Itchy skin

Just been having a look around the internet, my anti histamines don't seem to be reducing the itch much at the moment and have found this:

Oral antihistamines. Your doctor may recommend anti-allergy medications to ease your itch. This group of medications includes over-the-counter drugs that don't make you sleepy, such as cetirizine (Zyrtec) and loratadine (Claritin), or those that make you sleepy, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl). The ones that make you sleepy can be particularly helpful at night if your itchy skin keeps you awake. (Taken from the Mayo Clinic page in answer to a search of cure an itchy skin)

I was thinking about those of us who itch more so at night and rarely get a good night. It may be worth asking your specialist. Claritin did not work for me but I might give benadryl a go. Now that I am retired the tiredness and work place no longer clash.

Has anyone tried any of these products with success?

best wishes

12 Replies

  • I use cetirizine (Zyrtec) and it does reduce the night time itching. I still get some itching in the evenings but nowhere near as bad as it was :)

  • Thanks, I will make a note of this and give it a try. I am having to try a bit of a mix and match at the moment but not much helping. I bought some Doublebase cream that someone had found successful but it is not holding the itch but my skin feels lovely!

    best wishes

  • ButterflyEi,

    I use Zyrtec during the day and occasionally take generic benadryl at night. In addition, I use goat's milk soap for bathing and shampoo/conditioner without petroleum byproducts and chemicals. I am on ursodiol and a good B-complex vitamin. My trouble with itching has reduced to minimal levels. I find that keeping up with drinking sufficient water is important as well. Good luck!

  • I am pretty bad a drinking just water, I am a bit of a tea drinker. I will try to do better!

    Thank you for the additional info - I will try anything at the moment to reduce the itch. Hopefully it will go back to more sensible levels again soon.

    best wishes

  • I have also found that nivea in shower moisturizer is helping me as it absorbs into my skin better when applied whilst wet. Hope your itching is relieved soon :)

  • thank you, willing to give anything a go at the moment.

    best wishes

  • Hello butterflyEi.

    I was prescribed antihistamine qat the my first GP appt early 2010 when I went with itching that had been persistent for a fortnight. I didn't get the prescription as you can buy piriton in the same strength over-the-counter at the pharmacy in the UK cheaper than the script cost if you have to pay like I do.

    I only took this piriton for 2 days as all it did was make me feel sick all the time and did nothing. Not surprisingly it wouldn't as it is for allergies and in PBC it's not anything to do with that. the piriton I got didn't make you feel drowsy or I might have considered taking that to sleep at night.

    My thoughts on itching though is that the more meds we can take with PBC maybe it is more of a stress and strain for our livers to cope with. I also think perhaps that other meds may alter the LFTs and not in a good way.

    My itch was originally 24hrs a day but over time and improved LFTs it has altered significantly and currently I only tend to start feeling the prickles lfrom around 9p.m. onwards and then it often does cause me to not sleep if I wake up after going to bed after sleeping awhile. Funnily enough for the last 4 nights I've not had it that bad at all. I dont' know why as I've tried to work out from foods, etc over the last 4yrs if anything might make it less or perhaps certain foods that could make it worse but not thought of anything as yet. I also think that our energy output can alter our system somewhat from day-to-day and that in turn has impact on itching, especially at night. I know for me as I expect most with itching in PBC, it seems that when you want to relax at the end of the day the itch rears its ugly head and it is then that causes the frustrations and irritations of it all.

  • Hi Peridot

    Thank you for your answer. I have not found any foods impact on the itch either. I am sure most of the increase in the itch this year is down to stress, not been a good year. Earlier this year Liv.52 was recommended to me but has now been taken off the market, not sure it did much good and now I am taking a dandelion supplement. The itch seemed to coincide with the taking of the Liv.52 but then my Mum passed (bless her she was 89) and now my husband is to face radiotherapy - not a good mix for keeping the itch quiet!

    I did try taking all the Urso at night as per the Bear Facts magazine but did not find it suited so have gone back to the two tablets in the morning and two more at night also with that the reflux is calmer.

    I think I must have been lucky to have so little itching at the beginning of my diagnosis as I know many PBCers suffer greatly.

    best wishes

  • Hello butterflyEi.

    I think with the itch now that I take urso, in my case and I think it seems so, it figures in a way that the itch isn't prevalent of a morning and during the day up until a certain time (early evening on start feeling prickly) due to food being consumed during the day and then it still going through the digestive system.

    The itch is thought to be used bile salts that are the cause and if this used bile is circulating in the bloodstream as it usually go back to the liver for recycle/waste production then the itch will be felt any place on the body.

    I expect where our toes and hands are - some say it affects their toes and palms - the blood might not be circulating exactly the same (this is my theory of course) - and again that does add up to why I in particular feel the itch mainly in my feet and toes late at night when I go to bed.

    I nught still have the itch but for now it isn't as bad as it could mroe than likely be/become. I really do feel for the ones with PBC who get it so so badly.

  • Thanks Peridot. Just as a thought do you do any feet exercises? If it is down to the circultaion could you do warm up exercises to stretch calf muscles and perhaps roll a small rolling pin under your feet to lengthen the muscles of the foot. That would help the circulation in the lower region.

    for me mainly it is my forearms which can drive me insane. Mostly my left side but the itch of recent is more overall and I hate it over my head region. Hey ho!

    Thanks again

    best wishes

  • Hello butterflyEi.

    Interesting response. Well I tend to feel better when my feet are either moving about (I find I can't sit still for very long during the day, hate that prickly feeling) or if they are cold then they feel at their best!

    Massaging the feet at night doesn't appear to help at all with the itch. It is thought that the used bile reacts with the tiny nerve endings and that will be something that probably massaging won't actually ease. I say this as I know if I rub one part that feels itchy it then starts elsewhere, a vicious circle at night. I expect the feelings of the itch is that sort of electrifying shock feeling.

    M<y forearms alos sometimes feel the itch but that seems to be inconsistent, some days I do, some I don't. I tend to find myself sometimes itching my head, on the top too. Lie down at night and the side you are putting pressure on tends to be the one that you feel the itch....defintely no picnic but thankfully come morning feel more normal again ....bit like a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on.....!

  • I hope for more Jekyll and less Hyde for us all!


    best wishes

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