Multiple sclerosis skin rash

A few days later, I got a phone call from her father, who was a physician in another city. He asked me how I had come to the diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning, because he had asked all his dermatologist friends about the case and none of them had come up with that even as a possibility. I told him it was because I was looking for some obscure toxicity, and he accepted that, but I was not telling the entire truth.

What actually happened went back about 10 years. At that time an acquaintance I had not seen for several years came to see me for a minor skin problem. He mentioned that he had almost died because he had carbon monoxide poisoning and did not know it. He was awakening with agonizing headaches and had severe nausea and dizziness, all common symptoms of inhaling the gas.

Someone fortunately recognized the symptoms and, he went on, the heating system in his coach house apartment was found to be defective. Although my patient did not have the same typical symptoms, ”coach house” brought the possibility to my mind.

A search of the medical literature did not turn up any previous case with the symptom of burning of the skin, so I wrote a report for a medical journal and, as is usual, the paper was sent to several referees for review.

I made several minor revisions that were requested, but one referee wanted my last line, ”A relatively inexpensive home carbon monoxide detector would probably have prevented this incident,” removed because he felt that the only people needing carbon monoxide detectors were people who had previous trouble with carbon monoxide.

I wrote the editor that the line should remain because I believed that most of the people who had had previous problems with carbon monoxide were dead.

The line remained.

Contents

Burning skin, burning skin sensations – Anxiety Symptoms

Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated: October 8, 2019

Burning skin anxiety symptom

Common descriptions of the anxiety burning skin symptom include:

  • It feels like your skin is burning as though you have a sunburn but there are no apparent burn marks or reason for your skin to be burning.
  • It feels like your skin, or parts of your skin, is being burned by ‘hot sparks.’
  • It feels like your skin is itchy (even very itchy and persistently itchy) or prickly, yet there are no apparent reasons for these sensations. Your skin also can feel as if it has a tickle feeling or “crawly” sensation under the skin.
  • It feels like your skin can feel overly sensitive. For example, your skin can be super sensitive to air, touch, heat, cold, or anything resting on, touching, or dragging across it (blankets, clothing, others touching you, etc.).
  • Your skin may feel like it is numb, or that a patch or patches of your skin have been anesthetized.
  • A patch of skin (or many patches) may feel cold, ‘shivery,’ and/or goosebumpy.

The burning skin symptom can appear anywhere on or in your arms, hands, fingers, toes, legs, feet, head, face, stomach, or anywhere on or in the body.

The burning skin symptom can persistently affect one area only, can shift and affect another area or areas, and can migrate all over and affect many areas over and over again.

The burning skin symptom can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may feel a burning skin symptom once in a while and not that often, feel it off and on, or feel it all the time.

The burning skin symptom may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.

The burning skin symptom can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and elevated stress, or occur ‘out of the blue’ and for no apparent reason.

The burning skin symptom can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. It can also come in waves, where it’s strong one moment and eases off the next.

The burning skin symptom can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.

All of the above combinations and variations are common.

The burning skin symptom often seems more disconcerting when undistracted or when trying to rest or go to sleep.

What causes anxiety burning skin?

Medical Advisory

There are a number of reasons why anxiety can cause a burning skin sensation as an anxiety disorder symptom.

Four of the most common are:

1. Anxiety has caused a stress response

Behaving anxiously activates the body’s stress response. The stress response immediately causes specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes in the body that enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat – to either fight with or flee from it – which is the reason the stress response is often referred to as the fight or flight response.

Part of the stress response changes include shunting blood away from parts of the body less important for survival and to parts that are vital for survival. Since the body only has so much blood, the body needs to shunt it around accordingly and based on the requirement at the time.

For example, blood is shunted away from the skin (so that if the skin is cut, the body doesn’t bleed to death) and to the brain (so the brain has more fuel to process information). This shunting action can stimulate nerve cells in the skin, which can cause a burning sensation to occur during an active stress response.

2. An active stress response causes the body’s nervous system and nerve responses to become heightened

The stress response also puts the body’s nervous system on high alert. This emergency readiness can overstimulate nerves, including sensory nerves, such as those associated with touch. This stimulation can cause a ‘burning’ sensation throughout various parts of the body.

