't bother me - I have a high pain threashold. This is something else. I'm at a loss - short of amputation I have no idea who or what can help me. My husband and my daughter both understand "Mummy needs an ice pack NOW" but they are the only ones.Ant help would be greatly appreciated. sarah.sigston@sky.com

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    1. AnonymousJune 06, 2013

      Hopefully you see this post did anyone ever believe you ? I have the exact same itch for over 20 years and the doctors tell me the same thing.I am at my wits end. Any suggestions..

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  10. AnonymousJuly 23, 2011

    I am a 59 yo otherwise healthy, active female who has finally, officially, been diagnosed with BRP by my dermatologist. I've only recently gone to seek diagnosis after doing research on the internet. I've been suffering with this AWFUL itching for several years but this last episode is the most severe in itch level and time duration. I went into the derm office prepared to do battle about a diagnosis, but after explaining my symptoms she replied "BRP" to which I replied "brachioradial pruritus". Smiles...she was impressed and commented on my "doing my research". Unfortunately, she also agreed that she is unaware of any definite cause and successful treatment. We discussed skin damage from sun exposure (I had a superficial melanoma excised in 1987, no reoccurrence) as well as cervical disc injury (I have bulging C5 & 6 discs)We talked about a very potent topical steriod cream and both agreed..."no". We also discussed chiropractor/accupuncture treatment. Since I live in SW Florida, absolutely do not go out without SPF 30 or higher sunscreen on my arms because the UV rays penetrate the skin immediately irritating the nerves. Since I don't "hang out" in the FL sun, I wasn't wearing sunscreen on my arms daily unless I was "out" doing something for any length of time.

    So...I'm now going to start wearing sunscreen on my arms daily, I'm going to start with chiropractic treatments moving on to acupuncture treatments if no relief is found after several weeks. Lastly, if none of that works, I'll consult with a neurologist. Relief MUST be found because the lack of quality sleep is affecting my health in other ways.

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  11. AnonymousJuly 24, 2011

    I am a 69 year old physician who has had waxing and waning Brachioradial pruritus for decades. I have a number of food allergies. Celery, Mango and Pineapple. The first was celery which I discovered after going into anaphylaxis after eating a large amount of celery root. I eliminated celery from my diet and the pruritis seem to wane. However in recent years it has return full bore to the "I am ready to jump out of the window" stage...Ice packs help but I need a sleeping pill, Zolpidem, to knock me out at night. And as I learned in med school, any disease that has a hundred cures, you know that none of them work..... yours in misery....

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  12. I am a 55 y/o female (RN) with herniated cervical disk 4 thru 6.Motor vehicle accident 2004 diagnosed by MRI & EMG test.
    I developed this severe itch condition approx 2 years ago and assumed it was menopause related.
    Now I realize it is not.
    I have NO insurance and take no medications, non smoker and healthy until this.
    Where can I get help as no Md will see me ?
    I work part time at a college when they have work for me.
    I have a chiropractor but can not afford weekly treatments.
    Please Help!!
    forthelord7@bellsouth.net

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  13. I am on here right now because I am going crazy with itching, aaargh and want to rip my skin off! I live on a boat in San Diego and every time I go outside I have to completely cover my neck from the sun. My neurologist and dermatologist agree it is BRP which they say is a rare tropical disease. Makes sense to keep any body parts affected covered when outside, so STAY OUT OF THE SUN!
    My neurologist suggests Lamitrogene (sp?) which I'm not going with, but one cream that seems to give some relief is called FLUOCINONIDE .05%. The person who says they can't afford help might check with the company who makes it -Teva. A lot of drug companies will supply you if there's no way you can afford it.
    Yep, I'm going with ACUPUNCTURE too and Chiropractic!
    Other than that it's ice packs or packs of frozen veggies :)
    Good luck to all.

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  14. Hello all of you sufferers out there, I have recently contacted this horrible affliction, only about 2 months ago. I am a 47 female with 3 grown children, and 3 grandchildren. I tried everything. My doctor prescribed a very high dose cortizone, and after 3 days it got worse and I felt as if I was going to rip my arm off. The itch is deep, too deep and itching only makes it worse. I actually took a protector to a coffee cup that keeps you from burning your hands, and scratched my arm so hard to ease the pain, that my arm started bleeding right through all of the skin in about a 4"x 2" section...that was the second breakout, the first was when I first got it after being bitten by mosquitoes further down my arm. The mosquitoe bites went away but then it turned into this, and I had several open areas of skin that have since healed, but scarred real bad, leaving my arm looking pretty nasty. My doctor referred me to a dermatologist, taking two weeks to schedule. I thought my arm was going to fall off, and then it seemed to get a little better...here I thought the doctor wasnt going to see anything and think I was crazy; however, two days before the visit, it flared again, so at least there was SOMEthing for him to look at. But when it did flare up again, that night I decided to try tiger balm. It burned pretty good, but I was used to that, so at least I wasnt feeling the itch. Then, pretty soon the burn equaled the itch, then passed it. Just a little bit of a "coolness" but NO ITCH! Finally I could sleep. The next day I woke up and felt a little itch, so applied more...same result, wonderful! So the next day, I went into see the Dr., and told him what I found...he said there was no reason to stop using it if it works. He also prescribed an oral predinzone 10mg, which he said would cause diabetes and other diseases, so I havnt filled it, dont think I want to trade this for THAT. He asked if I had any neck or back injuries, and I could only remember shoulder surgery on that arm twice but it was years ago. When I got home, I remembered that I had fallen on my tailbone and broke it yrs ago in high school. Then, about 3 months ago, I was digging really hard in the garden for hours and screwed up my back. It hurt so bad I almost went into the dr., but I hate goin there, so I just waited till it got a little better. It still hurts, and although not as bad, I believe now that I really injured it to some extent, and thats what could be causing the nerve injury resulting in this itching. So, I have blogged in one other place, but it hasnt posted yet. Its been over a week and the Tiger Balm is still working (with the higher menthol content)..there has been some times where it starts to itch because its been hours since I put some on, so I apply it again and rub it in for a while, and it works! I also have ALOT of stress in my life recently and I am trying to keep that at a minimum. I am a sunworshipper, former suntan competion winner and dont use any sunscreen, but I think I will start, because too much sun cant be good for anybody anyhow. I cant imagine going through this kind of pain for years. For now, my wounds are healing because of no scratching, and the tiger balm is penetrating down to the nerves and healing them or holding them at bay (i dont know), but I will continue to use it and cross my fingers. Good luck to you all, and please feel free to email me at marylousart@yahoo.com :)

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  15. Hello, my name is Brandi. I am 32yr. old. I started itching on my upper left arm when I was pregnant with my last child, 5 years ago. I too itch and then it goes away. I have talked with several DC about this and they all say it is allergic or when pregnant, pregnancy rash. I am so excited to have found this web site and learn that I am not loosing my mind. When it flares there is nothing visible on my arm, that of course is until I claw my arm until I am bleeding especially at night. I hate it. I wake too my sheets covered in blood spots from the scratching in my sleep. I do hope that more doctors become aware of this condition and start treating it as a definite problem. I guess it is hard for one too know the state of itching BRP suffers have. I tell my husband it feels like something is trying to crawl out of my skin. I also tell him I feel like I want to just cut the skin off the arm, of course I won't but the itching has to stop. As I type I have an ice pack warped with a bandage around my arm. This is the only relief I can find. Thank you again for all the stories. I now have something to work with when speaking to the doctors.

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    1. Like this woman, I am so utterly grateful to have finally been able to put a name to the condition that I have been experiencing for six years now. And, like her, BRP came on during my first and only pregancy. Since then, it comes for weeks and then may go again for weeks or months. Does seem to respond temporarily to topical corticosteroids and, of course, cold packs. My question: given what I've read that BRP could be caused by cervical nerve compression, could the physical stresses of pregnancy have caused such a compression that persisted after the pregnancy? Or could pregancy have caused long-term hormonal/neurological/immune changes that are the underlying cause of my BRP?

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    2. Hi Dr. - in case my email isn't visible from the above, pls send any responses to siridita@gmail.com. Thanks so much!

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  16. I'm a 61 yr female who was diagnosed with BRP a few years ago after the itching/burning became very intense and was disturbing my life. I was glad to finally get a diagnosis but have not found too much relief. As others have posted, ice seems to be the best remedy for an intense attack and lotions with camphor and menthol seem to help some. Before I went to the dermatologist and got my diagnosis, I had found some relief from applying some of the over the counter creams for muscle pain such as Ben-gay or Icy Hot, etc. The directions say not to apply to irritated skin but I use it anyway and do manage to get some relief from it even though I smell like I'm medicated from a recent work-out half the time! Lately I have discovered the extra medicated Gold Bond lotion (in the green bottle - not the yellow one)or an equivalent off-brand. It seems to help some also. Before my recent flare-up I had been free from the itching for about 4 months but it has come back with a vengeance -which seems to be the nature of this crazy condition.
    Until recently, I had been taking the drug Cymbalta for treatment of fibromyalgia but since my muscle pain has been better I wanted to go off this medicine so decreased it slowly and am not taking it at all now. The reappearance of my BRP symptoms came at the same time as stopping this drug. I am thinking that there could possibly be a relationship here but of course am not sure. I only mention it because it might be worth investigating as a possible treatment for those who have not been able to get relief with other treatments??
    I'm just glad to be able to be in contact with people who are trying to help with this very frustrating disorder! Thanks -Louise

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  17. I have trouble even writing this post..so seldom on computer..haven't been what i have is brachioradial pruntus this week..been over 7 years of suffering, there's no rhyme or reason to the whole thing...it's affected my life in ways that i can't even believe..can't really talk to friends about it..it just to whacky..i've been on 275ml of lyrica a day for years...it has given me some relief..acupuncture hasn't really worked..been to some many docs in these past years...have been having a hard few months...afraid to go to bed..fear is this diseases best friend..maybe one day they'll be some research....

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  18. I am a 53 yr old male who has been suffering from this frustrating condition for the past 13 yrs and can totally relate to all of you. The only thing that I have found to relieve the condition on a consistent basis is by taking an antihistamine (benadryl or the generic like) at bedtime every night.

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  19. I am a 49 year old healthy female who has suffered with this condition (itchy arms) for the past 10 years. Visiting countless dermatologists in the Northern Virgina area...skin biopsies, expensive steroid creams, pills that left me feeling like I had a hangover, having my husband come to one of my appointments to advocate for me as to the severity of the itching at night...until....I broke down and cried at my son's allergist during a routine shot visit. Thinking it may be an allergy problem??? She recommended I go to the University of VA Department of Dermatology and talk to them. She found the number for me, I made an appointment and off to Charlottesville, VA I went. The physician walked in with a group of medical students and took one look at the scars on my arms from itching and told me I had Brachioradial pruritus. He prescribed probably one of the best recommendations I had gotten. DON'T scratch it no matter what. Once the scratching started I was in a vicious cycle all night of scratching, itching, bleeding, crying, etc. Since that visit 7 years ago the minute I feel the itch...I get an icepack and apply it to the area, (I keep several in the freezer). Even if I'm at work and I feel the onset of itching I go to the kitchen, put ice in a baggie and apply. The second piece of advice he gave me was to stay OUT of the sun unless my arms were covered. We have a swimming pool and when I do get in it I apply at least a 30 sunscreen block. The third thing he recommended with applying a good moisturizer to my arms everyday, ( I use Eucerin). I have been able to manage this condition since my diagnosis. Sometimes the unknown is worse than the itch itself. I couldn't explain to my husband or friends the internal itch I was experiencing and how depressing and awful it was. I couldn't figure out where it came from and what was causing it. The doctor at UVA told me it can develop from over-exposure to the sun. I lived in Panama for four years after college and since then had lived in the South and enjoyed outdoor activities and water sports. He explained that some people's body have a breaking point when the sun exposure is too much for your system and BP can develop. I hope this information helps anyone who is suffering from this as I know how difficult it can be to live with.

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  20. I posted earlier and forgot to mention when I went to the University of Virginia Department of Dermatology they also took x-rays of my neck and back as this can sometimes be triggered by a problem in the neck or spine. He even asked me if I had been in an accident or had any trauma to my neck, or back. I felt this was worth mentioning. My x-rays came back negative. But was so impressed with their thoroughness. To the lady suffering and with no medical insurance maybe going to a teaching hospital could offer you the care you need at minimal costs.

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  21. HELP!!!! I have been suffering with itchy arms for about three years now. The itchy goes from my forearm all the way up to my shoulder - on both arms. I've been to a dermotologist whe had no idea how to help me. The tested for allergies gave me a slew of different topical creams and I've had no relief. It does subside (or rather lesson in intensity) for a few months - but it always comes back. Ice works - but only when it is directly on my arms - once it is off the itching comes back within 5 minutes, and I can't function with icepacks on my arms all day. I have looked into this online and think I have BRP. I have arthritis and disk bulging in my neck and I also notice that the itching gets much more intense with sun exposure. Benadryl also (or rather used to) work - but now I have built up an immunity to it and I have to take 4 at a time sereval times a day - and still can't get relief. I need help, this is severely affecting my ability to function. I live in Baltimore - do you knwo of any doctors in Baltimore who may no of this condition? Is there anything you can do to help me?

