My brother and I have, what we presume to be, eczema of the lower calves. But the itching is not as miserable for us as it is for some of you. And we love the stratching. The problem is the skin blemishes our stratching leaves, brownish/redish dry areas. Lately I've been putting vasaline on those areas and it seems to help.
Regarding your nickel allergy and food - if you ate some food containing nickel how long afterwards did your fingers itch for?
I think it would be a good idea to first of all determine if it is something associated with her work place or not. So maybe not going to work for a week and seeing if the symptoms persist or go away. If they go away then at least if it can't be determined exactly what in her workplace is causing the problem there is always the option of discontinuing working there.
If it is something in her workplace, how long do people think it might take for her itchy fingers to stop if she doesn't go in to work?
Thanks for everybodies comments.
My nickel allergy is a lot better than it was about, um, seven or so years ago. Then, I had red, raw skin on the side of one finger and could not stop scratching it. I had fantasies of taking a cleaver and just getting rid of the offending thing. Of course I'm glad that sanity prevailed.
I still get itching on occasion but I go back to the nickel diet (yes, there is such a thing; you cut out things like pears, of all things) and in a few days I feel better. Right now, today, I'm not getting any symptoms, but I don't dare try to put earrings in my ears (they're pierced, but the holes are pretty much closed up by now) or wear clasp earrings or the like. I try to keep snaps and the like away from my skin, too.
It's weird. The exact same finger that gave me so much trouble (right index) is nice and smooth right now, as if it never happened. Wacky.
My wife has had several patches of irritable skin/rashes on her torso (several inches square in size) that permanently persist and have done for a few years. One patch is on her belly where a button from jeans goes so is almost certainly caused by direct content to that button.
The other patches are in random places which won't be in any contact with any metal.
Her finger problems started suddenly one night about 2 weeks ago, all her fingers became itchy with some small little white nodules being visible on the skin. Her fingers now are a little bit blistered.
She was tested a few years ago and found to be allergic to nickel and rubber. She still wears jeans however, no idea if the ones she has are nickel free or not, so presumbably they do contain it.
In people's experience, is it possible that the other patches of rashes are caused by the nickel in jean's buttons, even though those patches of skin aren't directly in contact with it?
Secondly, could the finger itchyness be releated to this and some new sort of manifestation? Or its much more likely that it is as a consequence of direct contact with the gloves? Or just not possible to know.
I remember reading about nickel allergy before and thinking... but maybe I didn't follow through on the checking out.
To explain who I am - neither an expert nor entirely lame on all this -
I have a degree in bacteriology from years ago, and some years in a good hematology immunology research lab, but I was never a main brain. And all that was long ago, and I've no leftover pretensions - still interested.
What I remember, I think, is that there are some situations re - I forget the words, but they have to do with sensitivity. There are thresholds, and once past them, the whole allergy flume happens. Which would explain why I, personally don't itch now.
Patiodog would be sharper on this than me, decades after I paid attention to all that, and with decades more knowledge.
we love the stratching
pruritis degenerating into prurience?
The itching on the finger that I had was not due (so far as I am aware) to any contact with nickel, other than perhaps unbuttoning jeans. But I did not have it on the left hand at all, or on the fingertips. It was just the side of the finger and side
of the finger apparently is one of the main flareup points for a nickel allergy.
This link: http://dermnetnz.org/dermatitis/nickel-allergy.html
has info on nickel allergy and diet. WARNING: it has pictures of the rash, which might be icky for some. According to them, the diet is:
Low nickel diet
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, quark, butter, margarine
Cereals, bread, flour, rice, pasta Small servings of wholemeal flour, wholegrain cereals, wheatbran and wheatgerm
Small servings of beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, leeks , parsnips, potatoes, spinach
Fruit, raw & stewed
Tea, coffee, soft drinks, cordials, beer, wine
Foods to avoid
Canned spaghetti & baked beans
Green beans, broccoli, peas including split peas, canned vegetables
Canned fruit, dried fruit, nuts
Cocoa, drinking chocolate, chocolate
This is about what I was told although I was specifically told to avoid pears (maybe that's just me). Try the diet, particularly getting rid of canned foods, and see if it helps.
Jespah, I broke out in a rash while reading the word, quark. What is it?
Here, have some calomine while reading about quark
OK, I got em too.
Not as bad as jes, but the button on the jeans must be covered.
Had a hell of a time with the earring, but attributed it to guy stuff.
I can still wear one, but it must come out after the evenings fun.
My wife's itchy fingers started suddenly about 2 weeks or so of starting a new job, which involved wearing gloves.
Thus the first two doctors we saw jumped to the conclusion that it was a contact allergic reaction to the gloves. We were always a bit suspicious of this diagnosis as several things didn't add up but the doctors wouldn't be swayed into thinking of any alternative explanations. Anyway the initial gloves were already non laytex and other non-allergenic pairs made no difference, and no medication the doctors prescribed made any difference at all.