3. Stress-response hyperstimulation

When stress responses occur infrequently, the body can recover relatively quickly from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes the stress response brings about. But when stress responses occur too frequently, the body has a more difficult time recovering, which can result in the body remaining in a semi hyperstimulated state.

When the body becomes stress-response hyperstimulated, the nervous system can act erratically and more involuntarily than normal. This increase in erratic and involuntary behavior can cause the nervous system to “over-report” and/or “misreport” sensory information, including the information coming from the skin.

For example, nerve endings in the dermis can send the sensation of being touched when no touch has occurred. They can also send the sensations of pain or being burned when the skin hasn’t been harmed or burned. All of these sensations are common when stress and anxiety are higher than normal.

Chronic stress can cause the blood to be continually shunted away from the skin. When the skin is constantly deprived of a generous supply of blood, it can be more susceptible to irritations, rashes, and infections. Minor skin pain or discomfort resulting from these irritations can be experienced as itching, crawling, burning, or cold sensations.

4. Adverse reaction to medication

Burning skin can also be an adverse reaction to medication, including anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications. If you believe your burning skin is caused by an adverse reaction to medication, you should discuss this with your doctor and pharmacist.

How to get rid of anxiety caused burning skin symptoms?

When the burning skin symptom is caused by apprehensive behavior and the accompanying stress response changes, calming yourself down will bring an end to the stress response and its changes. As your body recovers from the active stress response, this feeling should subside and you should return to your normal self. Keep in mind that it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a major stress response. But this is normal and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

When the burning skin symptom is caused by persistently elevated stress, such as too frequent and/or dramatic stress responses, it may take a lot more time for the body to recover and to the point where this burning skin symptom is eliminated.

Nevertheless, when the body has fully recovered from an active stress response and/or stress-response hyperstimulation, the burning skin symptom will completely subside. Therefore, this symptom needn’t be a cause for concern.

You can speed up the recovery process by reducing your stress, practicing relaxed breathing, increasing your rest and relaxation, and not worrying about this symptom. Sure, it can be unsettling and even bothersome. But again, when your body has recovered from the stress response and/or sustained stress, this burning skin symptom will completely disappear.

Play the clip below for Jim Folk’s commentary about the anxiety symptom burning sking. Jim Folk is the president of anxietycentre.com.

Burning skin is a common symptom of stress, including anxiety-caused stress. Jim Folk experienced multiple episodes of burning skin, and to severe degrees, during his 12 year struggle with anxiety disorder.

For a more detailed explanation about anxiety symptoms including the burning skin symptom, why symptoms can persist long after the stress response has ended, common barriers to recovery and symptom elimination, and more recovery strategies and tips, we have many chapters that address this information in the Recovery Support area of our website.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior – a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety’s underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources:

  • For a comprehensive list of Anxiety Disorders Symptoms Signs, Types, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment.
  • Anxiety and panic attacks symptoms can be powerful experiences. Find out what they are and how to stop them.
  • How to stop an anxiety attack and panic.
  • Free online anxiety tests to screen for anxiety. Two minute tests with instant results. Such as:
    • Anxiety Test
    • Anxiety Disorder Test
    • OCD Test
    • Social Anxiety Test
    • Generalized Anxiety Test
  • Anxiety 101 is a summarized description of anxiety, anxiety disorder, and how to overcome it.

Return to Anxiety Disorders Signs and Symptoms section.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and coaching/counseling/therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms, including the burning skin anxiety symptoms.

1. Selye, H. (1956). The stress of life. New York, NY, US: McGraw-Hill.

2. Folk, Jim and Folk, Marilyn. “The Stress Response And Anxiety Symptoms.” anxietycentre.com, August 2019.

3. Hannibal, Kara E., and Mark D. Bishop. “Chronic Stress, Cortisol Dysfunction, and Pain: A Psychoneuroendocrine Rationale for Stress Management in Pain Rehabilitation.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2014.

