Torturous itch

Patient

Q: Dear Doctor

I have had an incurable itch for about 4 months. I have a pet rat, and at first my doctor thought I might be having an allergic reaction to him - I was put on XyZal, but to no avail (the itching didn't even stop while on these tablets). The itching is worst at night, so when I went to a different doctor, he diagnosed me with scabies - I applied benzyl benzoate cream three nights in a row and washed with medicated soap and I immediately started itching MORE. The doctor thought I was having an allergic reaction to the cream, and gave me celesthamine and an aqeous soap to tide me over. This provided a brief period of relief, but a couple of days after stopping this medication I carried on itching, this time worse. I went to a different doctor, whose guess is bed bugs. I am at my mother's house at the moment. I study on the other side of the country and am returning soon, then I will fumigate my room and try to rule out bed bugs.

I am simply itching, with no visible rash, bite marks, welts or other marks. The itching is intense, and has now become pretty permanent. Can STRESS have caused such an itch? My boyfriend is also itchy, but not all over - his doctor has diagnosed it as a 'stress' itch aggravated by the way he sits. Will the itch stop if I just ignore it? What's going on? I have entertained thoughts of suicide, it's so horrible to itch so permanently! I don't know what to do...

Doctor

A:   This question is currently in queue and will be answered shortly by one of our doctors. In the meantime you may browse our library of answered questions by clicking here.

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