ZocdocAnswersCould you offer any advice on my skin condition?

Question

Could you offer any advice on my skin condition?

I have a skin condition. It has been occurring on and off for the last few years and seems to happen exclusively over the colder months. Basically whenever I get slightly overheated due to mild exertion or being startled I get a strong itching sensation at various points all over my body. There is rarely any notable rash except occasional slight blotches of red when the condition is at its most sensitive. The itching feels a lot like hot needles and can be extremely painful. It occurs mostly in the morning whilst walking to work. Although not definite there seems to be a link with my sweat glands. At the point where I would usually start to sweat the itching occurs but eases off once I am sweating profusely. Before now doctors have suggested that it could be miliaria and urticaria though neither seems to perfectly match the profile. The only treatment ever suggested is antihistamines which I take daily to little effect. I currently take loratadine and cetirizine hydrochloride.

Answer

Thanks for your question. Urticaria is certainly something that does come to mind based on your description, although the lack of obvious skin changes is not necessarily always consistent with your description and does suggest a different possibility. Obviously, there can be quite a broad spectrum with any condition, and that is why it is important to work with your doctor. The sensation that you describe is not altogether uncommon, as many people will describe a sensation of itching as the nerves that instruct the glands to start producing and secreting sweat are often intermingled with the nerves that will provide sensation to your skin. Your brain will then interpret this sensation as an itch, due to the processing of the information and how it is received. While your primary care doctor may not be familiar with this condition, it is likely that a specialist would be able to help you more. A dermatologist or a neurologist would both likely be able to offer some insight into your problem, although the dermatologist may be the best bet to start with. If your condition persists, it may be worth a referral to a tertiary care hospital system. Please speak with your doctor to get answers to your questions and make sure all is well.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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