4. Justice, Nicholas J., et al. “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder-Like Induction Elevates β-Amyloid Levels, Which Directly Activates Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Neurons to Exacerbate Stress Responses.” Journal of Neuroscience, Society for Neuroscience, 11 Feb. 2015.

5. National Institute of Mental Health. “Mental Health Medications.” Oct. 2016.

according to the CDC. (Kinda scary, right?) Wash with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before touching food (snacks and samples included!), even when you’re famished.

5/15 SLIDES © nazdravie – Getty Images

4) Ignoring the hand sanitizer stations

They’re the next best option whenever soap and water aren’t available, says Dr. Dryjanski. Consider making it a rule to use a hand sanitizer station whenever you spot one. There’s no such thing as cleaning your hands too often on a cruise – so you’ll only benefit.

6/15 SLIDES © Ruben Sanchez @lostintv – Getty Images

5) Assuming your cabin is totally germ-free

Yes, your room was cleaned before your arrival, but that doesn’t guarantee that a few rogue germs – including norovirus – aren’t lingering. “Cruise ships aren’t any dirtier than airports or hotel rooms. But if you’re still nervous, do a quick wipe down of your stateroom with antibacterial wipes,” says Megan Wood, an editor and cruise reviewer at Oyster.com. Focus on germ-prone areas like the remote control, light switches, and door handles.

7/15 SLIDES © sarahlouisephotography – Getty Images

6) Skipping the muster drill

Muster drills aren’t just designed to ensure passenger safety. They’re a part of maritime law. “The drill gives clear instructions for how passengers should respond to an emergency,” Wood says. Don’t treat it as optional – even if you’re a sailing veteran. “If you refuse to participate, the captain may expel you from the ship,” says Wood.

8/15 SLIDES © michaelpuche – Getty Images

7) Going crazy at the buffet-especially the midnight buffet

It’s common to feel at least a little seasick while cruising, especially for the first day or two. Nausea patches or medications like Dramamine can ease the queasiness – but so can paying attention to what you eat, says Kristine Arthur, MD, an internist at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California. “Large, heavy meals can be difficult to digest and can make nausea worse,” she says. And piling your plate (or plates) high at the midnight buffet comes with the added hazard of heartburn when you try to go to sleep.

If you’re dealing with nausea, aim to eat smaller, lighter meals more frequently such as toast with fruit, Dr. Arthur says. It’s best to steer clear of the midnight buffet altogether, but if you can’t resist, sleeping propped up with a pillow can help keep reflux at bay.

9/15 SLIDES © lisegagne – Getty Images

8) Eating like a local at port

Street food vendors in other countries might not be held to as strict hygiene standards as vendors in the U.S., warns the CDC. Tempting though it might be to try that fresh-squeezed juice or shrimp kabob, it’s safer to hold off on snacking until you’re back on the ship.

10/15 SLIDES © michaeljung – Getty Images

9) Wearing the wrong shoes

High heels or shoes with slippery soles probably aren’t your best bet. Though most cruise ships are equipped with high-tech stabilization equipment to keep you steady even on choppy waters, open decks can still be slick from rain, sea spray, or pool overflow, says Griffiths. Choose flat shoes with a non-skid sole as your everyday go-to. (These pairs under $100 are all great options.) For a dressier option, pick a wedge – it offers more support than a skinny heel, she says. (Might we suggest the UGG Maybell Wedge Sandal? The $99 shoe has a cushioned footbed with arch support and comes in neutrals like beige and black.)

11/15 SLIDES © michellegibson – Getty Images

10) Using the public bathrooms

OK, so you might not be able to avoid them completely. But using the restroom in your cabin as much as possible means less chance for getting exposed to germs like norovirus, which thrive in enclosed public spaces. When you must use public restrooms, avoid touching unnecessary surfaces and wash your hands thoroughly. When leaving the bathroom, use your elbow instead of your hand to push open the door, since the knob or handle can be rife with bacteria.

12/15 SLIDES © skynesher – Getty Images

11) Drinking in the pool

It’s perfectly fine to kick back with a tipple or two, just don’t do it by the pool. “Alcohol and water sports are a dangerous combination,” Dr. Arthur says. Booze slows your reaction time and makes you sleepy, which can up the risk for drowning. It can impair your coordination too. That can make you more likely to slip and fall by the pool – even if you weren’t planning on taking a dip, she says.

