If you’ve landed on this page you probably want to know how to stop itchy arms. If that’s right, I feel your pain. I sympathize… I suffered with maddeningly itchy arms for years, but I think I know what causes it for a lot of people, so read on…
The following is my story about how I got rid of itchy arms that used to drive me nuts and stop me from sleeping. In the box below is a blog post I wrote quite a few years ago. I wanted to post it on this new site because it’s not a problem that’s gone away. It seems that a lot of people have this problem.
Thankfully I don’t get itchy arms any more (just ‘normal’ itches). But if you suffer with this, I hope what I have to share might help you.
Loads of people are suffering with this itchy arm syndrome and they’re looking for answers. I realised that I have to share what worked for me because I found an answer. One that worked for me anyway, and if it worked for me, it might just work for other sufferers.
Ten years of this maddening itch…
I had a problem with itchy arms for over ten years. It started just on the top, front part of my shoulders and initially it was only a problem only in the hot (Queensland) summer months.
The itch would come on at night time when I went to bed and it would stop me from getting to sleep. It drove me nuts!
There was nothing to see on the surface of the skin. No lumps, bumps, rash or anything. The skin looked completely normal, but it didn’t feel normal!
It itched. Man did it itch!
The itch came from deep under the skin feeling like there were things under my skin pricking upwards – it was a bizarre feeling.
This itch continued to plague me every night during each summer, then gradually over the years, it started to affect more of my upper arms, and then finally, to my dismay, my forearms became affected as well.
Then it began to be a problem in the cooler weather as well as the during the heat of summer, and eventually it was a problem all year round, during all seasons.
By the beginning of 2008 it was affecting me all the time (not just in the heat of summer).
It itched over both arms from my shoulders down almost to my wrists on the front of my arms.
It was really making me miserable. 😥
I was very conscious of trying not to break the skin and causing sores, and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was getting desperate as this had been a problem for over 10 years and it obviously wasn’t going away.
The truth was that it was really getting worse!
Over the years I had searched for answers to this crazy itching, and in my searching, I came across postings online by many, many sufferers with the same problem.
Most (as did I) found ice to be the only thing that helped to relieve the symptoms, and they also discovered much to their dismay, that their doctors had no idea as to what was going on apart from theories about some ‘itch scratch itch syndrome’ BS…
It seems that many people are taking various medications, with some reports of relief but the medications don’t get rid of the problem – they just help to relieve the itching – temporarily – if at all.
So, back to my story. Over the years (off and on) I’ve taken many different brands of probiotics, produced by many different companies including Mediherb & Dr Veras which are practitioner only products here in Australia, and only available through Naturopaths and other trained therapists. These are supposed to be great quality products.
I’ve also taken various other probiotic products purchased in health shops and pharmacies.
I took them because I’ve had trouble with IBS and food allergies over the years, and I’d hoped they’d help.
Well, in February 2008 a company who’s products we’ve been using (and loving) for over 7 years, released a brand new probiotic product.
We were told there was nothing else like it on the market and we were also told by the creator of the product (an expert with over 25 years experience in gut flora and the creation of probiotic products), of many amazing stories where people had resolved all sorts of health issues using this probiotic during the time that he was trialing this new product prior to its release.
With great anticipation (but absolutely no thought of it helping my itching arms as I was focused on the IBS problem), I ordered some as soon as it was available.
The little box of sachets arrived 3 days later and I took my first dose.
Now I know that this is going to sound unbelievable to those, who like me have suffered with this problem for years (I had trouble believing it!), but I swear to God it’s the truth – the next day there was no itch!
I seriously couldn’t believe it when I realised part the way through the day, that the itch wasn’t there and I honestly thought it was just a coincidence. I didn’t expect this little blessing to last – but it did.
I took a 6 week course of this product, once daily as advised by the man who created it, and I continue to take it off and on when I think about it, and I’m ecstatic to say that 18 months later I’ve never had my itchy arms back.
I am so incredibly grateful to the creator of this product and to the company who makes it available to us.
Anyway, when I came across the posts by people looking for answers to their itchy misery this morning, I realised that I had to share my story for those who are looking to resolve this problem because I know how miserable it made me for over a decade.
The cause of my itchy arms was obviously my gut flora being out of balance and I would hedge a bet that it is for others also.
The scientist that created this wonderful product, showed us that studies done here at the CSIRO in Australia have shown some of the bacteria strains used in some other probiotic products can actually make gut flora worse by causing an increase in the ‘bad’ bacteria. So while I thought I was doing a good thing for my health by taking the other brands of probiotics, it was possible that I was in fact making things worse!
This is a real story and for anyone plagued by this problem and searching for an answer. Focus on gut flora and you might just find an answer to those itching arms!
More On Itchy Arms
As already mentioned, I wrote the story above quite a number of years ago, and since then the company that produced the probiotic I used has been bought out and disappeared. I’m not even sure if that probiotic product is available anymore. If it is, I don’t know how to source it which is a shame.
But I have further thoughts regarding this problem.
Possible Causes & My Suggestions
The way my personal “miracle cure” happened, had me convinced initially that everyone with this problem would get the same results if they did what I did. I’m still fairly certain that it has something to do with gut flora. Most health issues (and in particular skin issues) do.
But I was contacted many times over the years by readers desperate for help and some of those readers tried the same probiotic product that I’d used with little or no result which was disappointing. It became apparent that the answer wasn’t in that particular product for all people with itchy arms.
So after realizing this, I have some thoughts and ideas to share on the topic…
- The speed with which my cure took place may have been because I’d been working on my gut flora and digestive system some years, and maybe the probiotic I took was simply what I required to tip the balance in my favour. It may be a matter of time and persistence for you to get the same result.
- I wonder if food allergies or intolerances may play a part (as they can in gut health and gut flora balance). Removing foods from your diet that you are sensitive to may help. If necessary, there are tests available to work out what food intolerances you have.
- Mold and fungus could potentially also play a part and may be something that needs to be eliminated and/or treated.
Finally – Don’t Give Up!
If you’re being driven to madness by your itching, I’d suggest focusing on your overall health, but in particular the health of your digestive system. I’m quite certain from my own experience that the digestive system is at least a major player in itchy arms where there seems to be no other apparent cause.
Clean up your diet, alternate quality probiotic products (eg take a different product each month so you get varying strains of bacteria over time) and even better, eat fermented foods. These can be added to your life on an ongoing basis to create gradual change.
Make the commitment to your health. Focus on your gut health and you’ll be amazed at what changes. (I know how much difference better gut health can make to everything, including emotional health, from personal experience.)
Also please realize that there may not be a quick fix for your itchy arms. It’s probably taken a whole life time to get to where they are now, and so it may take time and persistence to get back to a state of health where your arms no longer are affected. That’s just life.
I wish you patience, perseverance and good luck.
P.S. I often resorted to getting relief from my itching by using frozen veggies. Often I’d go to bed then end up getting back up and heading to the freezer. If I had that same issue now I personally would try diluted peppermint oil for its cooling effect because I know in my case, the heat was what made it worse. It’s not going to cure it, but it might just make living with it a bit more bearable.