    Thanks,
    Andrea - flandrea@hotmail.com

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  22. I am a 43 year old female living in GA. My itching just started this summer. I mistakenly thought it was related to something in the hay we were feeding our horse because the person who owns the barn and our equine vet also have the exact same itching in the exact same place. We are all middle aged females, but they have both been itching longer than I have. I have always loved the sun and was over exposed as a child, teen and young adult. I noticed it started after I'd begun my quest for a tan this summer. It had subsided a little at the end of the summer, I assume because I was no longer out in the sun as much, but it flared this week after we were at a college football game and had on a sleeveless shirt and no sunscreen. I have had success in short circuiting the itch response with a hot cup of tea against my arm. I have not tried ice. I also have some triamcinolone acetonide ointment .5% that seems to control the night itch if I put it on before going to bed. I have wondered about a steroid shot into the muscle at the insertion point of the BR. I have not gone the cervical spine route yet, but am considering seeing a chiro. So glad to know I'm not alone, but I don't have much hope of getting rid of it now.

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  23. Count me in on those who suffer, and I mean suffer from this dreaded condition. I have tried lotions, patches, keeping the natural neck curvature, etc, and the ONLY think that helps me is an ice pack. This condition basically takes a lot of the joy of living from me. Sometimes I'm at the point where I would gladly have the skin cut away from my arm if it would stop this itching/stinging.

    My next try will be a chriopractor for neck adjustment. Will see if that helps. I've had this condition for maybe 5 or 6 years and in late 2010 it went away----what an absolute joy---but a month ago it came back with a vengence. It is good to be able to communicate with others who have it. No one else has a vlue how bad this thing is.

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  24. I am also an equestrian. I am 39 year old female and very fit and active. I started having severe itching on my arms about 7 years ago. It came on all of a sudden while I was braiding a horse for a show. I have not been to a doctor but am sure from my research that this is what it is. I do see a chiropractor about once a month. I know I have neck issues. I am also in the sun a lot due to my profession. I was living in Georgia at the time the itch started and now live in southeast Alabama. At first, I though it was Chiggers. The itching only comes on in the summer months and goes away completely in November or December only to start up again in June or July. With other itches, I have found that hot water works well to get rid of the itching but that is not the case with this. Any topical products I have used really didn't work. The only thing that did along these lines were strong horse liniments and that only had a short effect. Ice is the only thing that helps. I too have been awakened and unable to sleep due to the itching. I have scratched to the point of bleeding but that only makes it worse. At this point, I try to ignore the itch as long as I can. Then I get out the ice. It is good to see that I am not crazy and not alone.

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  25. I was a competitive equestrian for most of my life. I first started suffering from BRP in 1993. Ice was my only friend. I recently found a chiropractor who was actually treating my lower back at the time. He took an xray of my neck and discovered severe reverse curvature in my neck. I had broken my jaw in two places in 1998 when my horse took a bad step in front of a 4 ft oxer(a type of jump). My itching had begun prior to this incident, but the damage at my C4 and C5 was clear to see as it lined up precisely with one of my titanium plates. ANYWAY.....
    my chiro was incredibly empathic and started a series of treatments to "unload" the pressure in that area of my spine. My itching started to change. No longer in my forearms, it is kind of creeping up onto my shoulder blades and neck. Interesting but not really all that great. I went to Duke to see Dr Morganlander, who is supposed to be a great sports neurologist. He said I was the first case of this BRP that he has ever heard of and didn't know what to tell me. I asked him if he understood how Google works. He dialied down the HUGE amount of gabapentin that iI was on (often 3000mg/day) to 110mg am/pm. After an MRI, he prescribed doxepin. I assume that hairbrained choice was to just knock me out at night. Perfect, as I have a 4 year old. No need to be coherent From 5:00 pm until 10:00 am. Going to a pain clinic next week. Thinking an epidural my help as I continue with my committed chiro who wants to step up treatment to 5-6 times/week for 3 weeks as an experiment. $$$$$$$$$$$
    and of course TIME!!!!
    As all of you that are suffering, I know we would all do ANYTHING to find relief. I would like to express to the not so great Dr Morganlander, that this is REAL and worthy of his time.

    Find GOOD chiropractors. Mine says many are not well skilled with the neck. I really feel like I lucked out with him. His partner would have NEVER treated my neck. He wasn't trained specifically in aggressive neck treatments.

    Will update after pain clinic visit.

    Good luck to you all. This is a terrible way to go through life.

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  26. I am a 57 yr old female and I had BRP for 5 weeks which compared to some of you is nothing, but it never let up, 24 hours a day. I saw a Dermatologist and my husband is a Pharmacist so I tried every med and cream in the book. Then I read that one of you saw a Chiropractor. I researched more and the the Brachial nerves run down the arms and can become pinched between the C4-C6 vertebra. After the first visit I was somewhat better and by the third, it is GONE! Please give it a try and have your neck adjusted by a Chiropractor or an Osteopath. The relief is amazing.

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  27. I to have suffered from BRP for the past 7years, Iam 50yr old female from the UK. reading 1 of the comments about pain in the arms made me wonder if this is common with brp as i also get pain and my GP said it was tennis elbow, now i,m mot to sure.
    thanks Marie

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  28. Dear Paula Hundl:

    I am also from Northern VA and suffer from Brachioradial Pruritis. It sounds like your found a good doc at UVA. Would you be so kind as to share his name?

    Thanks!

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  29. I also have been suffering with this for 3 years, there is no real consistency in the times or reasons I itch. I can't even wear short sleeves I'm so scabbed up. I really need help the last Dr. Did suggest Brachioradial Pruritus but first had me stop one of my meds to see if it made a difference. I've never had any neck pain so I find it hard to believe but I'm willing to do anything for relief I'm miserable. Please help me stephanie novinc in2movyz@yahoo.com thanks for any help.

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  30. Ditto, ditto, ditto!! Even if there's no proven treatment to date, it's so nice to find sites like this that validate me. I'm sure you can all relate to that first phone call to the Dr. saying that I was calling about 'itchy shoulders' waiting for the laughter on the other end. Little did I know at the time it was just the beginning. 10 years and holding strong. Moving ice packs up and down both arms all night and most of the days during 'peak season' has become a way of life. Try to stay sain my itchy friends!!

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  31. So good to find this site. I've suffered for several years with this and know the feeling of being up half the night with the itch/burn! The sun really makes it worse.
    I'm 45, female,a physical therapist, live in San Diego and cannot avoid the sun. I spend hours on my bicycle, in my garden or just driving carpool in the sun and it exacerbates itching/burning of my arms. I wear long sleeves whenever possible and always sunscreen. Regardless, I suffer like many of you with unbearable itching/burning and then red bumps and bleeding where I've scratched and scratched.
    Been to 3-4 dermatologists and only one suggested neck trauma could be related. The rest just say lotion up. My skin doesn't look dry and I slather on lotion after every shower/bath and before bed. Doesn't really help. Ice helps.
    Occasionally, it wanes and I am okay for a while. Worse in the evening and sometimes seems worse when I drink red wine. Anyone else notice that?
    A friend of mine, an internist, prescribed FLUOCINONIDE .05% (mentioned above by lilybah--my fellow San Diegan!) and that seems helpful sometimes. I definitely have some neck issues and may pursue that, but as the annonymous 69 y/o physician pointed out above, many cures that possibly work some of the time for some people, makes me think maybe we don't really have any cures... ugh!
    I agree with those who say we need more education and awareness in the medical community so we can pursue and provide treatment for this. As a PT, I have never seen a patient come in with BRP as a diagnosis or even as a symptom related to a cervical issue. Not even on the radar.

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  32. I've been reading all the posts and I too have this problem.Just over the past summer i got a bad sunburn on my upper arms and it's been going on everyday..Wow driving me out of my mind.I was just thinking how many of you take a water pill or high blood pressure medication?

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  33. Hi, I am a 50 year old woman who is going through the same as all of you. I am making an appointment to go to a neurologist. I started this burning and itching on my arms in August 2011. I had the same symptoms in 2000 and I went to 5 different doctors and had blood work done etc. NO ANSWER! ICE was the only thing that helped. I had it for 10 months, then it just went away. Now I got it again. Same thing. This time I have been researching my problem. I could have BRP or fibromyalgia or even the c4 c5 neck injury. My body has been through a lot in the last 50 years. I have been an athlete most of my life. Injury's all over. I was diagnosed with all the itises in my arms years ago. I am in pain 24 hours a day and I live with it. I try not to take anything for it unless it gets really bad. Any way back to this "ITCH". I saw that some people were put on the drug Neurontin. I went to my family Dr and she said yes I could have BRP or fibromyalgia and gave me the RX Neurotin. I take one 300mg in the morning and one at night. NO ITCHING OR BURNING. It was like a magic pill. In 30 minutes I stopped itching and burning on my arms. I only have been on it for two weeks, I looked it up and YES Neurontin can give you acne. Now what do I do? So I researched even more. I think I need to go to a Neurologist and get some blood work done and have him look at my x-rays I have that was taken of my neck in the year 2000. I know I have a neck injury that was never taken care of because of insurance issues. He might know of something better for me to take or find something else wrong with me. I am not a doctor. I got the RX that stopped the itching and burning BUT is it the right RX for me? What do you all think I should do? Oh Yea I forgot to tell you it has but my life on hold. I lived with ICE PACKS on my arms for over a month. Ace bandages held them on my arms. I would switch them out once they thawed out. My family was scared I would over freeze my arms(frost bite) At that point you could of cut my arms off I would not of cared. NOTHING WORKED. I spent money on all these creams and over the counter drugs that was a waste of time. I am looking for a Doctor that will LISTEN TO ME and care about ME. I have called a few neurologists’ offices and spoke to a staff member and asked a lot of questions about the Doctor etc. I think I have decided on who I am going to go to. It is about a month waiting list so I am going to make my appointment tomorrow. I spent most of my day researching this problem. I just want my life back. If any one of you needs someone to talk too please email me dinunzio@live.com. Put in the subject line "ITCHING FRIEND" then I won't delete it. Bless you all and I pray that all of you find some kind of relief from this burning 'ITCH'.
    Sincerely,
    Alison (SOUTH CAROLINA)

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  34. 49 year old male. have to take a break between typing to scratch. Ice is the ONLY thing that works. It seems to focus on one arm at a time which makes it a bit easier. Some minor relief with a product called BIOFREEZE, try it out. Capsaicin very minor relief. All about the ice. Seasonal for me. October thru Feb.

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  35. I had no idea that others were experiencing the same itchy arms (sporadically, my shoulders,neck, upper side of my hands and the soles of my feet experience the same internal itch) without a rash. I will try the ice packs....I usually put on a Cortizone 10 Hydratensive for Hands and Body which does help relieve symptoms for a while; however, it never relieves the soles of my feet. I read all the comments....but nobody mentioned the hands and feet? I would appreciate any comments. I have also experienced this intense itch off and (mostly) on for maybe 5/6 years...I thought it was stress related, had never heard of BRP.

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  36. Symptom Relief for BRP! Put menthol patches such as Migraine Ice or similar type patches on your arm, then wrap your arm up with an ace bandage. Complete relief for ten to twelve hours! I've tried it all: moisturizers, psoriasis medications, cortisone creams, allergy meds, neurontin. Menthol wrapped in an ace bandage is the way to go!

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  37. I have had this condition for years. Ice was my only relief until recently I started taking Savella (25mg. twice a day) for my Fibro. It's been 4 weeks and I have very little itching.I can sleep through the night. Savella is expensive though. No generic. I too have a neck problem. Pinched nerve. That seems to be a common link to this problem.
    Peggy pll@mcafeetool.com

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  38. I have struggled with this for many years. I am a 68 year old athletic, fair haired, fair skinned female, with spinal column issues (degenerative disc disease & arthritus). Boy, sounds familiar doesn't it? I am retired and spend 6 months in the FL Keys, outside all day every day. My itching starts usually in Oct when I am not in the sun and stops in Dec, after I have been in the sun for a month. I have found the burning//itching to be worse when I relax (at night, long car rides, sitting talking, etc). When I am active or busy, it is not as bad. I use "wet ones" type towellets and then Gold Bond medicated cream (green bottle), and of course ice cubes held by a wash cloth and rubbed directly on my arms. I will keep checking posts for sure fire remedies.