13/15 SLIDES © dima_sidelnikov – Getty Images

12) Shaking hands with strangers

File under gross but true: Norovirus is spread through contact with fecal matter or vomit. “Shaking hands is a common way to spread it if the people shaking haven’t washed their hands after using the restroom or before eating,” Dr. Dryjanski says. Since you can’t tell for sure who’s sudsed up and who hasn’t, it’s best to just keep your hands to yourself. (But if you must shake, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer ASAP, he adds.)

14/15 SLIDES © AWSeebaran – Getty Images

13) Getting in a hot tub that smells funny

A funky odor could be a sign that the hot tub water is housing bacteria like mycobacteria, pseudomonas, and legionella. These nasty bugs can cause uncomfortable rashes – as well as serious infections like pneumonia. “If you smell a strange odor, do not get in,” Dr. Arthur warns. And even when your nose gives you the all clear, avoid getting any hot tub water in your mouth.

15/15 SLIDES © cdwheatley – Getty Images

14) Spending too long in the hot tub

Regardless of how soothing those jets might be, it’s smart to limit yourself to 15-minute dips. That’s how long healthy people can hang out in very hot water before they risk overheating, Dr. Arthur says. “One sign that you need to take a break is if you start to sweat,” she says. When that happens, get out of the hot tub (even if it’s only been a few minutes) and drink some cold water. You can pop in for another round once you feel like you’re back at a comfortable temperature.

15/15 SLIDES

Formication

Published Case Reports of Tryptamine-associated Toxicity

Relatively few published case reports of synthetic simple tryptamine toxicity exist. A 23-year-old Caucasian male presented to an emergency department (ED) with paranoia and sensory hallucinations (formication) following ingestion of a capsule containing 5-MeO-DiPT. He recovered following a 4-hour period of observation. 5-MeO-DiPT was detected in serum and urine . Another report describes a 25-year-old male who arrived in an ED 30 minutes following ingestion of 25 mg of 5-MeO-DiPT. He was agitated, hallucinating, tachycardic, hypertensive and hyperpyrexic. The patient settled with supportive care, but investigations revealed renal impairment (creatinine concentration of 150 μmol/L – normal range 80–124 μmol/L), metabolic acidosis with an anion gap of 44 (10–20 mmol/L) and a serum bicarbonate of 9 mmol/L (22–30 mmol/L) and rhabdomyolysis (peak creatinine kinase 38 855 U/L, myoglobin 13 145 mg/L (0–110 mg/L)). Urine toxicology screen was negative for amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, ethanol and barbiturates; however, the presence of 5-MeO-DiPT was not analytically confirmed. The patient made a full recovery following rehydration and forced alkaline dieresis .

A 19-year-old male presented to an ED with hypertension, tachycardia, mydriasis, hallucinations and cataplexy following ingestion of a larger than normal dose of his 5-MeO-DiPT. There was no limb rigidity, but his limbs remained in whatever position they were placed in. Laboratory investigation revealed hyperglycaemia, glycosuria and an increased white cell count. A urine drug screen was positive for cocaine and phencyclidine (the patient subsequently denied taking these); use of 5-MeO-DiPT was not analytically confirmed. He recovered over a number of hours following treatment with lorazepam . DPT toxicity was reported in a 19-year-old female who presented to the ED 90 minutes after ingesting an unknown amount of DPT. A commercial vial labelled DPT was found with the patient. A label indicated the product was ‘for research purposes only’. Clinical toxicity included hallucinations, extreme agitation and tachycardia (200 b.p.m.). Agitation resolved following administration of 3 mg of lorazepam, although the route of lorazepam administration is not recorded. She developed rhabdomyolysis (serum creatinine kinase greater than 8000 U/L) requiring treatment with IV fluids and was discharged well 60 hours post admission. The presence of DPT was not analytically confirmed . A 21-year-old male presented to an ED one hour after ingesting 270 mg of AMT, after miscalculating his normal dose by a factor of 10. He had visual hallucinations, tremor and an exaggerated startle reaction. Sympathomimetic effects were present, but not prominent: heart rate 52 b.p.m., BP 183/93 mmHg, respiratory rate 20/minute and temperature 36.4°C. He was only orientated to person and had dilated pupils (10 mm diameter). Visual hallucinations resolved 10 hours post exposure and he was discharged well .

