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September 28, 2015 10:18 PM   Subscribe

I've been suffering from an abnormal amount of itching for the past two months. Is this something serious or just a seasonal problem?

For the past two months, I've been feeling itchy on most of my body. The itching usually starts an hour or two after I get up, increases throughout the day, and then subsides in the early evening hours. The itching usually occurs on my arms and legs, with occasional pop-ups in the crooks of my elbows, my inner thighs, and the backs of my knees.

The itching is unlike anything that I've experienced before. One part of my body will feel itchy, I'll scratch it, and then another area will pop up somewhere else. The itching sensation feels different than that of a bug bite or dry skin - it's more intense and localized.

In addition to the itching, I've been finding a lot of white flakes and black dots of various sizes all over my body. The flakes look like dandruff but don't feel as oily, while the dots range from barely visible to about dandruff-sized.

There are also a lot of small red dots - like bites - that I've found all over. The largest concentration is on my upper right arm, but I've found them pretty much everywhere, including one on the head of my penis. For the most part, these dots have not gone away or shrunk in size since I've discovered them.

Some other details:

-I'm a 24-year-old white male.

-I have two cats. I've considered the possibility that I have fleas, but I'm not sure if that's likely.

-I received crabs from a (male) sexual partner about three months ago. I'm fairly sure that this is not related, as these symptoms popped up about a month after the crabs appeared and the crabs disappeared (after several courses of treatment) about three weeks ago.

Is this something that I should consult my doctor or dermatologist about? The itching is nothing more than annoying, but the fact that it hasn't gone away (along with the flakes/dots/bites) makes me think that this is something more serious.

Throwaway email: biteme243648@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
For the past two months

Can you think of any reason, at all, not to see a dermatologist for this?
posted by klausman at 10:30 PM on September 28, 2015 [6 favorites]

Even if it's not "serious," it's affecting your quality of life and not going away on its own. Please go see a dermatologist.
posted by serelliya at 10:33 PM on September 28, 2015

Definitely go to a derm. They can tell you what it is---could be scabies or an allergic reaction to some soap you're using. Go see the dermatologist.
posted by discopolo at 10:34 PM on September 28, 2015

Here's an easy way to see if fleas are out of control at your house. Put on some tall white socks. Shuffle around the house. The fleas will find you, and you will be able to spot them easily on the white socks.
posted by ktkt at 11:55 PM on September 28, 2015

Yeah, call the dermatologist now bc it'll probably be a couple months before you'll be able to be seen! You could try just putting on some hydrocortisone to see if that does anything.
posted by emkelley at 3:55 AM on September 29, 2015

Nthing going to see a dermatologist or at least a GP, you don't need to live with this.

If you need some short term relief from the itching (as you wait for your doctor's appointment), colloidal oatmeal baths are very soothing, and natural. If you're using a hydrocortisone cream, apply it immediately after the bath (dry yourself first). To accelerate the absorption of the cream into your skin, wrap a wet towel or cloth around the cream-covered skin, and leave in place for 10-15 minutes.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 4:42 AM on September 29, 2015

It could possibly be bedbugs - I suggest looking for the signs!
posted by Drexen at 5:11 AM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Seconding go to doc. I had similar issue and part of it was using too much OTC NSAIDs.
posted by tilde at 5:21 AM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Somebody I know just saw a doctor for constant itching - turns out it's a symptom of iron deficiency. So nthing see a doctor.
posted by COD at 5:31 AM on September 29, 2015

Go to your GP first in case it's a whole-body problem, but yeah, go to a doc.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:49 AM on September 29, 2015

Is this something that I should consult my doctor or dermatologist about?

Most definitely.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:04 AM on September 29, 2015

See a dermatologist. In my case, it was heat hives (easily treated with antihistimine), and it could be something similarly easy to treat for you.
posted by capricorn at 11:58 AM on September 29, 2015

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