Because fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome involve the central nervous system, we get all kinds of strange goings on in our nerves. We can get burning, tingling, numbness, pin pricks and itches. This category of sensation is called paresthesia.
A recent comment from a reader brought up the itchiness:
"I need to figure out the 'itch' because I literally want to take my skin off! I'd love to hear if anyone else has experienced this. It's always symmetrical and it feels like every nerve under my skin is being electrocuted." -pondering1
Believe me, I know that itch! It's maddening, especially since scratching doesn't do a thing to help. In fact, in my experience, scratching just makes the whole area scream on top of itching.
Several things may help you get rid of or at least tone down that itch:
- Capsaicin. This topical pain reliever depletes your cells of their pain messengers, essentially forcing them to stop complaining. Tread softly with this one at first, though -- it has a burn that's too intense for some people. (More about capsaicin.)
- Ice. Cooling the area can relieve any inflammation that may be putting pressure on the nerve, but most importantly it can deaden the feeling. (Learn to ice properly.)
- Pain killers. For the itch itself, acetaminophen (the ingredient in Tylenol and secondary ingredient in Vicodin) is the one that's most likely to help with nerve pain. Again, if the nerve pain is a result of inflammation, anti-inflammatories may help as well.
- Calming the nervous system. Certain supplements (theanine, rhodiola), medications (Xyrem, Valium, Xanax), acupuncture, and yoga and meditation may all help keep your nerves from being hypersensitive and causing these kinds of sensations.
My preference is using #1, 2 and 3 to ease symptoms short-term, but elements of #4 to prevent them long term. I haven't tried the meds, but I've had success with the rest of the treatments listed there.
Have you had the vicious itch? What helps get rid of it? Leave your comments below!
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