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  39. VICKS VAPORUB. Don't scratch- that just stimulates the affected nerves. Keep skin moisturized with a quality, nonscented lotion. Tylenol PM (benadryl) for a night starting off bad. Before bedtime, rub Vicks onto areas that start itching and those that are even thinking about it. Better to stink like Vicks than suffer. Benadryl gel for persistent bad "spot". Take a little benadryl "antbite treatment" stick or pen with you where you go. Bet that antidepressants help coping with suffering but I don't have one...

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  40. I have had this same exact painful, upper arm, under the skin, creepy crawly, I want to rip my arms open, I think I'm going to throw up itching everyone is describing. I saw a dermatologist for years--she gave me stinky topical creams, oral meds that made me feel hungover the next day, and she even cut pieces of my skin out to have them "tested." Nothing worked. At one point, she told me to stay out of the sun. Then she told me to go in the sun. I finally went to two other dermatologists who wanted to continue the same course of (mis)treatment. I, too, looked up "itchy upper arms" and came across a site on which others described my exact symptoms. One of the posters said to use ice packs (they definitely help, but are incredibly inconvenient at 2am); another poster mentioned that this itch was related to spinal issues. Well, I broke my back in 1997. I had an L1 (lower back)compression fracture, but this itch apparently emanates from the cervical (upper) spine area. I also fractured my skull and jambed my left elbow pretty good during the accident I had. In fact, the upper part of my back, neck shoulders has given me more problems than my lower back ever did after the accident. So when I read that this itch was due to problems in the cervical spine, I immediately went to a neurologist who sent me for an MRI, which I had done this morning. My neurologist called me at noon to tell me I have a herniated disc in my cervical spine. I feel better knowing that I'm not crazy and there is a real medical reason why I am experiencing this itch, but I'm really ticked off that no one seems to have an adequate treatment other than ice packs. I'm sick of taking medicines. The dr. prescribed neurontin 300mg, but I don't think I'll take them. The side effects seem worse than the itch or getting up at 2am for an ice pack. I am a college professor and I publish a lot, so I am constantly on my laptop grading papers and writing. I find the more I am hunched over the laptop, the greater my symptoms. Also, I began going to the tanning salon once or twice a week for about 5-6 minutes. It's not enough to get a tan, but it does help alleviate the itching a little bit. I also have recently begun using a heating pad on my upper back, and that helps, too. The dr. who said the woman who is an Equestrian is suffering from irritants is part of the problem. THIS IS NOT CAUSED BY AN EXTERNAL SOURCE!!! IT ABSOLUTELY 100% COMES FROM COMPROMISED NERVES IN THE CERVICAL SPINE!!!

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  41. Hello BRP Friends. I have sufferered with this nasty disorder for 10 years. It is painful and depessing! Unless you have it, you just don't get it. All my symptoms are the same as described by others regarding the itching. I have a reoccurance about 3 - 4 months each year (usually Oct. - Feb). Denying it doesn't give me any relief. I am a 48 year old female, road bike rider and enjoy the sun in Arizona where I live. I have had an MRI on my neck with no diagnosed cervical spine issues. I am a diligent sunscreen user SPF 30 or higher. The only relief during an outbreak is ICE PACKS and 100 mg. of GABAPENTIN 3 times a day! I have tried everything else mentioned in these posts with long-term relief. I don't like taking prescription drugs but have found no alternative to date. Good luck to everyone!

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  42. I hope that everyone suffering from undiagnosed itchy arms reads my post.
    I read nearly every post I could get my hands on and published studies given I was going out of my mind with the intermittent itching and the rebound that scratching created. The thought of living with an ice pack at hand for the foreseeable future made me absolutely depressed. Through my research on the internet, I gleaned that this maddening situation is not connected to the sun, it is however, connected to heat, heat from the sun or from a hot room. The nerves in the upper arm are sensitive to touch and heat and will start a reaction in no time. The root cause of the problem is not in the arms, it’s in the C6 cervical nerve (neck). The disk in the neck is protruding (herniation or bulging) and the nerve is being activated. While most people experience this as pain referring down to the upper forearm, there are many of us getting an itch sensation and some people with pins and needles or loss of muscle control.
    Dermatologists can’t treat this because it’s not a skin disorder. Chiropractors are more likely to diagnose it but not where most of us are looking for a solution.
    My solution has been to first see my acupuncturist. I brought the posts and a recent study that was conducted on people with this disorder. He had not seen anyone before me with these same symptoms but noted that all the muscles in my upper back were constricted. He felt that in my case simply releasing the muscles would alleviate the problems. I had recently been under several stressful situations that resulted in a pulled neck. Each time the neck seemed to get better, I’d pull the other side. His course of treatment was to use his needles and to use neck pressure on the constricted muscles. Within 4 hours I felt 85% healed. The itchy area on my arm felt like normal. I’ve had a few moments of itch over the course of a few days, but no real breakthrough itching. I’ve had 2 sessions both with pressure massage, relieving the knots. He told me that the knots will not go away on their own, so I am continuing to see him to remove the neck tension and thereby releasing the muscles holding the spine down.
    I believe that the only cure for this is to make some lifestyle changes. In my case, looking at how I react to stressful situations, making better dietary choices, taking up Yoga and posture at my desk. I’m constantly hunching over my keys, rounding my back and tensing my neck. I suggest spending time looking at the proper way to hold your head, proper neck exercises for the cervical spine and consulting with a qualified massage therapist and/or chiropractor if the acupuncture doesn’t help.
    I think the reason this often goes away and comes back is due to healing and then re-injury. It’s less about the change in seasons, and more about what we do physically during those seasons. The only way to stop the cycle is to take ownership of our health and what strain we’re putting ourselves under. Clearly there are some people in this position due to disease or blunt trauma, but I think the majority of us are looking in the wrong place for the solution.
    Thanking everyone for sharing their experiences and wishing everyone relief from this horrible condition.

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    1. It hit me like a flash a couple of months ago that this, for me, anyway, is completely triggered by stress, such as the unspoken thoughts: "YOU'RE REALLY GETTING ON my NERVES, AND YOU'RE A PAIN IN THE NECK".
      I found the term, BRP, on a web site called Earth Clinic, while searching arm itch.
      My history with BRP:

      I quit smoking Xmas, "11. On January 6th, I suddenly developed this insane itch, like a rorsharche test on both arms while I was teaching a private exercise client.
      I tried the over the counter creams first, before I found the diagnosis.
      Went to chiropracter, don't think he knew what it was, I did tell him about the C6 nerve connection and his manipulations did provide some relief.
      I took some infra red saunas, also pretty good relief --temporarily. Acupuncture, same thing.

      I am an exercise teacher obsessed with good posture and excellent use of the body. I know this is not caused by a physical impingement of C6 nerve, but the kind of impingement coming from stress , as in those above sayings!
      How I came to this realization SUDDENLY, only a couple of months ago, was that the itch had subsided greatly, when one day I was teaching a particularly difficult client, and surpressing my distress, suddenly the itch was back on BOTH ARMS, with great intensity. At that moment the cause became crystal clear, as I know I do not have a damaged cervical nerve.
      A couple of days later, the almost exact thing happened with another pesky client.
      From then on I've begun to look at my emotional state when the itch comes. I cannot always control my feelings and the itch is not entirely gone, but I view it as an indicator of my feelings, and that I'm DISTRESSED by something.
      I haven't started smoking again, but I think about it sometimes.
      Prior to this itchy nightmare, I could puff and blow away my distress.
      Maybe some others who read this can relate, and/or think about the implications.
      Our spines house nerves which relate to every part of the body.
      All systems in the body are intertwined, yet the typical medical specialist only sees a tiny bit of the whole, and that's what he treats.
      My itch is starting up a little as I write this, because this really annoys me. (and it's better now, that I acknowledged!! wow!)

      A dermatologist I spoke with had actually heard of this, and referred a BRP patient to a neurologist, who proceeded to fuse some cervical vertebrae. Oh my.

      This has actually been an incredible journey and learning experience for which I'm strangely grateful.

      Best to you all, may your itches fade away.

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  43. I too, have been suffering with BRP for over 15 years. The only doctor who believed me was my orthopaedic dr. who said the itching was coming from pinched or damaged nerves in my neck. I have tried all of the creams you have listed--some helping but side effects were too bad. Two epidurals(a few weeks apart) and taking Lyrica help for a few months, but the last one gave me NO relief. So I tried the spinal implant. Pain management dr. thought for sure that would help---but not at all. Still didn't know what I had. Doctors just treated the symptoms. That's when I went to the Mayo Clinic. I was told to see a dermatologist first. He questioned me for quite a while, but immediately knew it was BRP. I know you know how excited I was when he told me that "It" finally had a name. Like many of you, I cried. I WAS NOT CRAZY!!!! Went on to see a neurologist there. He wasn't very familiar with it but felt that the neurosurgeon could possible help me, because I can bend my head forward and get some relief. That's how I have slept many nights--in a chair with my head on my hands on a TV tray.
    Well, next day, saw the neurosurgeon and he said no to the surgery. He wasn't familiar with BRP and doesn't like doing fusions (if he doesn't have to). If you are not dying of pain, neurosurgeons don't really want to fool with you. They should be with one of us at night when we haven't closed our eyes--even after taking 3 50 mg.Lyrica and 3 Bena dryls and scratching our arms till we are bleeding. I would say that's pretty much up there with pain. End of story--came home to get Lyrica refilled, scheduled an epidural and keep those gel ice packs cold!!!!!!!!

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  44. Penny-Hagerstown, MdNovember 16, 2011

    Hi Fellow Scratchers!
    Well I too have tried all the remedies you all have and I just started taking Neurontin 300mg twice a day and guess what I have been itch free for 2 whole days! My itch is non-existant in the summer months-which blows the sun idea out the window,but as soon as cold weather arrives--its back! I do have terrible allergies and fibro with a lot of neck/shoulder issues. I've seen a derm, an allergist-who does know about BRP and is the one who put me on neurontin. I also recommend try using a good quality Shea Butter lotion. Its very thick and is suppose to help with itch. I feel for everyone who is affected by BRP. No one understands what it's like to have skin that feels crawly, itchy and burns unless they have experienced it! I would not wish this on anyone! Hang in there everyone and continue to post your remedies that may help us all!

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  45. I'm glad I'm not alone. I have lower back disk issues and also have BRP. Nothing but ice seems to help.

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  46. I find that the only thing that gives me any form of relief is Aloe Vera Gel

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  47. This is a nerve issue and not an allergy for sure. I have lost the natural curvature of the neck, I've been in several car accidents, have arthritis in my neck, a slightly bulged disc in my cervical spine, have severe stress, a rock solid trapezius muscle, and this horrible, crazy, itch that won't go away. I've been to a lot of doctors: dermatologist, allergist, neurologist, naturopath, internal medicicine doctor, chiropractor, and pain management doctor. What has worked for me are 3 things: ICE, Neurontin/Gabapentin 300 mg 3 to 4 times per day, and what took it away for a good 2 months was an epidural steroid injection in between the c5 and c6. The gabapentin worked well for a good while also but now it doesn't seem to work as well. My next step is to go back to the pain management doctor/anesthesiologist and get some trigger point injections in my trapezius muscle to relax it. I've corrected my posture, have seen the chiropractor regularly, I even purchased a TENS unit and give myself therapy at work, I go to yoga every week, stretch my neck all day long and my muscle is stiff...hard as a rock. The muscle will not relax until I get the injection...next Monday. I hope this relieves the itch for a while. I too want to rip the skin off of my arms or get an injection somehow, filled with lidocaine, and numb the nerves. The itch is from within. People don't understand how deep this itch is. It is sooooooooo frustrating that doctors don't know anything about this or care to find out how to cure this. I also take anti-depressants and I'm still itching. I hope that relaxing the trapezius muscle relieves any pinched nerves. All I wish for Chrsitmas is to get rid of this hell of an itch! The anesthesiologist suggested to get a device implanted in my spine. This so called neurostimulation, pace-maker, sort of device blocks the itch message and replaces it with a mild sensation (not painful nor itchy). I'm not sure but I may get it done. I can't live like this forever. I've had this for about 6 years, I'm 35, and refuse to go another 6 with this. I would like to stick a needle deep into my arms until I feel pain instead of itching. God have mercy on us all. Sometimes I wonder, who the heck did I kill to deserve this torture? What a living nightmare!

    If we could all find a way to communicate and compare notes I think we can petition or demand research to be done on this life debilitating disease! We need to come together and present the facts to get support. Does anyone know of a collaborative site where we can enter our data...find out what we all have in common/ not in common to find the root cause of BRP?

    My name is Jessica and live in TX. Email me at renaejt04@att.net to start our research since no one else seems to give a crap.

