Did you know that fibromyalgia is becoming more common in the world? Those who were diagnosed with similar illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis and the like are now showing more signs that point to Fibromyalgia.
Due to the number of new people who are being diagnosed with this issue, more research is being done. However, even with the research that is being done on this issue, there are still tons of questions that people have.
What makes fibromyalgia so unique is that it affects people in different ways. There are those who have the textbook characteristics of this illness, while others may not show the same typical signs. One of the signs that is often associated with fibromyalgia is extreme itching throughout the entire body.
Fibromyalgia and Itching: Is there a Connection?
For those who do suffer with fibromyalgia, they often wonder if the intense itching they feel is associated with this illness. The answer is yes! In fact, many people call this the dry, itchy skin of those who suffer with fibromyalgia. So why is it that the skin itches?
Basically, this is due to the nerves in the body. Fibromyalgia is an illness that attacks the nerves. And when these nerves are attacked they start to become inflamed.
When the nerves become inflamed they may begin to itch. It is important to note that the itch that you feel is not going to be relieved by itching this. In fact, this can result in the skin becoming broken and then itching worse.
However, does this mean that proper skin care couldn’t help this? Not necessarily as many fibromyalgia patients are finding.
Treating Extreme Itching
If you do suffer with extreme itching, there are a few things that you can do in order to treat this at home and hopefully get these issues to downgrade. These suggestions include:
1- Take a cool shower as this can help downgrade the itching. However, for many fibromyalgia patients this becomes a slippery slope as they find that the cool water may make them ache more. It is all about getting that medium temperature of water that offers comfort and does not make the pain worse.
2- When drying off after getting the skin wet, use gentle pats to get your skin dry. Do not rub as this sensation can make the itching worse!
3- Consider what type of laundry detergent that you are using. Many people with fibromyalgia find that their skin becomes very sensitive. Utilize a laundry detergent that is free from perfumes and dyes. This could be just one small step to stop the itching from being too much.
4- Utilize oils to help keep your skin hydrated as many people find that lotions do not help. If you are going to use a lotion or oil apply this while your skin is rather damp as this can help this to absorb into the skin better.
5- Watch what sheets you sleep on. Many people find that they need a more breathable and cool sheet set in order to keep this itching at bay while trying to sleep. Many sufferers suggest bamboo sheets.
6- Watch what clothing you are wearing. Tighter clothing is going to give the skin less room to breathe. And also wear breathable clothing.
7- Hydrocortisone cream can be a great way to stop those small patches of skin that are seeming to itch out of control.
8- Capsaicin cream can be given to help with the itching as this goes into the nerves. However, be sure that you do this sparingly at first as this cream can burn and will hurt worse when you put this onto broken skin.
9- Ice packs on the skin where the itching is occurring can be great for relieving this. You may find that rotating between ice and a heat pad will be beneficial.
10- Be aware that several medications that you can take is going to result in itchy skin. Zinc is one of those supplements that has been shown to cause an increase in itchy skin.
11- Be sure to limit your time in the sun, as a sunburn for fibromyalgia patients is often much worse than for someone else. This does mean that you should be wearing sunscreen each time you go out.
12- Super-hot water is dehydrating to your skin, so try to avoid this as much as possible.
13- Consider talking with a dermatologist as he or she may have more options that you could try and have some insider knowledge of new products on the market that could work greatly for you.
Brain Re-Training: Is this an Option?
One of the more newer methods on the market for helping a patient to deal with the itching and the pain of fibromyalgia is known as brain re-training. This is a long-term solution as it will take time to succeed at. So, what is this?
Brain re-training for this illness is meant to rewire the brain to adapt to the pain and itching differently than it has. Needless to say, this type of treatment will take a while to see results from.
In addition, this method has not been studied intensively for fibromyalgia patients. However, the program is seeing a lot of improvement in those who have other issues and who are undergoing brain re-training.
This is something to talk with your doctor about as many of the issues you suffer from will need to be evaluated to determine if you are a good candidate for this program or not.
Therapy for Stress and Anxiety
The stress and anxiety that a person feels can actually make this itching worse. This is why dealing with these underlying issues could be one of the best ways to get rid of the extreme itching. Talking with a therapist is one option.
However, there are other ways of reliving stress and anxiety. These methods include:
- Meditation as this can help you to get to a point that you are relaxed and your fibromyalgia symptoms simply do not bother you.
- Yoga can be a great stress reliever.
- Exercise can be a great way to get rid of stress and anxiety, plus this can help with other issues associated with fibromyalgia.
- Certain medications can be given to help with these feelings and this is going to help your itching.
If you do find that your skin is itching, you can try to deduct why this is happening on your own. However, you should really report this to your doctor. Your doctor will have a better idea of what to try and what may help.
Extreme itching with fibromyalgia is not unheard of. However, many patients often think that this itching is not associated.
They often fear that this is something that they are thinking, but this itching is real and it can become a really hard problem to deal with.
Many people report this itching so bad that it affects sleep, their ability to eat and go anywhere.
For those who scratch excessively, they are going to find that this can lead to scarring and skin infections from open sores. Therefore, it is imperative that you get help for this issue.