A 17-year-old male regular hallucinogen user decided he wanted to extend the length of his relatively short 5-MeO-DMT induced hallucinogenic experiences. After obtaining information via the Internet he purchased some Syrian rue seeds containing the natural MAOI harmaline. He ingested the seeds, smoked 10 mg of 5-Meo-DMT and insufflated a further 15–20 mg. Friends found him collapsed a few hours later, hallucinating and agitated. Mydriasis and marked diaphoresis were noted. In the ED he was tachycardic (heart rate 186 b.p.m.) and hyperpyrexic (40.7°C). He required physical restraint and subsequently settled with 2.5 mg of IV lorazepam. Over the following 24 hours he exhibited autonomic system lability (lowest BP 80/35 mmHg) and rhabdomyolysis (treated with IV fluid therapy) . He made a full recovery; however, this case illustrates exacerbation of tryptamine toxicity with concurrent MAOI exposure. A 37-year-old male presented with agitation and a sympathomimetic toxidrome after ingestion of a mixture of methylone (2-methylamino-l-propan-l-one) and 5-MeO-MiPT . In another case a 21-year-old male in Canada presented to an ED with hallucinations and inability to move his limbs after ingesting a pill called ‘Foxy’. He recovered after two hours. 5-MeO-DiPT was identified in urine at a concentration of 1.7 μg/ml .

Review of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ Total Exposure Surveillance System (TESS) database during 2002–2003 found 41 exposures to 5-MeO-DiPT resulting in moderate to severe toxicity in 68% of these cases. Effects included hypertension, tachycardia, hallucinations and agitation . The Erowid website warns that 5-MeO-AMT has been sold as LSD in the USA. 5-MeO-AMT has a steep dose response curve compared to LSD and so dosing errors are likely to result in a greater chance of toxicity; one associated death has been reported on the Erowid website .

A 2007 literature review supplemented by interviews with users of ayahuasca brews (containing DMT and a naturally occurring β-carboline MAOIs) concluded that human consumption of a mixture of DMT and β-carboline MAOIs posed no greater risk than therapeutic or recreational doses of codeine, mescaline and methadone. However, few controlled human studies with quantified exposure to DMT were included, and a number of deaths associated with ayahuasca brews were identified .

Kratom use has been associated with seizures. A 64-year-old male arrived in an ED after a witnessed seizure at home following kratom tea ingestion. On examination he had a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) of six and a heart rate of 110 b.p.m. Shortly after he had a further generalised seizure and was intubated. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain was unremarkable. He made a full recovery after a period of supportive care. Mitragynine was detected in a urine sample at a concentration of 167 ng/ml . A 32-year-old male obtained a substance via the Internet after searching for Mitragyna speciosa. He was subsequently found unconscious with seizure-like movements and required intubation. A general toxicology screen was negative. The patient recovered after a period of supportive care and treatment of aspiration pneumonia . A male who used kratom to self-manage opioid withdrawal ingested 100 mg of modafinil and kratom. Twenty minutes later he experienced a generalised seizure lasting five minutes. A general toxicology screen, computerised tomography (CT) and MRI of the brain and serum electrolytes were normal and the patient made an unremarkable recovery Analysis of the plant material the patient was using confirmed its identity as kratom .

Two patients developed psychoactive symptoms after ingesting Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds. One recovered, while the other jumped from a height and died .

Aubagio

SIDE EFFECTS

The following serious adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the prescribing information:

  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Bone Marrow Effects/Immunosuppression Potential/Infections
  • Hypersensitivity and Serious Skin Reactions
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Respiratory Effects

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

A total of 2047 patients receiving AUBAGIO (7 mg or 14 mg once daily) constituted the safety population in the pooled analysis of placebo controlled studies in patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis; of these, 71% were female. The average age was 37 years.