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    1. steamboattraceyMay 23, 2012

      Jessica, and all,
      My name is Tracey, I am 38, live in Austin, TX, (but my BRP started 15 years ago when living in Colorado) and as just stated, have had this torment for 15 YEARS! It's pure torture. I have been awake all night the past few nights, and know this will last until at least October or November, as it does every single year. The only thing that gives me any relief aside from ice (which is just annoying to have to keep replenishing at night, even ice packs--thinking /i should put a small freezer by my bedside) is Whiteflower oil, which I buy at Whole Foods or online. I too agree we all could use a way to come together and try to get some attention--I ant us all to be on TV, not sure whose show would get the most attention in hopes of research and cure, but something besides reading and writing posts in the wee hours of the morning for months on end, for years on end, which is what I've been doing for 15 years, just to have support. Every year I hope to get online and find that someone has found a CURE, but to no avail...same symptoms, same things used for temporary and incomplete relief. I'm going to cry myself back to sleep now....

      email addy: steamboattracey@hotmail.com

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  48. I am female, 56, and also an equestrian. After 13 years a dermatologist diagnosed me with BRP last week. My neurologist diagnosed neuropathy several years ago and prescribed a series of meds until we found 2 which have proven successful: gabapentin/neurontin and tegretol , both anticonvulsants. O'Keeffe's Working Hands Cream in conjunction with the meds help. I spent many nights crying from a burning itch that came from within my arms. Before the medication was prescribed, only ice helped. My neurologist ordered an MRI and it showed cervical spinal stenosis. For several years I covered my arms to keep them out of the sun. It did not help . Sometimes my symptoms go away for a few months and then return. Exercise such as trotting or cantering on a horse helps more than not. Sports massage and acupuncture also help me slightly. I have horribly scarred arms from the scratching. Even with my prescribed medication I have symptoms, but they are manageable. Without my doctors who helped me I am not sure how I could have remained sane.

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  49. Thank goodness I found this sight. I had my first outbreak about 5 years ago and was treated for shingles. Now it is an almost constant state of intense itching and burning, just what everyone else has stated. My question is , have any of you noticed a shrinking of the muscle of your forearm and loose skin. My arm had recently seemed to shrink and the skin just sort of hangs down. This is on my dorsal or back area of my forearm . Just curious if this is occurring with other victims , as this is how I feel at times when the itching and pains becomes bearable. Thanks for listening...jp

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  50. From JAC:
    I came across your blog while looking at the images for BRP. I am interested in what you
    find out about this condition, as I have been dealing with it since 2004. At that time, it was an abrupt, sudden onset, episodic, and
    increasing in intensity and frequency. My arms are covered in scars from past itching/ scratching, and active 'sore' spots. I have looked at the areas that are itching, and it's like almost a 'bubbling up'from underneath my skin. Only ice will quell this relentless itch,
    and the wanting to rip the skin off your arms is a sentiment I share with the others that posted comments. I have to wear long sleeve
    shirts because my arms/shoulders look so awful. One doc even told me I had scabies! I am going for a work up at Physical Medicine so I can get an MRI of my spine, both cervical and lumbar, as I have killer sciatica as well. I have arthritis in my neck and thoracic spine, so
    I do believe that it is an impingement/ compression issue. well, thanks for listening to me kvetch, and I hope to hear back from you!
    Thanks for the forum.

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  51. I am a 64 sufferer of this condition. It usually begins at the end of summer and ends in December when the temperatures drop and the humidity levels increase. I suspect this condition is related to lack of moisture and hydration in the subcutaneous layers of the arms. Skin is an organ and it allows moisture to penetrate or escape the body. I think it is likely that moisture from a vaporizer may alleviate the symptoms. Next year when my symptoms return I will try a vaporizer and wrap my arms with wet towels.

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  52. I am a 51 year old female who has had episodic BRP for about 10 years. My itching started on the backs of my hands almost 10 years ago. Then it moved to my forearms in the second or third year. I have relied almost exclusively on ice to relieve the itch in year's past at the onset of itching. I figured out early on to NEVER, NEVER scratch the itch.

    As stated previously by others, it tends to be worse for me in the fall. During the summer, when I am in the sun, it is not really a problem. In fact, there were 2 winters I went to a tanning facility regularly and I didn't have the itch all winter. Coincidence? I don't know.

    Recently, I have found that when the itch first appears I can kind of tap my arms very, very lightly using a kind of drum roll motion up and down my arm. That sometimes kills the urge to scratch. But NO SCRATCHING. Once you start it just gets worse and worse. I do use a moisturizer twice a day but that does not help when the itching starts. Nothing does, except ice. In fact, I avoid buying clothing with sleeves that go past my elbows. Good luck to everyone with this problem. It really is a strange one.

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  53. I am 78 year old male and this condition started about 4 months ago. Both arms from elbow to wrist.

    Tried lotions thinking dry skin. Negative.
    Tried Itch Cream - Hydracortizone. Negative.
    Tried Alcohol - Negative.
    Tried Perixide - Negative.
    Read about Ice Packs. Keep couple empty trays (Banquet TV Meal) in freezer with compartments filled. This is for immediate relief.

    Now on treatment I gave myself for Siatic Nerve Discomfort ( Buttocks down to Ankle )couple years ago. I used Vicks Cream with the Menthol & Camphor morning & night for over a week. Pain subsided and has not returned. Same can be purchased generic form at Wal-Mart for about $3.00. After bathing apply again morning & night. Just a little dab will do it.
    Be sure to hit the area just above elbow on top and work down to writs. Keep this up for week or so and this might do it.

    I am on my 3rd day of this treatment and so far so good. If I get a tinge, I rub a little of the cream on and I am hopeful that I can kill those nerve endings like I did the siatic nerve.

    Good Luck Everyone

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  54. I have been dealing with this for years now. I am a white/female age 69. I have yet to see and talk to a neurologist. The Derm doctor finally gave me the diagnosis after 2 years of treating me.

    My question is does anyone have these places on your face? I have recently been using the CPAP every night. On my left cheek where the mask covers I now have 3 red bumps and one maybe coming on my right cheek. When this stuff starts getting on my face it really makes me angry. I can deal with my arm and back but this is ridiculous.
    I would love to know if I'm the only one that has this on the face and eyebrows.

    Linda

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  55. i too have this problem... started last July and was originally diagnosed at shingles cause when I went to the doc he only saw the scabbing that was caused from the massive scratching. I have since been thru pills out the wazoo for the shingles, 2 cervical injections, and am back to the intense burn/itch... i had a major flare up 3 days ago and i am still feeling the prickling sensation in my arm. i have been taking benadryl which actually worked, but then i found out that that can cause weight gain ( i have gained weight and have been trying to lose it for a while to no avail), so i am trying to do with out hte benadryl, but this is driving me nuts. i want to cut my arm off and be done with it. my skin feels like it is tight and dry, but when i use lotion it only magnifies the itch... cool water does tame it down but i can't keep my arm under there nonstop! one doc wants me to do physical therapy... i tried the gym, and that just aggravated the whole situation! so now what??

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  56. Susan WilsonJanuary 11, 2012

    I'm a fairly active, young feeling 64 year old female. I'm amazed that all I've read anyone thinks this is some mental problem. I was slammed with this problem in August. I went to the doctor and fortunately for me she's a doctor that knows me well and has always said if I don't know how to fix you, you'll get the best person I can find that I would have for myself and will fix you. She did a skin biopsy and that was negative. By October it turned from this horrible itching pain to a stinging like many bee stings and all I could do is dig in my fingers and try to stop the pain. I figured out myself that it was probably this. My doctor ordered xrays and they showed changes in the cervical area at a couple of levels with bone spurs etc. She sent me for an MRI of the cervical area and that showed the proof. I had two discs that were bulging into the spinal cord in the center and causing this stinging pain, burning etc. in my shoulders and down my arms, both of them. I also had occasional numbness in my thumb and first finger on my right hand. This however was bi-lateral. The cause was the central bulging disc into the spinal cord. I was sent to a Neurosurgeon who saw my xrays and MRI in mid December and he said that we need to get those fixed and the bone spurs off as soon as possible. For Insurance reasons, I opted to wait until Jan.....but did go in for surgery on January 4th and had 2 titanium plates put in my cervical spine. They look like capital H and screwed in at C-5 to 6 and C6 to 7 and bone spurs were removed at the C4-5 area and the C-5, 6 area. I am one week post op and that arm pain was gone in the recovery room. I am done with that. I'm fair haired, yes, been a red head my entire life and have always liberally applied sun block and I live in Maine. So the likelihood of this being caused by sun exposure is probably some dermatologists idea. Have your doctor schedule an MRI quickly. My arm strength and hand strength has been going down hill for 3 years now but it really came to a head with this horrible stinging burning itching pain. I woke one night not long ago with blood on my left hand fingers and finger nails from sticking them into my right upper arm so hard during the night. That is pain. Wishing you all feel better soon, and that some doctors out here listen to what my post is saying so it does you all some good.

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  57. I am a 60 year old female who developed BP symptoms about 8 years ago. My symptoms are episodic, lasting several weeks and then disappearing sometimes for several months. I spent the first three years trying to get answers, but got no where. I had a dermatologist actually walk out on me and call me crazy. I have been a certified hand therapist for the past thirty years and have a good understanding of physiology and anatomy. I diagnosed myself after I attended a Pilates class which was focused on neck strengthening. My symptoms flared immediately and it was the worst night I have ever had. It was that event that led me to pursue the cervical connection. That was when I realized it wasn't really itching that I felt but "burning" and that the pain was only in my C6-7 dermatome....I thought it had to be either cervical or a neural glide restriction! I saw my personal physician, who never thought I was crazy, and she had x-rays done which confirmed moderate cervical arthritis at C6 & 7.
    I also have a history of psoriatic arthritis, but my psoriasis had always been mild and localized to my scalp. I would need periodic treatment with anti inflammatories due to tendinitis.
    The only things that have worked for me are ice packs, topical counter irritants such as bio freeze and oral Benadryl. I also use a TENS unit. I did , however, find that I can provoke symptoms by sitting with my head turned to the side i.e. talking to someone sitting next to me , carrying a heavy bag on my shoulders, using too large of a pillow or using a mouse with my arm extended too far.
    I have changed these habits and feel it has significantly helped.
    Three years ago I had my first really severe flare of the arthritis with severe swelling and joint pain. After the trial of prednisone, methotrexate and finally two years of Enbrel injections I am in remission. While on the drugs for my arthritis I did not have any of the BP symptoms. I have been off Enbrel now 7 months and am again having BP symptoms.

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  58. Greetings! Sorry you all have this, but also glad to see I'm not alone. I've had this for about 3 years. I've had idiopathic chronic hives for over 20 years. Of course antihistamines is one of the first things thatevery Dr. I saw tried. They really didn't work, but did helpe me sleep at least. When I had hives and BP at the same time or if the BP was super bad, I'd double up on the antihistamines. (I did have a couple of M.D.'s tell me that it's pretty had to overdose on anithistamines). Right around Thanksgiving, my husband came into my office and said I needed to go see a Dermatologist (which I had already done to no avail).I was reading the paper at the time looking at an add for a Chiropractor. I told him I would if the chiropractor didn't work. Well, I went three times a week to see him. He cracked my back and neck everytime I went in. He did tell me that the muscles were being assaulted tremendously by this and he was right. The muscles in my neck hurt like hell! My neck just kept popping out of place. Anyway, at Christmas time I decided to stop going due to the muscle pain in my neck. Besides that, my arms were still itching and stinging. Three weeks ago I was getting ready for bed and taking my regular meds. When I pulled out the antihistamines(which I had begun taking every night for quite some time plus sometimes more during the day) this light bulb went on! Antihistamines! Everybody takes antihistamines for allergies, but what if the problem IS the antihistamine!? I didn't take one that night and haven't had any since. The first 3 or four night were horrible, but slowly got better. The itching and burning have all but disappeared. I hope it never comes back. I don't know what I'm gonna do when my hives decide to flare-up. I've used various brands of antihistamines, so the allergy to them is not specific to a certain brand. Good luck everyone.

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  59. Female -67yrs - been suffering 30+ yrs. Tried everything nothing works - latest round of Drs did at least give me sympathy, and said they would pursue it. I suffer mostly in the summer in Australia. Lower arms - only relief is ice packs. Sleep depravation, and irritability is the norm when the flares are on. I wish I knew something - I would happily share it. Next step I'm trying acupuncture

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  60. Male-26 yrs old- I've been suffering from this off and on for nearly 4 1/2 years. I figured I had skin mites or perhaps it was the effect of some chemical I used at work as a plumber. However, with this economic downturn, I haven't worked in quite some time, and it hasn't stopped. It seemed as nothing could fix it and no one understood how bad of a problem it was. Once my arms were torn open and I had wounds everywhere, alcohol seemed to offer relief. I'm figuring, that's only cause of the burning sensation. I get approximately 1 hr of sleep per night, due to my condition. My girlfriend suggested lotion. That makes my arm feel like I can't scratch the itch. After reading the post of people on this website, I'm thinking BP is the answer. Nothing seems to really help. Its affecting work and home life and something must be done. Please. Anything.

