ZocdocAnswersWhy does my skin itch when I get overheated, but not sweat?

Question

Why does my skin itch when I get overheated, but not sweat?

I'm a 26 year old female. I have had this problem my whole life. Whenever I get overheated my skin itches but does not sweat. It is very uncomfortable. I've taken benedryl in the past but it does not help. What else can I do to stop the itching?

Answer

This is an interesting problem, but there could be a common solution. First, if you have no sweating at all, ever, then this should be discussed with your doctor in more detail. If you are saying, instead, that you sometimes will start to itch before you sweat, but then you other times will sweat, then that could be a very normal response that many people will experience to some degree prior to sweating. This is likely caused by the way that the sweat glands are innervated, and the fact that the stimulus to initiate sweating also stimulates the nerves that are involved with the itching sensation. Alternatively, there are some relatively common fungal colonizations (not necessarily infections, as these fungi can be present normally without doing any harm) that some say can produce itching in the period immediately before sweating. Sometimes these will also be accompanied by small areas of skin that do not tan as well as surrounding areas, which are called hypopigmented macules. If your symptoms continue to bother you or are associated with any other concerning symptoms, please discuss them with your primary care doctor, a dermatologist, or even a neurologist.

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

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