Table 1 lists adverse reactions in placebo-controlled trials with rates that were at least 2% for AUBAGIO patients and also at least 2% above the rate in placebo patients. The most common were headache, an increase in ALT, diarrhea, alopecia, and nausea. The adverse reaction most commonly associated with discontinuation was an increase in ALT (3.3%, 2.6%, and 2.3% of all patients in the AUBAGIO 7 mg, AUBAGIO 14 mg, and placebo treatment arms, respectively).

Table 1. Adverse Reactions in Pooled Placebo-Controlled Studies in Patients with Relapsing Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

Cardiovascular Deaths

Four cardiovascular deaths, including three sudden deaths, and one myocardial infarction in a patient with a history of hyperlipidemia and hypertension were reported among approximately 2600 patients exposed to AUBAGIO in the premarketing database. These cardiovascular deaths occurred during uncontrolled extension studies, one to nine years after initiation of treatment. A relationship between AUBAGIO and cardiovascular death has not been established.

Acute Renal Failure

In placebo-controlled studies, creatinine values increased more than 100% over baseline in 8/1045 (0.8%) patients in the 7 mg AUBAGIO group and 6/1002 (0.6%) patients in the 14 mg AUBAGIO group versus 4/997 (0.4%) patients in the placebo group. These elevations were transient. Some elevations were accompanied by hyperkalemia. AUBAGIO may cause acute uric acid nephropathy with transient acute renal failure because AUBAGIO increases renal uric acid clearance.

Hypophosphatemia

In clinical trials, 18% of AUBAGIO-treated patients had hypophosphatemia with serum phosphorus levels of at least 0.6 mmol/L, compared to 7% of placebo-treated patients; 4% of AUBAGIO-treated patients had hypophosphatemia with serum phosphorus levels at least 0.3 mmol/L but less than 0.6 mmol/L, compared to 0.8% of placebo-treated patients. No patient in any treatment group had a serum phosphorus below 0.3 mmol/L.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of AUBAGIO. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

  • Hypersensitivity reactions, some of which were severe, such as anaphylaxis and angioedema
  • Severe skin reactions, including toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Pancreatitis

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Aubagio (Teriflunomide Tablets)

July 28, 2006 — — Imagine your skin burning and itching, and feeling like bugs are crawling under or on top of it.

Imagine having open sores on your face and body. Then imagine having stringlike fibers literally coming out of your skin.

That’s exactly what patients with a mysterious illness called Morgellons disease say happens to them.

Anne Dill is just one of thousands of patients across the country who suffer from these strange symptoms.

Sometimes it feels as if there’s something moving under her scalp, she said, and fibers come out of her skin.

“There’s this fibrous material,” Dill said. “It’s in layers. It’s — I feel like it isolates itself. I think there’s pockets of it.”

Dill said she was reluctant to talk about the illness because she knew that some people would think she was crazy.

“Oh, I know, because right away that’s what I know that they’re gonna say. ‘Uh, there’s no such thing,'” Dill said.

That’s exactly what most doctors do say: As far as they know, Morgellons is not a recognized disease, at this point, at least.

“I’ve seen colors of some of these fibers. Some of them are bright blue,” said Dr. Vincent De Leo, program director of the dermatology department at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York.

“There is nothing in the body that is bright blue. So it has to be something from the environment. And some of them are fibers, but they’re fibers I believe from the environment, not from inside the skin.”

What about the open sores?

De Leo and many others believe the lesions are self-inflicted, caused by scratching because the patients have a psychiatric disorder where they wrongly believe their bodies are infested with parasites.

“And then they begin to focus on those lesions and try to get them better, usually by picking out the fibers or the bugs or whatever it is,” De Leo said.

Despite the skepticism surrounding Morgellons, one researcher, biochemist Randy Wymore, is looking into the disease and believes it’s something real.

He has collected samples from many victims and analyzed the fibers under a microscope. They resemble no other substance he can find, he said.

“While the experiments have to be repeated, this fiber was not cotton. It was no known synthetic fiber. It was of unknown origin. We don’t know the composition at this point,” said Wymore of Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.