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  61. Female 47 yrs. old , suffering on and off for 4.5 years. Wow... how nice to be amongst so many people with the exact same problems I have... There is not a cream/ointment I haven't tired over the past 4 years. I have seen a dermatologist, neurologist and of course my Internist. I have tried Lyrica, Neurontin, diflucan, etc... tried Capsaicin, all the hydrocortisone's, benadryl, worn the Lidocaine patch, even had Lidocaine injections.. NOTHING works but ICE! Thank God for ICE and utter exhaustion.. or else I would never sleep. Will check back often for ideas/suggestions, or advice...

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  62. Have had BRP for 3 years in both arms, and have been itch-free for 3 weeks now. 1) Taking Alleve twice a day; 2) Having the Blood Bank use alcohol instead of iodine to cleanse my arm(s) in preparation for donating blood; 3) Using body wash with moisturizers such as Dove to repair my toughened skin (due to intense scratching in the past.)

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  63. I am the "Anonymous" posting above dated 2/29/12, and wonder if anyone else has tried using Alleve. As of today, I am still itch-free. In trying to make my previous message as short as possible, I didn't go into details of the agony I went through, just like those who wrote before me. Capsaicin, topical itch medications, Sarna sensitive lotion, cheap and expensive body lotions...nothing helped...and my second dermatologist was reluctant to give me any pills or shots. I live in Hawaii, so forget about totally covering up from the sun! Then I read an article in "Digital Doctor" that suggested Alleve among other items, and it's worked where nothing else did. Has anyone else tried Alleve with just as much success?

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    Replies
    1. What dose of Aleve are you taking?

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    2. Am actually taking a cheaper, generic brand of Alleve, the main ingredient of which is Naproxen Sodium (NSAID), an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. I take 220 mg twice day: once in the morning and then again in the evening. Try it, and, hopefully, it will work for you as it has worked for me.

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  64. I am a 37 year old male living in Southern Ontario, Canada. For the past 3 or 4 years, I have had off and on INTENSE itching on my right forearm, starting near the wrist. The itch seems to come and go and months can pass where I don't have any symptoms. I am fairly active and over the years, I have suffered some minor back injuries. I was even rear ended in 2001 and received chiropractic treatment and physiotherapy. Reading all these posts and other websites, I really believe what I have is brachioradial pruritus, caused by spinal issues. It may even be traced back to my car accident. At first I thought it was an allergic reaction to some chemical I may have contacted at work, but when my doctor prescribed Predisone, which is supposed to be an allergy "wonder drug", it didn't help. I have an upcoming appointment with a Dermatologist but I feel that perhaps I should see a Chiropractor for spinal adjustments. I would be willing to try Aleve if it would help the itching. To the person who indicates that Aleve would help ... what dose are you currently taking? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Am taking 220 mg twice daily: once in the morning, and then again in the evening. Hope it works for you.

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  65. If you want a good nights sleep with this disorder, take 600 mg. Nuerontin (generic Gabapentin) and 10mg. Melatonin. NIGHT NIGHT!

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  66. Dr. Elpern...I am interested if you have found any correlation in your work with neck pain & BRP? I am a long time sufferer (12+yrs) & have noticed more flare-ups when I have neck & shoulder pain, like a "kink" in my neck. Would love to hear from you. Thanks, Becky V.

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  67. Catherine TonkinApril 22, 2012

    I recently have found out the name of this awful itching craze, BRP! Very thankful to the dermatologist who told me this. He recommended seeing a physio, who believes I have problems with my neck, C5 - C6. My posture seems to be the main problem, which has caused this problem. It is very difficult to change your posture after 40 years! I will endeavour to continue with physio, however I have not seen any relief yet. Although I sympathise with everyone who has written here and I am also glad to finally see I am not the only person with this condition.

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  68. Here is a helpful comment we just received. It is published with the author's approval. This patient was helped by Lyrica. DJE "I am a 38 year old female from South Africa. I have a very light skin, so unfortunately i have a lot of sun damage.

    I had my first episode of BRP when I was pregnant with my first child, and we went on holiday where my arms and neck got a nasty sunburn. At that time it was only my right forearm and only in small patches.

    It disappeared gradually, with mild itching maybe once a year. this year, however, on returning from a month down at the coast I suddenly started itching (right arm again)one night after a warm bath. My husband suggested ice and I had ice-packs ready constantly. I have had minor neck trouble from time to time and I visited my physiotherapist. She started manipulations, but after 2 weeks my other arm started and I had broken skin in places.

    My GP (who is a very good friend) prescribed anti-inflammatorys and a cream - both of which didn't work. I went for x rays and the saw some irregularities at c4 and 5. Later I started searching "itchy arms" on the net and was amazed at the different stories of pain and itching. I read all the info and decided that it seems like a combination of sun/ heat, gradual neck deterioration and even hormones. I started with thyroid medication in October 2011 (hypothyroidism) My GP advised that I stop all medicines.

    She then took all my research and showed it to a couple of neurologists and other surgeons at the hospital. They were very interested in the research and have never heard of anything like this (luckily there is an old paper written by a South african doctor which interested them further) One of them recommended a MRI scan which showed normal - age related "wear and tear". The other suggested I take a drug that they prescribe for shingles, called, LYRICA (Please see the following from wikipedia about the drug: Pregabalin (INN) ( /prɨˈɡæbəlɨn/) is an anticonvulsant drug used for neuropathic pain and as an adjunct therapy for partial seizures with or without secondary generalization in adults.[1] It has also been found effective for generalized anxiety disorder and is (as of 2007) approved for this use in the European Union.[1] It was designed as a more potent successor to gabapentin. Pregabalin is marketed by Pfizer under the trade name Lyrica. Pfizer described in an SEC filing that the drug could be used to treat epilepsy, post-herpetic neuralgia and diabetic peripheral neuropathy, fibromyalgia, et al.

    Recent studies have shown that pregabalin is effective at treating chronic pain in disorders such as fibromyalgia[3] and spinal cord injury.[4] In June 2007, pregabalin became the first medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration specifically for the treatment of fibromyalgia.[5]

    The only two side effects were bad dizzy spells, but the abated after 2 weeks and weight gain. I started with 75mg per day and doubled the dose after a week. I stopped itching after 5 days and haven't had one episode since then. I have gradually decreased the dose and stopped drinking it for 1 month. I started the thyroid meds again and kept out of the sun completely.so far so good. I really hope that this will help somebody.

    Thank you for giving sufferers a voice."

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  69. AnonymousMay 16, 2012

    This itching and feeling of pin pricks started 4 years ago right after I played two minutes of boxing on the Wii. My neck and shoulders were killing me so I went in for a deep tissue massage. The next day this whole nightmare began. First it was the left arm for about a year and then it went to the right arm from elbow to shoulder. It eventually went to both arms and the back of my neck. I have always assumed I did something to my neck while boxing even though it was only for two minutes. In the last 4 years I have been to 3 dermatolgists, 3 chiropractors, 1 acupuncturist, 1 neurologist, 2 internists and 1 pain specialist. I have had a series of epidurals blocks in my neck which may have helped for a week, but nothing long lasting. Capzasin creme and ice provide temporary relief but I the Capzasin has just about destroyed my skin. Nights of going downstairs to get the ice packs are numerous but it's impossible to sleep with 3 and 4 bags on ice all over my arms and behind my neck. The only thing that has provided relief has been the gabapenten. I had 6 glorious months and then it stopped working. It also caused some bouts of vertigo and tinnitus. Once it stopped working I had to wean off of it and ever since the itching and burning has been the worst yet. I used to love the evening time of the day but now I dread it. I see no end in sight and no solution. I had lymphoma 10 years ago and this is much worse.At least there was a treatment for the cancer. I'm 63 and the thought of having this the rest of my life is very disheartening

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  70. Response to Anonymous, May 16. Some people o better with Lyrica than gabapentin. Some acupuncturists may do better than others. WE have an acupuncturist who reads this blog and I could put you in touch with him.

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  71. AnonymousMay 17, 2012

    I am a 55yo female and I have been having the itchy arm symptoms sporadically for about 20 years - over that time I have tried eliminating various foods and household products with no significant effect. As I live in tropical Queensland it is hard to stay out of the sun and heat, but I really don't feel that it makes a lot of difference, though if I go to a cooler place where I need heavier clothing it seems to exacerbate the problem. In recent years the flare ups have also included shoulder and neck areas. I gave up trying to talk to my GP about it as it was going nowhere. I too have tried every topical application known to man, and avoid sleeveless clothing due to scarring. I have been having regular chiropractic treatment for the past 18 months due to recurring neck and back discomfort, and I really think that has helped reduce the frequency and severity of the attacks. I haven't discussed BRP with my chiropractor, but I will at my next appointment now that I can label it. It is a huge relief to find that there are other people who have also been at their wit's end to try to find answers to this debilitating problem! There have been many times over the years when I have wondered whether it was all psychosomatic. In hindsight, I now think my father may have had the same problem for several years before his death.

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  72. To Queensland 55 yo patient: Dr. Ian McColl practices dermatology in or near Brisbane. If you are close to that, he is a knowledgeable practitioner. You can use my name when you make an appointment to see him. DJE

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  73. Wow.. so surprised to find this site.. and quite happy to put a name to the terrible itching I have had for at least 5 yrs that I can remember. I am a 60 y/o female and it seems most of the posts are from females?? I, too have neck problems with degenerative arthritis. I have not been to see anyone for this.. not even told anyone about it. I thought it too crazy to describe.. especially with the cyclical nature of it. Mine is not nearly as severe as many of you describe, thank goodness! Itch creams do not help.. definitely don't scratch as this just starts a maddening cycle of itching/scratching. It usually occurs at nite in bed.. obviously tonite I am having a bout of it and could not sleep.. decided to get up and research it for the first time.. It was good to read all the posts and I will definitely try many of the non prescription recommended remedies. Thanks so much for all the info and making me feel not so crazy.

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  74. I think i have BPR. i dont really know. i have had my arms itchy for 3 years. i am 24 and live in hawaii. It is said that BPR only occors in mid age women or people who have it. i do belive i have BPR and it just pisses me off. i have tried all of the above form sunlotion to long sleeve ts, the only thing that works is ice packs.

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  75. AnonymousJune 14, 2012

    Sounds like I have BPR as well..March 2010 I had extremely itchy arms from shoulder to wrist..doctor and dermotologist recommended all the usual medications which mostly made it worse..I changed diet, cleaning products, shampoo etc to no avail..my daughter had an avatar which said I was vit A deficient so had high dose vit A for a few weeks and the itch dissappeared..2 yrs later same month the itch is back again..tried the vit A but no change..doctor reccommended same old meds..waste of time..ice is the only relief but now my fingers are going numb and have been woken with extreme pain in my right hand..after reading about BPR I have been having my neck, arms and hands massaged regularily and the itch is getting less..I am hoping this might work..still waiting to see a dermo..they just dont seem to be interested..how do you get diagnosed???
    Email: jillandgordon@xtra.co.nz
    Name: Jillee

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  76. AnonymousJune 19, 2012

    Hi - I too have this condition and have gone through what most of you have with respect to neurologists and dermatologists. Have also been through all of the topical creams, patches, antihistamines, etc. Most of the doctors I've seen have not even heard of this condition. One neurologist, without actually doing any testing told me I was low on dopamine and after upping the prescription 4 times with absolutely no effect prescribed Gabapentin. I didn't think it had much effect so pursued acupuncture about a year ago. After only one treatment, I had the first non-itching night in two years. I had a total of 5 sessions and the itching went away completely for about 3 months. When it came back I again went the acupuncture route and it didn't work. Bummer! I started taking the Gabapentin again out of desperation and I believe it's actually helping. So, right now I'm using the Gabapentin regularly ie 3 times a day. I've also found, like many of you, that a menthol type of ointment helps. I've been using roll on BioFreeze (or similar product) and as soon as I sense itching I start rolling. I do have bouts where nothing but the ice bags work but on a day to day basis, I'm getting the most relief I've had in 4 years from the combination of Gabapentin and roll on Bio Freeze.
    Of all the doctors I've seen, it's been two dermatologists who have identified the condition. The neurologists I've seen don't seem to be interested at all. I have had xrays and an MRI of my neck and have arthritis, stenosis and a small herniation. My own thinking is that it is something in the neck putting pressure on the nerves that run down the arms.
    I wish all of you the best and relief.

