The itch that wouldn’t die.


Black & White Cat Scratching EarSo last Friday or Saturday, my back started itching.  It wasn’t a bug-bite itch.  It didn’t seem like a dry skin itch.  The closest thing I could equate it to is that feeling when you get a haircut and those stray clippered hairs that they couldn’t blow away with the hair-dryer or brush away with that tickling brush jab at you until you can get home & get a proper shower.  I just assumed it was dry skin, & asked my lovely wife to hook me up with some of the plethora of lotions in the house (ask me about her Bath & Bodyworks addiction some time).  She graciously applied some non-smelly Aveeno & confirmed that there wasn’t a rash or anything.

At least, that’s what we thought.

Cat getting back scratchedThrough the week it didn’t seem to subside.  I used some Benadryl one night to go to sleep, and we switched to Eucerin and then to some weird stinky pink (and ridiculously expensive) Aveeno Oatmeal lotion.  I Googled “itch without rash” to some benign and some alarming results.  It’s never good to search for afflictions online because common symptoms of everything lead to you dying of some unheard of horrible disease.

The itch had spread to my chest eventually, by again we couldn’t see any kind of rash or hives.  My skin was obviously hydrated to the touch thanks to the lotion(s), so dry skin couldn’t be the answer.  I was starting to think it might even be nerves.  It wasn’t constant, it’s just intermittent & weird.

We figured it couldn’t be too horrible as the wife didn’t “catch” anything, so it probably wasn’t some gross fungus or bugs or anything you’d see in a sci-fi movie.

Cat trying to scratch ear through coneI finally broke down & went to Med Express on Saturday.  (I hate missing work for doctor’s appointments, and Med Express was so easy to get in & out.)  The nurse-practitioner there did see a rash under her light… called it “micro-” something “dermatitis”, & the printout they gave me says “contact dermatitis“.  She gave me a steroid to take for 5 days, & said to keep using the Eucerin.  As weird as it sounds I was relieved that it was an actual rash & not all in my head or anything.  She also recommended Claritin instead of Benadryl as it apparently has less knock-you-out type side effects.

I’m still a little itchy occasionally, but I can hopefully see an end in sight.  Hope the Prednisone works!

Cat scratching another cat's back...She said I might be allergic to something, and may have to start some detective work.  If it was laundry detergent or fabric softener, it would most likely be on my thighs too… and it’s not yet.  Plus, we’re on the end of the detergent bottle & fabric softener sheet box… I would have thought it would have affected me by now.  I did try some new generic soap, but it stunk (literally & latherally) … so I stopped using it.  I don’t think that was it.  I don’t have any new shirts that I wore that I can remember.  It’s quite maddening.  I wonder if it was something I ate or a medicine… but I’ve been on my stomach stuff for a while now, & there’s nothing new.

Fat cat can't scratch his itchy ear...Has this happened to any of my other food allergy friends or their family?  I have little to no experience with allergic rashes… other than a minor itch caused by wool… but I generally stay away from wool clothing or blankets… and my (minor) allergies to wool, cats, & dogs for some reason tend to give me sniffles not a rash.  And with shellfish, I guess there’s a rash, but the whole throat-closing thing kind of eclipses that.

Any advice on how to find the culprit?  (Especially if it should return, provided it actually does clear-up.)  Any advice on home remedies or alternate things too sooth an itch that might work better than the Eucerin & Claritin?

Many thanks in advance!

5 responses to “The itch that wouldn’t die.

  1. The only thought I have is that it might be a shampoo or conditioner. My son once had a contact reaction to a conditioner that went down his back because of where the residue ended up when he rinsed. Even if you haven’t changed products, either the ingredients or the source of the ingredients may have changed. Good luck!

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    • Good point, I didn’t think about the product itself changing… Hmm. Time for some new shampoo? Odd part though, my head isn’t itchy…

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      • I had another thought, too. Your wife’s awesome Bath & Bodyworks collection might be part of the problem. A lot of bath products have sea salt in them. My brother, who has a shellfish allergy, can’t tolerate straight up iodide, let alone something made from evaporated sea water full of itty bitty crustaceans.

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        • Ha ha, there could be that. I haven’t ever had any problems with Iodine (yet), and I don’t use any of the super-stinky soaps or lotions.

          I stick to Dial (bar & liquid) and V05 (normal) shampoo. Occasionally, I bust out the Lava soap.

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  2. Pingback: I need something to put my junk in. | World (and Lunar) Domination

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