Dill has her own idea about what could be causing Morgellons.

“I think there’s some kind of organism that’s transferred back and forth,” she said. “I don’t even think it’s microscopic. I think it’s macro. And I think it’s so easy to see that it could bite them in the face but nobody will even look.”

Itchy, tingling, crawling, pins and needles, prickly feelings under the skin and/or anywhere inside or deep inside the body anxiety symptoms

Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated: November 12, 2019

Itching, tingly, crawly, pins and needles, prickly feelings inside the body symptoms description:

You feel:

  • An itchy, itching feeling or sensation anywhere under the skin and/or inside or deep inside the body, including the hands, feet, fingers, toes, head, face, arms, chest, neck, throat, back, groin, mouth, stomach, abdomen, etc.
  • A tingly, tingling feeling or sensation anywhere under the skin and/or inside or deep inside the body, including the hands, feet, fingers, toes, head, face, arms, chest, neck, throat, back, groin, mouth, stomach, abdomen, etc.
  • A crawly, crawling feeling or sensation anywhere under the skin and/or inside or deep inside the body, including the hands, feet, fingers, toes, head, face, arms, chest, neck, throat, back, groin, mouth, stomach, abdomen, etc.
  • A pins and needles, prickly feeling or sensation anywhere under the skin and/or inside or deep inside the body, including the hands, feet, fingers, toes, head, face, arms, chest, neck, throat, back, groin, mouth, stomach, abdomen, etc.
  • A paresthesia feeling anywhere under the skin and/or inside or deep inside the body.
  • An odd or unusual feeling or sensation anywhere under the skin and/or inside or deep inside the body.

You might experience one, many, or all of the above feelings and sensations.

These itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and odd or unusual feelings or sensations can persistently affect one area of the body only, can shift and affect another area or areas, and can migrate all over and affect many areas of the body over and over again.

These itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and other odd or unusual feelings or sensations can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may have one, many, or all of these feelings and sensations once in a while and not that often, feel them off and on, or feel them all the time.

These itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and other odd or unusual feelings or sensations may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by themselves.

These itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and other odd or unusual feelings and sensations can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and elevated stress, or occur ‘out of the blue’ and for no apparent reason.

These itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and other odd or unusual feelings and sensations can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. They can also come in waves, where they are strong one moment and ease off the next.

These itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and other odd or unusual feelings and sensations can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.

All of the above combinations and variations are common.

These itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and other odd or unusual feelings and sensations can seem like they intensify when undistracted or when trying to relax, rest, or go to sleep.

What causes the itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and any other odd or unusual feelings and sensations under the skin and/or inside or deep inside the body anxiety symptoms?

These types of anxiety symptoms can be caused by a number of factors including:

  • Remaining in the same position (seated or standing) for a long period of time.
  • Injury or pressure on a nerve (for example, a back injury can cause these feelings and sensations in the legs or feet, and a neck injury can cause them in the arms and hands).
  • Pressure on the spinal nerves (for example, due to a herniated disk).
  • Lack of blood supply to an area (for example, restricted blood flow–we often refer to it as “falling asleep,” or for medical reason such as, plaque buildup from atherosclerosis–this can cause these feelings and sensations).
  • Side effects from certain medications.
  • A lack of vitamin B12 or other vitamins.
  • Toxic action on the nerves, such as from alcohol, tobacco, or lead.
  • Abnormal levels of calcium, potassium, or sodium in the body.

Itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and any other odd or unusual feelings and sensations anywhere under the skin and/or inside or deep inside the body can also be caused by other medical conditions.

Medical Advisory

When these under the skin and/or inside or deep inside the body sensations and symptom are caused by anxiety, there can be many factors that cause them. Here are seven common factors:

1. Being anxious has activated an active stress response

Being stressed and anxious (worried, apprehensive, fretful, fearful) causes the body to produce the stress response. The stress response secretes stress hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to targeted spots to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat—to either fight with or flee from it—which is the reason the stress response is often referred to as the fight or flight response.

Because the stress response can cause a wide range of physiological changes, some of these changes can cause itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and any other odd or unusual feelings and sensations in various parts of the body when a stress response has been activated.