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  77. This was posted on January 30, 2012. "My Name is Elizabeth and I am writing to you regarding the information I have FINALLY come across for BRP. I have been suffering tremendously from it for about almost 3 years now and I am so incredibly excited to have found something on line that clearly defines what I have been suffering from all this time. No one has believed me as there is not enough proof to my complaints when my doctors look at my arms and it has been completely frustrating to say the least. I find that it makes my life completely dysfunctional!
    It began with a trip to the Bahamas in early 2010. Shortly after having been home I began with this irritating itch on my right forearm that did not subside once scratched. In fact it becomes worse as you said. My hands often were numb during the night if extended above my head and most of my nights at the time were sleepless ones. Ice packs were the only remedy and I would have a pile of them on the floor along my bedside every morning I woke. It eventually subsided and did not bother me at all during that summer (kind of weird), as my trip to the Bahamas was in the spring that year.
    I did seek out help from my Dr. The description I gave him landed me with an MRI. He was convinced at the time that I may have MS. He thought for sure he would find white spots on my left lobe. Thank god that was not the case. I also went to see a neurologist because I had lost my peripheral vision 2 times during 2009 which was also information I provided to my PCP. I was told that it more than likely was from the long term pain that I was experiencing in my neck for basically almost all of 2009 if not longer. There was no treatment provided to me as a result. Eventually I was given Lyrica which caused the itching to subside as well as my neck pain.
    Because I was provided with very little information during that time from my Dr’s, I sadly returned to the Bahamas the following Spring of 2011. Shortly after having been home I once again began with the rash. This time while I was up during the night at 1am scratching it I noticed a very large lump in my right breast which of course was breast cancer. I was diagnosed in April of 2011. Happy Birthday to me. I was 41.
    I am writing mostly because I believe that the chemicals I now receive have caused my rash to re-emerge, this time to both my arms and from shoulder to the tops of my hands just slightly past my wrists. I am on a maintenance chemo called Herceptin. Many of the sites and blogs I’ve been on contain women who suffer from the same rash! I thought it was from the Herceptin alone but often times wondered if the rash I experienced on my right arm from my 2 trips during the last 2 years didn’t have some relation to things, maybe a predisposition? I wasn’t sure. I do know that I now have it on my left arm where before it was only on my right and only on my forearm. So maybe I have damaged my nerves from sunning myself in the Bahamas but then I have to look at the loss of my peripheral vision and neck pain (which time to time I still experience the neck pain) but does the fact that my chemo regimen seemed to aggravate things have a hand in things now as well?
    Might these other women with BC who are on a Herceptin regimen be suffering from BRP as a result of their treatment. Has my own treatment of Herceptin further aggravate this disease?
    I have made an appointment with a Dermatologist and have printed all the things I’ve found on BRP. My hope is to find someone who can help me. I need to sleep and I need to be able to live a somewhat normal life again. Becoming a slave to remedy BRP leads to a pretty sad existence and can be depressing."

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  78. AnonymousJune 22, 2012

    Has anyone been aware of a correlation between BRP and thyroid medicine? I think I have heard something between the two from a few different people in the medical community. Anyone with knowledge on this?

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  79. It is great to read everyone's experiences of this. I suffered for over 10years along with other neuro symptoms, I found only Ice would help, It is crazy as Doctors just turned me away until finally I got neck MRI scan. Now dont want to scare the hell out of everyone, But I do think this is a neural condition. I was found to have a very large tumor in my cervical spine which had been growing for as long as I had this itch in my arms. I had surgery. tumor removed, Itch still comes back now and again over few weeks of the summer but my nerves in neck are badly damaged from tumor pressing on them. So if people have disc, upper neck stress etc, I could see why that could cause this itch. Thank god for Ice and cold water! Sorry If I freak anyone out, my tumor caused lots of symptoms, the itch in the arm was just one of them. I find if I try manage it with the ice etc I can get by. But any other tips would be great. I try taking pressure of my neck also helps.

    David

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  80. AnonymousJuly 16, 2012

    Was up at 1:00AM this AM scratching my arm and discovered others on this site! Off and on for about 7-8 years ago. No neck pain nor back issues of any kind. Am 59 years old, female and only meds are for hypothyroidism. A couple days ago scratched till the point of blood using a sharp cuticle remover as a scratching tool! Sick. Only on right arm between wrist and elbow. Never above elbow. Feels like little pin pricks that make my arm jerk with such an urge to DIG. Finally got sleep by rubbing an ice cube over it...had never tried "cold" until reading about it on here. Sudden relief. Will mention to my MD at annual physical later this month.

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  81. Shelley WilsonJuly 17, 2012

    Just diagnosed a half hour ago after seeing my dermatologist for solar keratoses. I thought it was sandfly bites!

    I wish I had questioned this a few years ago. It started while I was pregnant. If only I'd know- the amount of interrupted and sleepless nights the itch caused me. I never asked a doctor. I am a Registered Nurse.

    It all fits the picture. Pregnancy onset. History of lots of sun. Also I found I often get a bit of a "dead arm" at night and the itch got worse lying on the affected arm. I thought it was the warmth. Now I think it also may have been compression on the nerve. I had discovered ice worked.

    Oh well. Lesson learnt to ask not just put up with it...Will try the Capsaicin.

    rjw6@optusnet.com.au

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  82. Well at least I know I'm not alone. I am 56 yrs old. I started having the itching, tingling on my right arm every summer beginning 4 years ago. I initially blamed it on something in the pool where I was taking a water aerobics class. I stopped taking the class. Then I thought it might be related to contact with a pine tree when I cut the lawn, so I wore long sleeves to cut the lawn. Then I thought it was because of the tomato plants so I didn't plant again. Last year I went to a dermatologist. I described my symptoms, he never even looked at me, left the room and came back a few minutes later with a copy of a page from a dermatology text describing BRP and told me to get a cervical xray and then be seen by an orthopedic surgeon. WHAT? It seemed so ridiculous! How did my one arm itching become my neck? I got the xray and took them to my chiropractor. He had never heard of BRP, yeah there's some minimal degenerative disk at C5 to C7. Sure, he'd treat me and see what happens. I went for some extra appointments for a while, nothing seemed any different, and then it was fall and it had stopped itching, so we forgot about it. Unlike many of the other posts, for me, it always seemed to resolve in the fall. On looking back through paperwork, journals etc, it always starts in mid July. And here we are, mid July and my arm started itching and tingling. Just the right one.
    My skin is fair, so I don't walk out the door without sunscreen on my face. I don't spend an excessive amount of time in the sun, and never tan. I have burned many times when I was younger and we didn't have sunscreens.
    I like the idea of taking Aleve. An anti inflammatory makes sense. I think I will try a different chiropractor too.

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  83. AnonymousJuly 19, 2012

    Just found this website...
    I am a 63 y.o. female from WI; I've probably had BRP for 4 years now. Must admit that I am a lifetime sun-worshiper with mid-range skin tones and a fabulous ability to achieve and maintain a suntan with little effort. Because I spend winters in AZ, I pretty much have a base tan all year round. Noticed my first symptoms in summer 2009. Since I am quite healthy and take no RX meds other than Claritin for allergies, I only see my GP and OB-GYN for annual exams and haven't mentioned this to either of them. I've tried Sarna lotion and ice. When things REALLY get bad, using Vicks Vapo-Rub helps (but, oh what a mess!). Lately, I've had some success with a Cetaphil skin moisturizer cream and a spray called Stopain (which is 6% menthol). Will try the Aleve immediately. WHAT CONCENTRATION OF CAPSACIN IS EFFECTIVE? Thanks!

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  84. AnonymousJuly 19, 2012

    I am so very grateful to find this thread! This problem has just started for me--a couple of months now--and I've been going mad with the itching. Thought it was related to an insect bite, but when it spread to the other arm, well... no, guess not. I am finding ice most helpful, and will follow the advice to stay out of the sun. Can definitely link the incidence to sun exposure, and will track whether that exacerbates it. Meanwhile, you folks have offered some great tips and confirmation that I am not losing my mind! Thank you!

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  85. AnonymousJuly 21, 2012

    like many of you I have a long history of sun worshipping. I am a 58yr old woman and have been dealing with this condition on and off for 5yrs. I am very active and outside a lot, I am an animal trainer, 6yrs ago I had a very nasty riding accident and was unable to even turn my head for a couple of years. I have also had a few other back/neck injuries over the years and working with animals it is not unusual for me to be pushed or pulled around. I did visit the dermatologist for a lot of tests and money and no relief. I finally realized after doing my own research that it is probably BRP and decided to try using the lidocaine patches I had for my back/neck injury and guess what totally pain free while it is on and often longer . it is great for those nights when itch makes you want remove your skin. I have found that I can order the patches on line and in a pinch you can use a burn care cream with lidocaine on one of those giant Band-Aids. Hope this will give some of you relief and a good night’s sleep

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  86. I am a 54 year old woman that has suffered from BRP for many years. I never was a sun goddess however, I have been diagnosed with degenerated neck disease. I have not worked in almost three years due to this condition. I do not sleep at night and when I do I wake up bleeding from the intense itching. I have seen seven doctors including Dermatologists, Neurologists, Allergists and Pain management all at USF in Tampa Florida. I have had three epidural injections and do get some relief from them but only short term. I am presently taking 3600 mg of Gabapentin daily. I strongly believe this condition is brought on by neck problems. Ice and very cold showers is the only real relief I am getting at this time.

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  87. I have had 'this' for 30 years off an on. Back injury or sun worship will not answer the issue personally, since some years (esp. those first ones) it is much worse than others, and some years it is non-existent or nearly so and only brief. 95% of the time it starts up for me in July and last about 3 months then is abruptly gone. This cannot be from a neck injury in that case nor from diet. Long ago a doctor thought it had to do with nerves, I believe it. I feel it as I sit here at 'points'. Mainly around the upper arm near the elbow and forearm, the upper corners of both eye brows, sometimes a small spot on the top of the shoulder (either side) and the back lower corners of the neck. I first noticed this while I was a long distance runner and have always been in the sun, yet being in a tanning salon did not have an effect, so the sun seems to have more to do with it than anything else yet it did not start up until I was around 21 or so. I do recall some years I barely had it if at all, which discounts a neck injury (although I have had one). And why would it suddenly stop? It is now late July and I have sure as anything ...not as totally insane as it was in the past. I was completely relaxed and at peace when it started. Smoking? I got it before I ever smoked. I thought it had to do with alcohol consumption but I do not drink anymore, so that is counted out too. My initial gut instinct long before seeing a Dr. was ice. When the itching breaks the skin, witch hazel, but it only seems to numb nerve endings temporarily. Solution? Still do not have one.

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  88. I have Bp and it took years for my dermatologist to diagnosis. I have had a neck fusion and another hernitated disk. This is where it is coming from. My neurologist prescribed me a compound RX lotion that includes Neurontin, baclofen, lidocaine, elevil and other ingredients. It has been a life saver. worked from day one!!!

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  89. I am a 51 year old, very fair skinned female. I have suffered with BRP for about four years. I spend a lot of time outdoors (playing tennis in Louisiana all my life)so at first I thought it was possibly too much sun or maybe even some kind of bug bites (I also do a lot of gardening). I finally went to my dermatologist and he immediately diagnosed it as BRP but offered no treatments or drug options, so I was thrilled to read the posts that mention some medications. This condition is driving me crazy but I'm glad to know there are others like me out there. Since there are few outward symptoms for people to see it is hard for anyone else to understand the intensity of the itching and burning. Not to mention the fact that constantly scratching yourself when in public is not acceptable. I have scratched myself so much that I think the skin on my arms is thickening a little. I also have colorless little bumps that pop up from time to time. My itching is located mainly from the shoulder to (and including) the elbow, but at times has also occurred on my neck. As far as the possible causes, I have both risk factors. The aforementioned sun exposure AND degenerative disc disease and arthritis in my C3-4 spine. My symptoms dont seem to have a "season" to them and I have neck/shoulder pain, stiffness and muscle tension most of the time. I plan to try the chiropractic treatment option and also a regular dose of Alleve to see if this helps me at all. I also hope to find a neurologist that knows something about this condition. So far what helps me the most is ice packs. A most impractical option for anywhere but home. The other night I had to get out of bed at 2am to fix an ice pack and that was a first for me. Usually, the itching keeps me from falling asleep but once I am sleeping, it rarely wakes me. Thanks for the opportunity to vent and learn more about BRP.

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  90. Hello. I am 2 weeks shy of 40 years old. I have recently been "diagnosed" with BRP. It is comforting to know there is an answer for this itching annoyance. I am very very interested in researching all there is for this condition.
    I never had this condition until I moved to California in 2006. I had 1 episode about 2007 and then never again until now. Back in 2007 when i had the symptoms, my boyfriend at the time thought i was nuts. It subsided after 2 days and I never had it again until now. This particular episode has been going strong for 1 month and I am ready to CUT my arm off.
    I have been prescribed Gabapentin and Capsacian- only temporary fixes though.
    Please provide any other information you can to me. Thank you.

