As you may have read previously, I have been suffering from chronic itching and hives post chemotherapy. My previous posts, Itching Post Chemotherapy and Itching Post Chemotherapy Follow Up have been very popular in Google search so I know there are other people out there looking for answers. I am happy to report I found my solution (for the most part)!!
After my last dermatologist visit I was determined that I would not be drugged into a sleepy coma to avoid itching. Furthermore, no other prescription had worked so far and I honestly didn’t believe this tactic would work either. For good measure I tried the Atarax and Zyrtec three times a day along with Pepcid. After a couple weeks of trying to get the insanity that was my itching under control with this method I gave up on the meds and started calling around to see if a spa around town had a steam room. I thought maybe I could get some relief with steam. I never found a steam room but talked to a spa representative that said I should get a body scrub. My instant thought was I was going to itch more after that. I WAS SO WRONG! I think all this time the crazy insane itching has been my skins toxic wasteland trying to be purged. It now makes sense to me that I had several layers of dead skin due to the chemotherapy killing my healthy cells and I needed to get rid of all of it.
Here’s how I did it!
- I got rid of my soap. It was drying out my skin more and leaving a film. I opted for Gracie’s soap, Just Hatched.
- I started scrubbing my skin every day with Lavender Scrub from Ummelina Day Spa (you may have to call them, I don’t see it currently listed on their site). I scrubbed vigorously twice a day with this stuff.
- I increased my water intake from 3 to 4 liters a day in an effort to hydrate from the inside out.
It seemed so easy. Within two days of starting this scrubbing ritual my itching and hives were virtually gone. I still have a small spot on my left thigh that always itches but it is certainly better than my whole body itching and covered in hives. It may just be coincidence that my itching stopped when I started down this path but it seems so closely related that it is worth reporting. Maybe some of you will benefit from this ritual. Good luck my fellow itchers.
As you may have read previously, I have been suffering from chronic itching and hives post chemotherapy. My previous post, Itching Post Chemotherapy has been very popular in search engine results so I know there are other people out there looking for answers. I will continue to update my progress in hopes I will find an answer that will help anyone looking for one.
I went back to the dermatologist today. Back to the Atarax and now Zyrtec three times a day along with Pepcid. This is such a frustrating process and I am hoping a new strategy will work. On a lighter note, I have this amazing child sitting and grinning at me. I want to burst into tears because I feel like my body is under attack. Then I look at her and laugh. Haha! What a roller coaster of emotions.
My silly little companion for the dermatologist today.
Two weeks after the completion of 4 rounds of BEP chemotherapy, I began to feel symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and developed uncontrollable itching. With the itching came hives, bleeding, and bruising. The itching has become one of the most frustrating experiences I have encountered with post-chemotherapy. Nobody has an answer. More often than not it gets written off as an allergy. I am 99% certain it is not an allergy. I believe it is some sort of histamine release, liver, or kidney issue brought on by chemotherapy.
I have tried everything…
Completely changing my environment, eliminating almost everything from my diet to see if it is an allergy, food journals, washing my clothes and sheets in plain water, and finally sitting in the middle of the tub with nothing touching me after only drinking water and no food for a day.
The itching is still there and strong!
I have talked to my oncologist, seen a dermatologist, done therapy with an acupuncturist, and discussed it with my general physician. No answer. It is now 8 months post-chemo and it is still an issue. I am going out of my mind! I feel like my body is attacking itself. I have tried histamine blocking drugs like Pepcid, Claratin, Doxepin, etc…the only thing that works is steroids. The moment I finish the pack, the itching is back. I can’t be on steroids forever. If anyone out there has experienced this and has an answer – PLEASE! Please respond.
Here are some images of what happens when it flares up. This is all I have to go on and to share right now but hopefully with reader’s help and the help of doctors I’m praying someday I’ll have an answer for it.