2. Stress-response hyperstimulation

When stress responses occur infrequently, the body can recover relatively quickly from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes the stress response brings about. But when stress responses occur too frequently and/or dramatically the body has a more difficult time recovering, which can result in the body remaining in a semi hyperstimulated state, since stress hormones are stimulants.

A body that becomes hyperstimulated can behave oddly and erratically, which can cause a wide range of unusual sensations and symptoms, including feeling an itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and any other odd or unusual feelings and sensations under the skin and/or anywhere inside or deep inside the body.

3. Hyper- or hypoventilation

Hyper- or hypoventilation is another cause of feeling a tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, and/or prickly feelings and sensations. When we breathe too shallowly and don’t take in enough oxygen (hypoventilation), this causes the CO2 levels in the blood to drop, which can cause a tingling, tingly, pins and needles sensation anywhere on or in the body. Some people describe this feeling as an effervescence, prickly, or crawly sensation.

If, on the other hand, you are breathing too aggressively and take in too much oxygen, this can also change the CO2 levels in the blood causing hyperventilation, which can also cause a tingling, tingly, pins and needles sensation anywhere on or in the body.

Even though these tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles feelings and sensations can seem odd and even unsettling, they are harmless and needn’t be a cause for concern. They will subside when you reverse the above hyper or hypoventilation causes.

4. Vitamin B deficiency

Stress taxes the body’s resources harder than normal, which can affect the body’s nutrients, including vitamins. Stress commonly causes a reduction in the body’s vitamin B. Vitamin B deficiency can also cause these types of feelings and sensations.

5. Reaction to medication

The adverse effects of medications, including anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications, can cause a wide range of feelings and sensations, including itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and other odd or unusual feelings and sensations anywhere under the skin and/or inside or deep inside the body.

For more reasons why anxiety can cause an itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and other odd or unusual feelings and sensations anywhere under the skin and/or inside or deep inside the body, Recovery Support members can read about this symptom in Chapter 9.

How to get rid of the itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and any other odd or unusual feelings and sensations under the skin and/or anywhere inside or deep inside the body anxiety symptoms?

When the itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, and prickly feelings and sensations are caused by apprehensive behavior and the accompanying stress response changes, calming yourself down will bring an end to the stress response and its changes. As your body recovers from the active stress response, these anxiety-related symptoms should subside.

Keep in mind that it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a major stress response. But this is normal and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

When these types of anxiety symptoms are caused by persistent stress, such as from stress-response hyperstimulation, it may take a lot more time for the body to calm down and recover, and to the point where these types of anxiety symptoms subside.

Nevertheless, when the body has fully recovered from the stress of being anxious, these types of anxiety symptoms will completely disappear. Therefore, these symptoms needn’t be a cause for concern.

You can speed up the recovery process by reducing your stress, practicing relaxed breathing, increasing your rest and relaxation, and not worrying about these feelings. Sure, they can be bothersome, but again, when your body has recovered from the stress response and/or sustained stress, these sensations will completely disappear.

If you are having difficulty containing your worry, you may want to connect with one of our anxiety disorder therapists, coaches, or counselors. Working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to overcome what seems like unmanageable worry.

For a more detailed explanation about anxiety symptoms, why anxiety symptoms can persist long after the stress response has ended, common barriers to recovery and symptom elimination, and more recovery strategies and tips, we have many chapters that address this information in the Recovery Support area of our website.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior – a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety’s underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources:

  • For a comprehensive list of Anxiety Disorders Symptoms Signs, Types, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment.
  • Anxiety and panic attacks symptoms can be powerful experiences. Find out what they are and how to stop them.
  • How to stop an anxiety attack and panic.
  • Free online anxiety tests to screen for anxiety. Two minute tests with instant results. Such as:
    • Anxiety Test
    • Anxiety Disorder Test
    • OCD Test
    • Social Anxiety Test
    • Generalized Anxiety Test
  • Anxiety 101 is a summarized description of anxiety, anxiety disorder, and how to overcome it.

Return to Anxiety Disorders Signs and Symptoms section.

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