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  91. What a relief to find this website although the frustration that there is no cure for this suffering isn't making me feel better. I have suffered with these itchy arms for almost 23 years. I have ice packs on my arms now as I am typing. I have been to allergists, and dermatologists to no avail. Drugs don't work, creams don't work they usually make it worse. As a golfer I thought it was a reaction to the sun but it happens at different times of the year. I have food sensitivities and thought that the rotation diet I was on was helping as I had relief for about a year but low and behold it is back with a vengeance. I can not get a full nights sleep, I always need ice packs at night and now even the daylight hours are starting to be intolerable. Antihistamines don't work and I told my husband yesterday there are times with I honestly consider suicide as the pain, itch and exhaustion from this is almost intolerable.

    I do have a history of bulging discs and sciatica and until I found a name for this I had no idea of the possible connection. I have a inversion table at home and am going to start using it in hopes it may relieve my symptoms. I will keep everyone posted.
    I thought I was going crazy and my dermatologist has no idea what is wrong and won't return my phone calls. At least I know that I am not alone.

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  92. I am so glad to have found this site! I have suffered from itchy arms for the past 20 years. I am 44 and live in a warm climate. From about June through November I am miserable! I have been to countless doctors and have tried to describe the insatiable itch--I try to explain that it is coming from UNDER the skin. I have explained that the only relief is ice packs. I have been prescribed every cream known to man, as well as Atarax. Nothing has helped. Doctors brush it off and tell me to use a moisturizer or to shower less frequently or prescribe yet another topical ointment. I do not have any history of back pain or neck pain. I am tired of being brushed off by doctors and wonder how I can let them know what I am experiencing.....
    Any suggestions or treatment recommendations may be sent to Marcy.dunaway@gmail.com
    Thank you

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  93. I too have been suffering from this itch for the past 10 years. I feel like I am crazy. I carry my ice packs everywhere. I used an acupuncturist last year, while I felt it helped somewhat, not enough to pay the high fee. Milk Thistle seems to help but I take alot of the pills a day. And staying VERY hydrated. When I start to itch I take two milk thistle, drink 20oz of water and grab an ice pack. Seems to help a little. From reading this site, I might call a chiropractor tomorrow.....

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  94. Got room for another on the BRP bandwagon? Mine was cyclical usually manifesting in July and Aug and ice was my therapy of choice. This started several yrs ago (can't pinpoint time) but has gotten worse now. I am greatly relieved I have a working diagnosis to take to my doc whom I plan to call 1st thing in morning. I must get relief as I work in surgery and when scrubbed I cannot scratch where it itches!
    I need to be totally awake during the day, so I'm going to inquire about topical meds and or acupuncture/chiropractic. I too have neck pain so I hope to get to the bottom of this soon!

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  95. I have been dealing with BRP for about 10 years, and my dermatologist just says, there is no cure, so good luck. I have tried the Aleve twice a day and seem to be getting some relief. I am a medical professional and went to a talk by a pharmacist from OHSU named Ali J. Olyaei. I am concerned about long term use of Aleve on my kidneys, and now he has me concerned about even medium term use of these nsaids. Anesthesiologist that I have talked to seem skeptical that blocks would work also. I had a neck injury as a gymnast about 40 yrs ago, and it has slowly come back to haunt me. Any ideas about whether it is worth using nsaids to relieve the itching, or am I killing my kidneys?

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    1. To OHSU -- A colleague of ours works there as a dermatologist and her husband in an acupuncturist with an interest in BRP. Contact me if you are interested in meeting them.

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    2. David,
      Has her husband had much success with accupuncture with BRP. Where is OHSU?
      Wendy

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  96. I have been scratching for 13 years now. I'm 43 and live in Western Pennsylvania. Like clockwork every late July through Mid October I scratch my arms, from shoulders to wrists, until they bleed and scab. I'm very healthy and am a runner. I've never injured my neck and have no aches or pains. I have had life stressors like most people and have never noticed stress to be a trigger to my itch. Mine has definately followed a more seasonal pattern. There is something about my BRP that seems unlike most of the comments I've read here. I have a very small itchy spot on my back all year long. It is located just inside my left scapula between my scapula and my spinal column. I have a buzzing sensation in that area intermittently throughout the year. It is not the same burning itch...it is more of a sensation. I feel it is related and definately neurological. The itch had only involved my left arm for 10 years until the past 3 years... it has now overtaken my right arm as well. I was diagnosed by a Physician Assistant..kudos to her...on my first visit to the dermatologist, which was after 12 years of itching. I'm a healthcare provider...horrible patient. Capsazian gives some relief.I'd rather burn than itch. Night time is worse for me too. Driving when the sun is beating down on my left arm through the window is like torture. It is hard to explain to people the deep burning insatiable itch. No matter how hard you scratch...you can't quite relieve it. I'm thinking about accupuncture. I would be amazed if I had cervical spine issues. I've never had so much as a symptom. I've run 2 marathons and many half marathons and think I would have some signs that something was wrong with my neck. I could buy into some type of impingement. Good Luck. I can't believe you are all out there.

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  97. After reading all the posts, I have come to the conclusion that my bp is cause by stress and flairs up only when my body undergoes some sort of stress in any form...

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  98. Feminine itch medication. Generic just look for 20% benzecaine. It helps temporarily just like everything else, but OMG sometimes temporary is worth it. Put it on thick. I have not had a let up in symptoms since March of 2010. What I would give for a good nights sleep. I always keep ice packs at the bedside.

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  99. I have been suffering from this condition for decades. Both arms affected. I so understand the benefits of ice for relief. I even have a favorite ice pack! I have tried every topical lotion or cream over the counter and prescription. Very little relief and for sure no cure. Please read the following: I have been drinking distilled aloe vera juice for a couple of months. 2 ozs. in the morning. I started to drink it to be more regular but have discoverd something else. I don't have the itchy arms anymore!!!!!!!!! I have always felt the condition was inside my arm. Aloe vera works from the inside. My hope is to give someone else ths chance to find relief. You can find distilled aloe vera juice at health food stores. It's like drinking water.

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  100. I am a 52 year old female equestrian in California. I have been itching in one arm or the other for over 7 years. It keeps swithcing back and forth. I have exactly the same symptoms as everyone else and of course sleep with ice packs and benadryl. I am intrigued by the number of other equestrians on this blog. It could relate to either sun exposure and/ or trauma to the neck. The weird thing is that my horse also has an itchy condition on his front legs which I have been unable to cure. Does anyone else think it could possibly be a zoonotic disease like a mite or a fungal infection? I know that is a great way for people to think I am crazy but I am really at my wits end here. I keep noticing a small pit or two in my skin just before the itching flares up. I'm not sure if that really is secondary to scratching as I am told or is perhaps primary. One complication for me is that I also have a blood disease called ET that casuses a very high platelet count. My doctors all believe the itching is due to the high platelets but I think they are just not thinking very hard about it. High platelets cause aquagenic pruitis (generalized itching after exposure to water). This only effects one forearm at a time and nothing else and is not caused by contact with water.

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  101. I have had the exact same symptoms as Wendy. Between my left scapula and spinal column I have had the same buzzing area that feels like a neuro issue. I will also say that my husband has looked closely at it, and there are mild skin changes in that area. Mine does itch terribly, and I have to resort to rubbing on a post at work as it is hard to reach (and i work in a surgical area). I'm sure it looks humorous. It has slowly gotten better over the last years, as my arm issues have gotten worse. Not sure if there is any correlation, but interesting that Wendy and i have had the same area on our back as well as the arm stuff. The area on my back wouldl itch as intensely as my arms.

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    Replies
    1. For Robin: You may have notalgia paresthertica which can occasionally be seen with brachioradial pruritus. If you want information on Notalgia, you can email me at mailto:djelpern@gmail.com.

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  102. Just curious...Do non-Caucasians ever get BRP? I would think that non whites would have just as many neck and spine problems but probably less sun damage.

    I was thinking of trying Prozac to see if it helps. I have taken it in the past and had no adverse effects. However I went online and saw that some people think it might actually cause neuropathy.

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  103. I have been experiencing these symptoms cyclically for the past 5 years. I saw a physiatrist (prior to the onset of symptoms) who diagnosed me with a bulging disk in my lower back after an MRI. I also ride horses, am fair skinned with red hair. The symptoms began when I was in CA but I now live in SC so I have plenty of sun exposure. The only thing that has worked is ice packs. I thought that taking zyrtec was working for awhile but after several months the symptoms began again. I have been to several dermatologists but no one has any understanding of the condition and they frequently tell me its stress related. I have also noticed that the back of my neck on one side, right by the shoulder is frequently itchy and the skin feels like it is thickening. When I am symptomatic my arms have little red sores on them. Is there anything I can do to manage this better? I read somewhere that the median length of time for this is 4.5 years- is there a chance this will remit? I would love to have any information you can give me. Thanks,
    hawkins.maureen@gmail.com

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  104. From a woman in South Carolina: I have been experiencing these symptoms cyclically for the past 5 years. I saw a physiatrist (prior to the onset of symptoms) who diagnosed me with a bulging disk in my lower back after an MRI. I also ride horses, am fair skinned with red hair. The symptoms began when I was in CA but I now live in SC so I have plenty of sun exposure. The only thing that has worked is ice packs. I thought that taking zyrtec was working for awhile but after several months the symptoms began again. I have been to several dermatologists but no one has any understanding of the condition and they frequently tell me its stress related. I have also noticed that the back of my neck on one side, right by the shoulder is frequently itchy and the skin feels like it is thickening. When I am symptomatic my arms have little red sores on them. Is there anything I can do to manage this better? I read somewhere that the median length of time for this is 4.5 years- is there a chance this will remit? I would love to have any information you can give me. Thanks,

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  105. I am a 59 year old female. I have had what I think is BRP since I was in my 20'S. It has disappeared for a few months now and then, but always returns. Cold helps, but only momentarily. Most lotions make it worse. Itch, needles, pins etc. I do have neck & spine issues, though no pain from them at this time. All the Dr I have seen never mentioned this condition. I live in Oregon, is there a research program at OHSU for this condition? This is driving me and my husband crazy.

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    1. Yes. There is someone at OHSU who may be able to help you. Pls. email me privately at djelpern@gmail.com and I will pass the information along to you.

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  106. I am a 41 year old female. I grew up in New Mexico and was an avid cyclist/racer for many years. I started having symptoms about 5 years ago and eventually found a few threads on the internet that led me to ice, chiropractors and the descriptor of BRP. From all of the reading I have done I think I suffer from the combination of sun exposure and cervical trauma. Chiropractic helps but only after quite a few treatments- from a few times a week tapering to once a month. If I do not keep them up it returns after about 6-9 months and I have to start the whole cycle over again. It started again in June and seems to be taking longer than usual to get better. This time it was only on my right arm but moved to both arms after I had a fall that my chiropractor said resulted in whiplash. I have a sunbeam icepack and many others at home and work.
    My mother also suffers from it at times but has never sought treatment other than ice once I told her what I was going through.

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  107. I am a 59 year olod female who has had this off and on for 30 years. I am a first generation Irish American in California and have had lots of sun exposure throughout the years.

    I believe that the Chiropracter has helped - it takes me a few sessions when it comes back each year. I also use Bio Freeze oitment which I get at the Chiropracter along with the usual ice packs. Bio Freeze is like an ice pack but without having to deal with one! Still no great cure - just a little reliever until this is figured out.

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  108. I am 53. This started after I moved to Florida in 2005. At first, I thought the itch was due to bed bugs, but I could find no evidence of any bugs. Then, I thought maybe I had a reaction to antidepressant medicine that I was on after a divorce--Wellbutrin and Klonopin. However, although I am no longer on the medicine, the itch returned. The itching is only at night and on my left upper arm. It wakes me several times during the night. I found some relief with tea tree oil. Now, I have also discovered "ice" due to this thread. Thank you.

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  109. I'm cured of BRP! I am currently taking 20 mg of Amitriptyline HCL at night. I started out taking 10 mg per night the first week, then started at 20 mg the second week. Been taking it for nearly two months now. After about 45 days, the itching on my arms vanished! It stopped like a switch was flipped off. I too live in Florida & thought it was due to an environmental issue. I changed my eating habits thinking it was a food allergy. Nope. Lotions helped a little. Scalding hot showers worked better than anything. Bio Freeze ointment was good for awhile along with using ice packs but not always effective.

    The itching was at its worse at night while sitting in my recliner, relaxed. When I was active & moving around during the day, the itching was very minor. Most nights sleeping, I'd wake up under two hours with my forearms on fire. Most nights I would not go back to sleep and being sleep deprived, the next night, I would be able to sleep all night long with minimal itching. It was so bad, I was about ready to be put into a coma until a cure was found! Lol.

    I rarely use any type hand lotions after finding relief taking Amitriptyline HCL. On occasion, My forearm will itch just a lil bit and I'll put some lotion on it. After itching stopped, I was sleeping ten hours! Its like my body was making up all those sleepless nights! I HIGHLY recommend this drug. For me its a life saver. From what I've researched, It takes Amitriptyline bout (30) days before its effective & a low dosage is more effective over a high dosage.

