Desperate for an answer

I have psoriatic arthritis but not psoriasis. My dad had very itchy scaly skin on his elbows, knees, feet, chest, back. But my case is very different. In the past year I have been experiencing itchy skin after a bath or shower. It gradually increased and now I have nights where I am pacing the floors because I am SO ITCHY! Yet there is no rash or scaly skin. I have scratched my arms until they bleed. It spread to my legs and as I sit typing now my neck, face, shoulders, and small of my back are itchy. I have found information about the type of psoriasis that my dad had - it was very obvious. Mine is invisible but the "pins and needles" kind of itchy is driving me crazy! I have been searching for help but cannot find any answers. One site suggested that the itchiness is caused by inflammation and effects the nerve endings. In desperation I have been taking naproxen every day. I have also removed wheat from my diet as I read that might help as well. Does ANYONE have an answer? I am really desperate. It's so bad that I am afraid to go to social events in case the itching starts. I forgot to mention that putting a cup or so of baking soda in the bath helps temporarily.

What can I do? Could inflammation of the nerve endings really be the cause?

8 Replies

  • It might be as well not to assume that your itching is psoriasis. It could be something else (though I don't have any ideas) and you need to get it checked out by a dermatologist anyway I would think.

    On the other hand, when my psoriasis flared recently I noticed that it was worst in places that had long been very itchy without any visible rash. And SimoneHU posted a link to a blog about fashion & psoriasis. The woman who writes that said that she has to be extremely careful about the 'feel' of tops, despite not having psoriasis on her upper body. And I can relate to that, my skin is super-sensitive generally.

    Perhaps there is such a thing as invisible psoriasis. I'd readily believe that. Are you on any meds for PsA? Because PsA meds are often also used to treat psoriasis it could just be that you have partially treated psoriasis that is not visible to the naked eye.

    How about asking your GP or rheumy for a referral to dermatology? (Assuming you're not seeing a derm already).

  • Are you on meds for PsA because itching can be a side effect of some meds - for example... morphine based meds make me itch like mad. I also have Gilbert's syndrome which means I have higher than normal levels of bilirubin in my blood - this can make me itchy sometimes. Might be worth getting your liver function checked if you haven't done recently?

    I hope you get some relief soon!

  • You can do a search for "itching with no rash" and several results and several remedies will pop up. Ones I haven't heard you mention. Since yours occurs after a bath or shower, it seems likely that some product you are using for washing is causing an allergic reaction or you have a need for a non-allergic moisturizer or light oil to apply to your skin after cleansing. Washing may remove this protective layer that you need and leave your skin too dry. There are all natural products available for showering and for applying after showering if you look for them. I don't know any sites off hand except maybe, maybe etsy dot com.

    You might also want to think about the laundry soap you use for your towels and washcloths as well as the clothing you wear. Several of the men in my family go through periods of time when they have to have very pure and natural soaps with very few additives for their laundry. The same goes for the dryer sheets or softeners if you use them. Best of luck to you.

  • Thank you so much for your ideas. I washed all of our bedding, towels, and clothes with a gentle soap and very little of it. Then I air dried everything - no dryer sheets and it helps! I am thrilled! The itching is not completely gone but is much much less. Such a simple idea and I didn't think of it.


  • I'm so glad what you did helped!

  • I have both plaque and inverse Psoriasis and am currently seeing a dermatologist. At my last visit when I had widespread plaques she suggested I use Doublebase Gel as a "substitute" soap. It also has the advantage of reducing the "itch/scratch cycle" . I have followed this now religiously for the last six months and it has been helpful. I still get plaques but not to the same extent.

  • My Psoriasis

    Came about by my Grandfathers on two sides of the family, It seemed that one of them came about after being gassed in WW1. His was scalp only while my other Grandfather seemed to have passed it on through my Mothers Family, also my eldest Sister and myself

    I still on occasions suffer creepy skin and if you keep scratching you will break the skin and it leaves a scar. It is a well known diagnosis, and for the like of me I cannot remember its name although I do have the scars

    Rather than using creams I now use bath creams in bath and shower with skin softeners that seems to keep the skin supple and my scalp clear of PS.

    Yes I have heard that baking soda works although I feel skin softeners are more kind to the skin


  • I also have PsA but no Ps that we have found. I do have very itchy areas from time to time with nothing at all visible that should be itching. I have gone gluten free and it seems to have calmed down a lot. I hope you get the answers you need very soon!

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