ZocdocAnswersWhy would I be experiencing generalized itching, mostly on my arms and legs?

Question

Why would I be experiencing generalized itching, mostly on my arms and legs?

I am a 23 year old male. i have never had any sever skin allergies, the itching started about a month ago I noticed it at a friends house. I have tried hydrocortisone cream and benadryl tablets. I have not had any changes in soap, detergent, or any other changes that I know of. When my arms break out they break out in hives I have not noticed any skin blemishes when my legs itch. They usually itch on the back of my thighs up towards the bottom of my buttocks.

Answer

Generalized itching, or pruritus, is a common condition that can be due to either a problem originating in the skin or secondary to a larger problem of the body. The most common cause of itching in the absence of any rash is dry skin, which is often worse during the dry winter months. This itching is typically treated with frequent moisturizing and the avoidance of drying agents. Given the rash that is developing on your arms, it would be advisable to seek consultation with a dermatologist to accurately diagnose the rash as "hives" or some other skin condition, which may be a result or cause of your itching. Eczema is a skin condition that often flares as a result of scratching, and steroids can sometimes make the situation worse if not used appropriately. Your dermatologist may also choose to do some basic blood work to ensure appropriate levels of kidney function, liver enzymes, and thyroid hormone, as problems with these organs can sometimes lead to generalized itching. In the meantime, it may be worth beginning a trial of moisturizing cream, stopping the hydrocortisone cream, and avoiding any drying soaps with showering as well as scratching.

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

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