Why has my ankle been itching for 10 years?
June 13, 2020 7:05 PM   Subscribe

Pretty much what it says on the tin. I had a slew of mosquito bites in SE Asia, and one bite kept being scratched/shaved open. It's better now, but still flares up occasionally, especially after bathing. I only just realized that this has now been A DECADE. Why? It's not as maddening as it was years ago, but I still find myself scratching it. Is this something I should bring up with a doctor? Suggestions? Thanks!
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, you should talk to your doctor about it because your ankle has been periodically bothering you for years and you don't want it to and your doctor might be able to help.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:10 PM on June 13, 2020 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: I should have been clearer ... I've seen a doctor a few times and have forgotten to mention it, but I'll make a note. Has anyone else had random long-term intermittent itching?
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 7:28 PM on June 13, 2020

Yeah, something similar has happened to my. In my case I think it was because of the (light) scar tissue which tends to itch more than regular skin. My ankles are generally itchier than the rest of my body anyway, no clue why though.
posted by raccoon409 at 7:32 PM on June 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

I've got a spot on my eye that gets itchy every now and then. Really itchy, really persistently, for a week or two a few times a year. It's not been a decade (I don't think - the original injury didn't seem like a big deal at the time) but it's definitely been years. And it is definitely old scar tissue causing it for me as well.
posted by dbx at 7:56 PM on June 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

I had an itchy spot in my arm that I ignored for years before going to a doctor. Turns out I have indolent mastocytosis, which is a good thing to know! Please get it looked at.
posted by q*ben at 8:07 PM on June 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

FFS YES! Mosquitos can carry all sorts of nasties, SEA ones especially. Since nothing from that bite has killed you (yet), and your foot hasn't fallen off (yet), there's probably no major problem there. But ask! Last time I said 'while I'm here, ..' I walked out with major liquid nitrogen burn from the removal of a BCC.
posted by GeeEmm at 11:29 PM on June 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

I have a spot on my side that was very sunburned once. It stayed itchy for a long time (years?), and once in a while still bothers me like 25 years later.

Surely some of this is psychosomatic but not all!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:17 AM on June 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Maybe a skeeter hit a nerve and the nerve has never settled back down. Maybe there's a tiny pocket of inflammation. It is red, inflamed, is there any bump you can feel? If yes, see a doc sooner.

Itching is medically kind of weird. The New Yorker published a genuinely horrifying story by Atul Gawande about an itch, 12 years ago, potent enough for me to recall it. Don't search if you are easily squicked.
posted by theora55 at 7:31 AM on June 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

That dumb itchy spot on my back turned out to be notalgia parasthetica.
posted by oflinkey at 9:30 AM on June 14, 2020

I have a more or less permanent itch just off my shoulder blade. Doctor thinks it may in fact be some sort of minor nerve problem, and even though I constantly perceive it, I can ignore it about 95% of the time, so I'm not really treating it with anything. But you definitely should mention it to the doctor next time you go, because you are not me and your tolerance for things like this may vary.
posted by pdb at 3:27 PM on June 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

My sympathies. I have the exact same thing. Mine was cause by chiggers. Inside of both ankles just posterior of the knob at the bottom of the tibia. It comes and goes. I can't give you a "why".

I literally said to my wife and one of my kids yesterday "I'd give someone $1,000 if they could tell me why this happened and how I can stop if from itching ever again." The only thing that brings relief is very hot water. Weird. I think the itch is a bug in my nervous system's operating code. 15 years since it started it hasn't caused any damage apart from lost sleep. I have to be careful not to scratch it since that only makes it worse and I'm concerned about scratching it raw and getting and infection.

Good luck.
posted by tayknight at 9:35 AM on June 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

I had a large itchy spot on my thigh for years, and it stumped the dermatologist I saw about it so I just lived with it. Then I had to take antibiotics for a few months for something else, and during that time the itchy spot went away and never returned.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:32 AM on June 19, 2020

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