Last week a skin specialist has diagnosed the problem as Dyshidrotic eczema.
Does anybody else have any experience with this condition, recommendations for preventing it etc.?
Thanks for all of the responses in this thread
I've had this itching-hands-and-feet thing for a few years now. I've treated it, when it gets bad and not everyday, with anti-histamines and it works. However, I know constant use of the drug is really bad (so I use it only when I really really need it) and can prove to be counter productive in making the symptoms worse in the long run so I have been looking for alternatives.
I get periodic eczema, but only during really dry weather periods of the year and only on my shoulders and elbow, which I have a prescription cream for that works practically overnight at the first signs of itch (the hands and feet thing feels different altogether, too, like it's under the skin as opposed to on the skin).
There aren't any obvious allergy signs (rash, hives, discoloration of skin, etc) so it's not fifth disease, nickle allergy, etc.
Scabies are out, that's the first thing that came to my mind as I did travel around the time I recall the itching making it's first appearance, but the doc gave me the all-clear on that (btw, he's mystified as well and short of cortisone treatments is at a loss; he's also checked my liver and it's fine).
High salt, circulation problem, hypothyroid? Nope, all checked, doc even sent me for allergy tests, and aside from the usual dust, cat dander, spring-time grass and pollens ones I've always had, nothing else cropped up, that they tested for at least.
Aside from the travel at the time (very brief, only for a week and a half) there is nothing and I mean nothing different (changes in diet, meds, fabric care, etc) I can think of; I've exhausted pretty much every possibility at this point, now five years later.
I did come across, though, in this thread a posting made in September 2004 (don't you just love google? - that term should well be in the dictionary by now, google, googled, googling...) regarding B-12 Dots. I know I'm lacking in B12 (doc did pick that up with my platelet and white cell count being a little low, "but nothing to worry about at this time"), but I guess he didn't make the connection with this itching?
I ordered some B-12 Dots online and they should be here soon (I can't seem to find any in my area, and being tired of running around trying all sorts of supplements and creams to see if they work, Gold Bond too in my case-did not work for me-I took a shortcut and used the web). I am really really hoping this is it, I can't say how many things I've tried, oatmeal on the skin, running hands/feet under various temps of water (must admit a paraffin hand and foot bath felt great, but the itch did come back the very next night), both combined and individual supplements (except B12 Dots!), dietary changes, soaps, lotions, and the only thing so far, as mentioned above, that seems to work is the anti-histamine.
I'm hoping the B-12 Dots are the answer. I'll post here either way after I get them and try them for a couple of weeks. Having read posts from other sites, I can tell that some people have suffered for as long or longer than I have, so if I can help by confirming the success of something, I'll gladly do so.
Finally received my B12 Dots in the mail. Been taking them 3 days and so far while I still get an itchy spell in the hands, I've noticed my feet haven't itched since I first started. My feet were the second thing to start driving me crazy after about a year of the hands.
With even my hands, though, although I still have had an episode each evening while taking the Dots, it has been a lot less intense, much milder than usual.
I'll see how it goes after a week or two and report back!
I used to work with an expert in pernicious anemia, which involves matters about B12. Most US americans get plenty of b12 in diet unless they are vegetarian, and then they can take supplements. B12 implementation has long been a quack focus.
I don't eat nearly as much meat as I used to, and more vegetables than ever. Could that have affected my B12 balance?
Personally I doubt it...
but of course, don't trust me, I don't have an expert across the lab to ask anymore. I suspect that even a small bit of meat once in a while does the job, but I don't have any idea of numbers.
On antihistamine - I used to have wild rhinitis, and eventually asthma, and was allegic to 64 items at last count. I could quell it with antihistamine, and benedryl, the cheapo kind, worked better for me that claritin or allegra.
Years went by and I weaned myself from taking gobs of benedryl into taking a half of one with beginning symptoms. My allergies pretty much disappeared, coinciding with that and a house remodel which probably got rid of a lot of mold, and the passing of our cat.
In time I moved away, and rarely had any more sneezing, even though I lived with more mold/re the general environment. But then, then... I started with the itching. I treated that the same way, a half of a benedryl.. or just plain wait it out, as it tended to show up like a wave.
I hardly ever take a benedryl now, though I always have it in the medicine cabinet, and I still have odd waves of itching and/or hives, though not anywhere near as often (I moved again, different climate, though I didn't move for that reason). Usually I read it away with a mystery to pass the time.
These are just my experiences, anecdotal comments.
Some of the itching for me, I've noticed, is stress-related.
I'm joining this several years after the initial posting but my feet itch so bad and I scratch until they bleed. I have had this for about 15 years and it has never spread beyond the insoles of my feet. I have tried every single remedy suggested in this forum and been to numerous dermatologists and tried just about every prescription cream there is with no success. Some things work for a little while but then they just seem to quit working. If it's stress related, boy - I've been under a lot of stress for a long time!!
Try an antihistamine. The itching can be an allergy.