    I suffer with NO side affects taking this drug. My Doctor said it is a very safe drug & I could take it for years if needed. I may eventually stop or go back to 10 mg per night. This drug is VERY inexpensive. I pay under $12 for a month's supply.

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  110. I apparently have BRP...I thought it was a reoccurance of shingles that I had before...as the itching was so severe...Im OK during the day for the most part....nite it is unbareable....I take OTC Benedryl...the pink pills....for itching....they work excellent!!!! strongly recommend.....
    I had seven weeks on the right arm and now it is on the left arm...no rash...but some bumps if I have itched alot....like when the itching wakes me up....hope this helps someone out there....

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  111. I am 57 femail and have been suffering from this condition for more than 12 years. As far as I remember, stress was a trigger; itching of my arms started suddenly at fall and I have it since. The symptoms are exactly the same as described in most of the posts: unbearable nightly itch and seasonal nature. I live in Seattle where we have more greyness than sun, but I use every opportunity to catch sunny days, and like tanning outside. I do have scoliosis since my childhood and other back problems; and constant dull pain in different areas on my back is my norm that I am used to. I have gone through numerous dermatologists, addressing my itch problem and none of them was familiar with this condition. They gave different diagnoses that had nothing to with what I had and their treatments were worthless. My GP was skeptical when I complained about itchy arms and possible connection with spine problems. I tried antihistamine medications without any result. She prescribed me Zoloft and I was on it for several years but itch was coming back at fall, as usual with severity that made me throw up. My insurance allowed me to see any doctor without GP referrals and after my own research I decided to see a neurologist. Several years ago when another outbreak happened, I asked a neurologist for conducting MRI but it did not show pinched nerves, although some degenerative processes in my cervical spine were present. He prescribed doxepin that made me so drowsy that I was unable to function at work. I used European ointment “Finalgone” for several years that usually used for arthritis because it is strong skin irritant and it helped me for a while. It is much stronger than Capsasin and burning sensation overshadowed the itch. Last year I noticed that after the ointment application on the itchy area, the itch was spreading around that location even more, as if it was trying to escape from the place I put the ointment on, and the whole arm was itching and burning like crazy. I started using ice cubes instead but relieve usually short lasted. Besides that, I noticed that I could keep ice as long as I could; and at the same time still experience this crawling itchy sensation under the skin. Sometimes I think that the itch has gone even deeper under the skin. I read that chiropractor manipulations might help but the problem is where to find the one who knows this condition. I am wondering if anybody knows a specialist or specialists in the Seattle area who would be helpful in this matter. Did anybody try Epidural? I will be grateful for any feedback
    Sofiya
    dantsker@comcast.net

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  112. I read quite a few posts but didnt see any mention of Lidoderm. It works when i have back pain, and of course it is prescribed for shingles, which is nerve pain. I am going to slap one on right now. Maybe a good pillow with cervical support would help...

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  113. My post was for October 25. I had several acupuncture sessions last month. It looks like it helped, at least for now. I do not know if it was a coincidence with the timing when my itch slowly goes away or acupuncture worked. I went to a neurologist and MRI reviled narrowing between C-5, 6, 7. He sent me for steroid injection. He thinks cervical spine problems might cause the itch. Lidoderm did not work for me

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  114. Gabapentin, everyone! That is the ONLY thing I've found to work. I can dissolve 1- 100 mg capsule in 1/4 C or water, drink it, and the itch stops within a minute or two. Have been doing this for years now. It works!

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  115. I believe I have BRP, too. The first episode occurred five years ago and lasted for about one month. My Doctor thought it was an allergy to soap or detergent, as well as possibly due to dry skin from the winter climate. At that time, both arms were extremely itchy and worse at night. It cleared up until recently. Two weeks ago, this started again with my left arm only. I have not been able to sleep at night and I can barely function at work. I visited my Doctor today and told her that I suspected BRP. She never heard of it. She offered to prescribe Lyrica, but I refused. After watching the commercials for Lyrica, I really don't want to go there. I am 44 years old and I am a fair skinned sun lover. I've always enjoyed swimming, boating, and golfing. It wouldn't surprise me if my arms have sun damage and it also wouldn't surprise me if I have a pinched nerve in my neck. I was in a car accident several years ago and I had whiplash. I keep wondering if that whiplash is coming back to haunt me. So far, the only thing that helps me is ice or cold, wet towels on my arm. Sometimes, it feels like I stuck my arm in a beehive and I'm getting stung. Scratching only makes things worse for me. I try not to scratch, but sometimes I can't help it. The sleepless nights are really getting to me!

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  116. Ice Gel helps a lot. I purchased it in Bartell Drag, it is cheap and very helpfull. I have BRP for almost 13 years and it is getting worse.

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  117. Kitt FraserMarch 22, 2013

    I suffer the same symptoms as those I've read in this post but would add there have been times that I have felt like I was having a severe allergic reaction to something: burning eyes, a peppery sensation in my nose and on my tongue/in my throat, and a general feeling of skin crawl....panic has been a constant companion during these episodes.....a feeling that I need to get away from myself, but can't. I am currently taking 300mg gabapentin daily and am cranky all the time (from both the drug and the loss of sleep....yes, this wakes me up even through the fog gabapentin creates). I have wondered over the years weather or not this condition has to do with being overly acidic (blood panels have shown a normal pH). Everyone I have read posts from state the symptoms increase at night, presumably when sufferers are lying down; lying down puts pressure on the lungs.....Am I clutching at straws here? Temporary, but severe, build up of acid (carbon monoxide) in the lungs....What happens on my skin FEELS like acid. Sometimes it is a general itchiness spread over a non-particular area; other times the sensation is extremely localized....as if someone were standing over me with a tiny eye dropper full of acid, and....drip: it burns, I scratch, it dissipates....and a little while later, it's DRIP....and the process repeats. I find that any skin trauma is accompanied by this very particular sensation.....and a cratered follicle results. My doctor focuses on the fact that I'm scratching and that that is causing the skin to rupture. I don not have long claw marks trailing across my skin; I have very specific SPOTS that bleed (almost as if the skin on that tiny little spot somehow became softer than the skin around it). Please....if anyone comes up with anything more than a band aid to put over these symptoms e-mail me: kittrellfraser@gmail.com. I am desperate for relief.

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  118. Kitt FraserMarch 30, 2013

    Sarna for sensitive skin helps quite a bit, too.

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  119. AnonymousMay 08, 2013

    I have had BRP for about 6 years. I used to use ice every night and was going completely crazy (2 of the above anonymous posts are from me) . Then I read a post on this blog about Amitriptyline HCL (Elavil). My doctor also suggested it. Just like Anonymous October 2012, it took about 45 days to start working. I was on it a total of 4 months and then I stopped and so far I have gone a month with no drug and no itching at all. I'm thrilled but also very paranoid that it will come back at some point.

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  120. AnonymousMay 10, 2013

    I'm a 50 year old female that suffers the same as everybody else here. I've suffered with this itch since 1992 years. It started with a small spot on my hand and over the years its went from arm to arm. I would stay awake all night scratching and would end up taking the hide off the arm that was itching and have blood everywhere. After 5-6 hours of scratching it would go away and leave me with 45 mins to an hour to sleep. I seen a Dermatologist here in Houston about 8 months ago. He knew exactly what it was. He prescribed me Doxepin 25mg and cream. That night when the itching started I tried the cream. No luck I then took the 25mg Doxepin and realized about 2 hours later the itching eased up. The following morning I did feel hung over, for a week after I would take the magic pill and the itch stayed away but the effects of it were a killer. I requested a lower dose of 10mg 1 @ night with an extra 10mg as needed if the 10 didn't stop the itch. Every now and then I get the feel of the itch starting but after a couple of swipes of scratching it goes away. Thank God for this medicine. I can deal with the few minor itches just as long as the itch that was causing me to mutilate my arms stays away. My arms are scared from the years of itching and stay very dry. I had worked outdoors for years and also was a serious sun seeker back in the 80's. He also recommended covering my arms with long sleeves when outside. I have noticed that when I drive my left arm with out a sleeve will start that feeling that the itch is seconds away and try to get it out of the sun and heat but the itch attacks. As long as I keep my arms out of the sun and covered up, the long hours of itching don't attack. This is unbeliveable that we all have different stories of this itch. I also fractured my neck at the age of 16 so from reading some of the stories here that could be my problem also. But for now the doxepin works for me and hope and pray it continues working.

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    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 21, 2013

      Like many others on this site I have suffered for years. I have used many Rx, including Doxepin pill and cream, but it make me too drowsy also. Gabapentin works better, as others have stated.

      Delete
  121. AnonymousMay 11, 2013

    DMSO>>> Dimethylsulfoxide. You can find this in a topical gel form in equine animal health departments. It is inexpensive and effective in deadening the nerves. It is "snake oil" and works for many many things. My arms have just started to itch in the last days. So, today I did some research and I do have many issues with my neck area. migraines etc. I know that DMSO is useful in pain relief, irritation, and inflammation, so I tried it and it's working. I also use the dmso on my neck when I have a migraine. DMSO is a penetrator and can be used in combination with other topical medicines. It will burn at first...but it's been two hours since my last itch. hope this helps someone else.

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  122. AnonymousMay 27, 2013

    It is good to hear that I am not alone in this. I think I still have Tiger Balm. Will try that. Have a congenital fusion at C4-5. The discs above and below the fusion are bulging. Neck issues started at age 23. I'm 52 now. My mother knew when I was a child, but neglected to tell me because she didn't want me to feel "different". The itching started three years ago when I got a bad case of poison oak. The oak went away but the itching never did. It is a terrible affliction. Am currently using ice packs but as soon as the arm thaws, the itching continues. Guess this is our cross to bear. I hope that someone researches this affliction and finds a cure. Thanks for listening.

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  123. I did not read all the posts here, just some of them. I've had BRP for about 20 years. Recently I discovered that hot peppers, which I love in all forms [cayenne, Tabasco, etc.], are a trigger for the itching. I now avoid hot pepper. That means asking if it is an ingredient in a restaurant menu item BEFORE I order. I am pretty sure that tofu is another trigger. I've eaten tofu often for 20 years. It is interesting that tempeh, which is also made of soy, doesn't trigger itching.

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  124. AnonymousJune 13, 2013

    I have suffered with this condition off and on for five years. It tended to flare on holiday so I blamed the sun. I now believe flares were caused by hauling suitcases and strange pillows. after six sessions at Glasgow Osteopathy centre my symptoms have totally gone. I am so relieved to be able to sleep at night.

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  125. Really is so nice to at least have a forum to read and realize that other people suffer with this... I have been to 3 dermatologists, one orthopedic dr. , a neurologist and of course regular GP. This has been happening to me for about 5 years now..... I have tried EVERY cream, ointment, I've tried, lyrica, gabapentin, lidocaine cream and patches, even got injections from a dermatologist of cortisone, which was dreadful because it numbed the area, so that you couldnt feel the scratching, and the itching remained!!!! Absolutely NOTHING has worked except for ice.... and that is of course temporary. Oddly in 2011-2012 I never had a flare up!!! Now, it's worse than ever... My neurologist is the only one who seemed the least bit interested and his diagnosis was to take 3 advil the minute the symptoms came on so as to relieve back/neck pressure that may be causing it... then treat the itch... but he thinks that the true root of it is the cervical issue.... who knows.. for now, ICE is it... very bummed out about it all... any advice: thepooleparty@gmail.com

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  126. SO GLAD I'm not alone with this! Thought I was crazy.
    56 y/o Female
    20+yrs of itching & being embarrassed about the scratch marks
    Time of year: July - November.
    Late nights with ice packs on my arms = Tired @ work
    Saw a General Practitioner, a Dermatologist, two Allergist (tested twice for allergies)
    I take Hydroxyz Hcl & battle drowsiness. (Someone pointed out the weight gain on this. Thank You!)
    Back problems run in my family.
    Want to get away from medicine that drugs me. I WILL TRY:
    Chiropractor
    Topical Gel Dimethylsulfoxide for Equines next.
    THANK YOU ALL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UPDATE from My2cents: CHIROPRACTOR WORKS GREAT! I found a Chiropractor who knew what Brachioradial Pruritus was & told me he could get me 75% better in 2 weeks. He did! I am now 95% better.
      Once in a while, I'll get a flare up, take 1 Hydroxyz pill & get into the Chiropractor ASAP. That's it! My Brachioradial Pruritus is now liveable.

      Delete
  127. One year of symptoms, which started after an automobile accident and double whiplash. Also hx of cervical disc disease and also sun damage of skin. Not sure what type of MD to see? Have discussed with internist, ortho, dermatologist, no one seems to hav e suggestion for treatment. I have found using Voltaren Gel which I use for RA does take the edge off the itch, doesn't completely minimize bu makes it bearable.

    ReplyDelete

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