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Skin Care and Diseases

Sever itching with whelps

10/21/2005

Question:

My husband has been experiencing sever itching on his back,stomach,and legs for about 2 months. We have tried everything and it still doesn`t work. Creams,pills,lotions some have helped temporaily but it still comes back. It is very frustrating for him and we have run out of options. The other night he was just siting here and it started(the itching)I told him not to scratch, within minutes he looked like he had been whipped with a switch all over his back. If you can help please do!!!!!

Answer:

Your have described dermatographism, which is a form of pressure urticaria.  It can be precipitated by changes in temperature, the pelting of shower water, and just rubbing of the skin.  The causes may be numerous and your husband should place himself under the care of a Board Certified Dermatologist for a complete evaluation.  The treatment initially is that of antihistamines that can be titrated to minimize their sedating effect and/or systemic steroids if the lesions require that to come under control.  There are several variations of this phenomenon including urticarial vasculitis and delayed pressure urticaria.  In any event, it needs careful evaluation.  I am sure you have a Board Certified Dermatologist in your neighborhood.  Please seek that person's care.

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati