35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: Dry, Itchy Skin

by Magnolia on January 20, 2010

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One of the most bizarre manifestations of my hormonal chaos has been the itches.  Everything itched.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  But, mostly, my head.

My scalp has always given me trouble.  Meaning, I’ve always had itchy scalp.  Not dandruff.  Not psoriasis.  Just itchy scalp.  Particularly if I didn’t wash my hair regularly.  Gross, I know.  But, what can I say.

Anyway.  When the perimenopause hit my itchy scalp took on new dimensions.  Like it itched so bad I swore at times it must be lice.  Yes, gross again.  But, sorry.

Finally, a couple of years ago, when I could stand it no longer,  I took my itchy self to a dermatologist.  She checked me high and low.  Just like I said…..no dandruff.  No psoriasis.  And, lucky for me, no lice.

But then, when she could find no discernible reason for my itching, she fell back on the old standard…..”well, at YOUR age, these things happen…..”

At MY age?  Sigh.  Yeah.  At MY age.  So, rather than quibble with her over what she meant exactly, I just asked her what I could do.  At that point my scalp was so inflamed from the constant itching and scratching I looked radioactive.

She gave me the prescription shampoo Clobex, (which comes in a lotion and spray as well) which did the trick.  It calmed my scalp down and kept me from scratching it until I went mad. Clobex has a steriod in it though and is not recommended for long term use. She also gave me some antihistamines which I’ve been taking faithfully ever since.  They worked too.  On my scalp.

If you also find that your scalp itch has gone into over-drive since perimenopause or that you  developed an itchy scalp since perimenopause, then please, don’t do like I did and suffer needlessly for years before you see a dermatologist about it.  Go!  Go now menopause sisters!  You can find  relief!

In terms of our itchy skin, well, there are several things you can do and none of them involves a doctor.

1.  Moisturizer. Yeah.  Imagine that.  A little moisture goes a long way.  Particularly if you’re inclined, like me, to take really hot showers.  I know it’s a bit oxymoronic that a wet shower could dry out your skin.  But, it’s the heat.  It extracts moisture and makes a bad case of the itches even worse.  Dove makes a good moisturizer, as does Nivea (one of my favorites) and Alveeno as well. In fact, Alveeno, like Dove, markets specifically toward menopausal women.  Smart, smart company, wouldn’t you say?

2.  Oils – like Vitamin E or Aloe Vera (though Aloe is not an oil, I know) does wonderful things for the skin.  Plus, a little goes a long way.  You can even add a little bit of peppermint or lavender essential oils for scent and a little bit of tingle.  Or better yet, add it to your bath water.

Come to think of it, Calgon bath oil beads can help too.  But you might want to avoid the fragrances.  They can only aggravate an already irritated skin.

3.  Hydrate – As in drink plenty of water. Dehydration is a common cause of itchy skin believe it or not.  If you enjoy coffee and tea, well then you know that both are diuretics which can and will dehydrate you.  Dehydrated body = Itchy skin.  So, drink up, ladies.

4. Cider Vinegar – If you don’t mind smelling like a pickle, believe it or not, cider vinegar has been known to stop itching skin.  Pour 1 cup into a warm bath and dive in, girls.

I’ve never tried it, because I prefer to eat my pickles rather than smell like one, but when your itchy, well, it’s worth a shot.  You certainly can’t hurt yourself.  Though I wouldn’t recommend this if you have any scratches or open sores on your body.  Um, OUCH?

5. Oatmeal – Oatmeal baths have long been a remedy for poison ivy and chicken pox, so why not perimenopausal itchy skin?  Put some in a bath with  a drop or two of peppermint and lavender essential oils. Can I hear an “aaaahhhhh?”

6. Essential Fatty Oils in your diet - Like the Omega 3s found in salmon, walnuts, fortified eggs, or algae oils, ladies.  NOT chocolate. (that’s for the bed picnic later)

Those Omega-3′s are pretty wonderful.  They help produce your skin’s oil barrier which can also help in keeping your skin hydrated.  They also promote a healthy scalp, which promotes healthy hair.  You’re a winner all the way around.

Personally, I love to put flaxseed oil (a potent source of Omega-3′s) in a morning smoothy.  If you would rather eat your oils rather than drink them, you can also find Omega-3s in sardines, soybeans, soy products and whole flaxseeds .  I often add  whole flaxseed to quinoa or my morning oatmeal.  A little crunchy, but it works.  You also get an extra added benefit of healthy fiber in your diet as well.

7. Avoid Harsh or Perfumed Detergents in Your Wash – If your itchy skin is really bad, you can try non-fragrance detergents on your clothes, because, well, every little bit helps. All of your main brands, Tide, All, etc., offer fragrance free alternatives.

8. Sunscreen with Moisturizers – Again, just keeping a good moisturizer on your skin helps immensely.  But, a little sunscreen to go along with it and you’ve got all your basis covered.  I actually use a tinted moisturizer on my face by Mary Kay that gives me color, moisture and an SPF of about 30.  I’m not a shill for Mary Kay, ladies, but I will tell you, this product is one of their best in my view.

I have naturally oily skin (which is paying off in my old age in the wrinkle department, I might add) and it works wonderfully without adding that greasy, heavy feeling that some moisturizers tend to do to us “oily skin” gals. Plus, a little is all you need, it lasts forever, and that makes it a good value to boot.

9. Add Your Own -  So how ’bout it, ladies? Do you have any other tried and true solutions for dry, itchy skin that you can share with your menopause sisters?  If so, let us know!  We’re all in this together and we can use all the help we can get.  Spill it sisters!  Spill it!

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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

Eileen Williams January 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Great tips for beating the itches! Yes, there’s a number of strange things that can happen as we age and itching is just another one of the compounding little nuisances we need to adjust to in our lives. But, as far as I’m concerned, these issues pale in comparison to the good stuff aging can bring about. So I’ll keep drinking my water, moisturize, and count my old gal blessings!

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Donna January 22, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I am experiencing the weirdest itching on my forearm right along my elbow. I have been using all different kinds of anti-itch creams, and I’ve even used a pumice stone to scrape the skin so it doesn’t get scaly. It will go away for a few days, and then all of a sudden I have a moment of itchiness, and then it goes away for the rest of the day.
It’s driving me crazy and I’m getting ready to see a doctor for it. But it’s such a small area, it doesn’t bleed or anything, just itch and then go away.

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Magnolia January 25, 2011 at 6:51 am

Hello Donna,

Perimenopause does cause a variety of strange and odd symptoms that most people wouldn’t associate with hormones. While I can’t say for sure that what you are experiencing is perimenopause related, I can tell you that itchy skin is not uncommon. Sometimes hypothyroidism, which occurs during perimenopause with many women, can cause allergic reactions.

Have you seen a physician for any of your symptoms? You can go to Dr. Steven F. Hotze’s website: http://www.drhotze.com and read about hypothyroidism there. He also has some excellent information on allergies as well.

If not, perhaps what you are experiencing is worthy of a trip to a dermatologist? I certainly wouldn’t suffer unnecessarily.

Thanks for stopping by,
Magnolia

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Itchy Girl January 29, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Recently, I have noticed that my scalp is itchy. I was thinking similar things as mentioned above, but I’m glad to hear that it is probably just another symptom to go along with the 100 other perimenopause symptoms I seem to have now and again and again and again!!

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Magnolia January 30, 2011 at 8:39 am

Hi Itchy Girl,

Love the moniker. :) For me, the itchy scalp has definitely been perimenopause related. Though I’ve always had it, it definitely intensified once I reached perimenopause.

The symptom list never seems to end though, does it? Getting through them all is like a wild roller coaster ride. Thank God, the ride eventually stops and we feel normal again.

Magnolia

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S@NC June 13, 2011 at 2:14 am

Even though my doc tells me Im not perimenopausal and my blood tests show hormone levels are normal, I dont believe it, because I used to be super regular with my menstrual cycles and now I will go 60 days without one, then have 2 close together, then some will be super light or super heavy. Its very irritating. But so far, the worst symptom is as soon as I lay down to try to go to sleep, I itch randomly for no reason. it will be my foot, 3 min later my back, then my arm…it makes it extremely difficult to sleep. im not itchy until i lay down. does anybody else only have nighttime itching like this?? Im 2 weeks shy of 46 by the way so im probably prime age for all this stuff to start happening

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Magnolia June 20, 2011 at 10:49 am

Hello S@NC,

You may find a post I did recently of interest. You can find it here at Associated Content (a website I often write for). You are correct about your assumptions that you are very likely perimenopausal even though the lab tests say you’re not.

It is a common problem for many women who begin entering perimenopause. They are generally in their mid to late 40s, displaying all types of classic symptoms, yet the “lab tests” say everything is “normal”

I would also highly recommend that you read Dr. Steven F. Hotze’s wonderful book, Hormones Health & Happiness. He addresses the lab test conundrum with great clarity. I think at the very least, it will help you not feel so powerless and confused. Which of course, is another frustrating component of perimenopause for many of us.

We KNOW we are having symptoms, yet physicians keep telling us we’re ‘fine.’ No wonder we think we are going crazy!

For you heavy periods, I would also highly recommend progesterone. I too had the same problem. When I began to use a good, quality progesterone, the heavy bleeding stopped cold.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.

Magnolia

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Karen April 1, 2012 at 11:04 am

OMG I want to cut all of my hair off and scratch my scalp sensless!!! I recently stoped smoking traditional cigarettes and have gained 10lbs., my feet hurt when I wear my favorite heels and my scalp is ALWAYS ridiculously itchy!!! My labs are normal and show no signs of peri menopause. My skin has become dry and I could literally sleep my life away most of the time…if I could get out of working. My cycle is normal as well. I thought of hypothyrodism but at my age (43) perhaps it is nothing more than pre menopause. I am making a doctor’s appointment for next week while we are out on spring break….thanks for the post though

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Tootsie April 10, 2012 at 12:32 am

Oh My God! I just happened upon this blog and decided to check it out. I have been dealing with incessant itching, so much so that i thought of lice, eczema, yada yada, too! it keeps me awake, and drives me absolutely insane! i also have a rash on the back of my neck that isn’t going away, and it was on my hip before!! i have asked 5 diff dr.’s to test my hormones and no one will bc i don’t fit “the profile” RIDICULOUS! after reading this, i feel like i am not crazy, or alone. thank you.

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Magnolia April 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm

No, Tootsie,

You’re definitely not alone. Many have walked that “hormone crazy” path before you and survived it. some are walking with you right now.

I’m very glad you found my blog. Sometimes just knowing someone else out there “gets it” is all we need.

Magnolia

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Patricia May 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Oh my! Nightime itching for me too. It jumps all over, from scalp to leg to arm etc. My husband just wants me to be still lol. I am only 37 but am down to a 2 day period.

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Magnolia June 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Patricia,

Maybe you will be one of those who is menopausal in your early 40s? I was 55 before it all finally stopped for me. But, I’m SO HAPPY it finally did!

Magnolia

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Marla June 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I stumbled on this website today and can’t tell you how relieved I am… I’ve been sure I was losing my mind, and with the most recent symptom to rear it’s ugly head, a lovely, itchy, red rash on my torso, and now creeping up my neck, I finally went to see my doctor. She suggested I might be in perimenopause and has ordered a bunch of blood tests… I’ll be coming back here often, for information and moral support!!

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Magnolia June 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Marla,

I’m very happy you ‘stumbled’ here too. Please do come back often and if I can help you with anything, let me know.

Magnolia

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lori June 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I’m 47 and the itchies have started with a vengeance. Yes, to the “when I lay down” part – yes, to the incessant itching of the scalp. Yes, it’s worse at night. What I’m wondering about is what have people discovered works for the itchy scalp? what’s the best thing to moisturize with? It’s driving me nuts!

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Magnolia June 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Lori,

I went to a dermatologist who gave me a steroid shampoo that I used for a while. It helped calm my scalp down. Then I resorted to only washing my hair twice a week and using Neutrogena T-Gel. It works much better over all.

I also take an anti-histamine.

Magnolia

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Michelle Wainhouse July 10, 2012 at 4:32 am

What a great blog, I am 49 and have a new peri-menopause symptom everyday. This week its itchy skin and it is driving me crazy. I’m using moisturizer, do I now have to resort to an antihistamine? I am consulting a natural hormonal doctor and have been advised to take DIM, milk thistle, along with vitamin B. Now I am looking at Flax Seed Oil for the itchy skin. Along with the weight gain I feel like my normal life is going down hill fast. Any advice I can get would be welcome.

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Magnolia July 10, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Hi Michelle,

My itchy scalp just about drove me absolutely bonkers. Eventually, I just stopped washing my hair every other day, and now only wash it once or twice a week. It has helped immensely. I have very thick hair, however, and it is not naturally oily, so it is a workable solution for me.

Hopefully your naturapath will be able to offer some good remedies for you. I take an antihistamine as well. it helps me, but I know it’s not a choice that every woman wants to make.

I say this over and over again, but I don’t think I can say it enough – this really will pass. Once you reach menopause, the symptoms will abate and wane and you will feel normal once again.

Magnolia

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Lynn July 28, 2012 at 12:19 am

Well, it’s 11:15 p.m. and I’m up scratching away looking on the internet for a cause–and I find this site! This explains EVERYTHING!! I, too, thought I was going crazy or my dogs had fleas, except I seemed to be the only one scratching. I’m going to take Benadryl immediately and hopefully sleep tonight, then go to the store tomorrow for T-gel! Thank you so much for the website!! Finally, people who understand what I’m going through!

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Magnolia July 28, 2012 at 12:36 am

You’re welcome, Lynn.

And thanks for dropping by!

Magnolia

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heidiiiii August 2, 2012 at 11:56 pm

I was praying that I did not inherit my Mothers psoriasis. Then I thought I had head lice! The itching is driving me crazy. I have to see my dermatologist anyway, so I will ask about help.
Perimenopause is awful. I never suffered from pms. Now I am just mean. Needs to stop. I am glad I found you.

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Sandyd August 8, 2012 at 11:40 am

I have the itchy hands an feet sometimes legs an arms its horrible!!! I can’t sleep,insomnia SO BAD!!! Hot flashes!! I’m 50 an this is just crazy!!! A small rashing on my chin of small bumps!

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Kim August 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Thanks for these Posts! I have that itchy creepy skin, and turned 50, still have my monthly, but the hot flashes (more like a long hot summer), are aggravating my skin. It has been a humid summer here, and the sweat is salty and thought that was the problem. Or Fleas! Taking a Benadryl caplet at night, cool oatmeal baths, and find that alleviates my body. The scalp, I will not scratch it and really resist, so no inflammation. I have noticed also the skin gets aggravated by any msg. and now I look at ingredients on everything, and msg. goes under many variable names. Aveeno Oatmeal moisterizer is a god send too.

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Magnolia August 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Thanks for sharing your tips, Kim,

I found my itchy scalp stopped considerably when I stopped washing my hair everyday. I still have *some* issues with it, but not nearly as bad as it was.

Now, I only wash my hair twice a week and the problem is virtually solves. I have very thick hair, however, and it does not show oil or anything, so I can get away with only washing a couple of times a week. I know some women with thinner hair, or hair which gets oily quickly just don’t have that option.

But, we just have to keep trying and hopefully we’ll stumble upon something that works for us!

Magnolia

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Shelli September 6, 2012 at 2:19 am

Thank you for this site. The crawly itchy thing started a month ago. I will be 48 next week and this site just helped me to stay sane. My ob/gyn says I’m not perimenopausal but I have many of the signs. I just took myself off of birth control after four years and don’t know about the periods yet but I believe I am spiraling into something. God bless you!!!

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Magnolia September 6, 2012 at 7:15 am

Hello, Shelli,

You’re welcome and I hope you can find something useful here.

Magnolia

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Maria July 5, 2013 at 6:42 am

It finally occurred to me today to search up if itchiness was Los a hormonal issue – but I’ve not found any reference yet to this itchy issue… My scalp and skin in general a little mire itchy but the worst area is around my pubic area – especially at the very top inside of thighs… Drives me crazy and yet no apparent rash, rhyme or reason for it. Makes no diff if I remove the hair or not, tightness of pants and undies also mAkes no diff…. Am I the only one? And no it’s not anything obviously fungal or allergy related. So glad I found this blog – thanks

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trea July 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm

THANK YOU for posting this! I actually stumbled on this looking for vertigo/dizziness information. I have been soooooo itchy the past year or so. Especially at night as I try to fall asleep. My husband tried to tell me it was my perimenopause but, I could find no information to corroborate that. I found lots of information on vaginal itch but, nothing on itchy skin. I am so happy to see I’m not alone!

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Magnolia July 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm

You’re welcome, Trea…….there are all kinds of wacky symptoms associated with perimenopause.

Magnolia

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trea July 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Wanted to add. I’m 42 and have been having symptoms for at least 3 years. I remember when I realized I was having perimenopausal symptoms. I was sitting at work, fanning myself with a magazine. My co-worker looked at me oddly. I said “You don’t think it is hot in here do you?”. Her reply “Nope” (with a knowing look). I sat there thinking….NO, OH NO, Geeze, Can’t be, It is…..while she nearly fell out of her chair laughing at the expression on my face. My Dr confirmed that I was “likely” in perimenopause after asking me about my symptoms. My mom was in her mid to late 30s also when her symptoms started. My grandmother though, at 78 she still had her monthly!

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Magnolia July 9, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Yes, it’s true, Trea, different people experience it differently and start going through it at different times. I was just beginning to have babies in my mid-30s, and had my last one at 43. But, then after she was born, I started going through it full throttle, as I like to say.

It’s not unheard of for women to have periods for a long time. though I can’t say I envy your grandmother. :)

Magnolia

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Tina snyder July 11, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I would say I have at least have over half of the symptoms. I cannot remember one thing to the next within a 5 minute span, I have lightheadedness, I am more and more tired each day, I now have slight insomnia with headaches keeping me up all night. the list just goes on and on.
in regards to my scalp, wrists, fingers, shoulders, throat and chin itches.
but the worst are my thighs when I’m in the shower and I itch so intensely that I look down and see broken capillaries and bruising for about 4-5 days from the itching. My obgyn ordered blood tests but now after reading some of these comments I worry that it will come back to normal when I know I am NOT.

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Magnolia July 14, 2013 at 8:55 am

Hi Tina,

If you feel like you are in perimenopause and your physician tells you that you are not, by all means, seek a second opinion. Seek a third or forth if you must. Not all physicians think women are imagining their symptoms. And some are better than others at testing.

So, please don’t take no for an answer if you are not satisfied with the results.

Magnollia

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Lataisha July 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm

It is so great to read what others are going through. Thankfully, I have a cousin who is a little younger than I am but has just about every pre-menopause symptom there is. Initially, I thought the itching and rash was from too much sun exposure. It started a year ago when I was out a lot walking and running, training for a half marathon. Another friend suggested pure cocoa butter which totally eliminated the rash and itching. It went away in the fall altogether (which is why I thought it was sun related). The itching and rash came back with a vengence this spring/summer. I was scratching so much, I was afraid I would break the skin and get an infection. It spread from just my arms and lower legs last summer to every where except my face, hands and feet this summer. I finally went to a dermatologist who thinks it may be a side effect of my statin medication; but I haven’t gotten much relief after being off the statin for 6 weeks. I asked my cousin whether dry skin was a perimenopause symptom, and she said ‘absolutely.’ That’s when I found this site :)!

To Maria, my inner thighs and upper pubic area are extremely itchy, too — you are not alone. Thankfully, my scalp isn’t itchy.

BTW, I just turned 43.

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Magnolia July 25, 2013 at 7:38 am

I’m glad you found this site too, Lataisha. If for nothing else, to know that other women suffer with the wacky symptoms too. I’ve read recently that the crazy itching can be related to thyroid dysfunction……a secondary problem for a lot of women going through perimenopause.

Magnolia

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Lataisha July 22, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Also, perimenopause was confirmed (in my mind) when I started with the irregular periods last month.

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Dizzy264 July 30, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Thanks so much. I needed to read all of these comments! I thought I was going crazy! Its 12:40 am, I can’t sleep from this crawling itch all over…it seems to jump around! I’m 45 and have been told that I am in perimenopause. But no one has explained all the things that might happen. I’m so glad I found your website. Its fantastic knowing I’m not going crazy! :-) Thank you.

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Magnolia July 31, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Hi Dizzy,

Glad you found my site too. Misery ALWAYS loves company. ;)

Magnolia

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Terry August 1, 2013 at 11:20 am

Magnolia,

I have been suffering with this horrible itching rash on my scalp for over a year. It got so bad that I got a horrible infection because of the open wounds on my scalp. It was literally oozing yellow…awesome! After 3 rounds of steroids….2 scalp biopsies…2 patch tests (30) and (100) and then food allergies…all came back negative. I have used the Clobex…medicated shampoo…Free and Clear..Nothing…nada…so in the meantime I am on 4 Zertec….2 Zantac…and singular….what has it done….made me feel like I am in a coma…fog…barely functioning….going off today…will make an appt. with my gyno and hopefully find out it is my hormones…thank you for your blog…although I found no answers at least I am not alone….Terry

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Magnolia August 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

Hi Terry,

I have suffered with an itchy scalp my entire life. But, when I got into perimenopause it ratcheted up to a new level. I have found that if I don’t wash my hair too much, that helps too. I have very, very thick hair, however, so I can literally go for a week without washing it and no one can even tell.

I think sometimes those shampoos actually make it worse with the chemicals that are in them to help us. The Clobex helped me for a while. But, then I found just not washing it too much has been the best strategy. I also use (and have used it for 25 years) that Neutrogena T-Gel helps a lot too. I use it about once a week.

I also read recently that thyroid dysfunction can also contribute to itching skin and scalp. So, that might be something for you to look into as well.

Magnolia

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Mary August 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I am so happy I read all these posts!! I, too, have been scratching and it’s driving me nuts!! My hands and neck are the worst. Anti itch cream with cortisone has been helping. I wonder how long this will last.

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Magnolia August 1, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Mary,

I’ve found that the less I wash my hair, the less it bothers me. That might not be an option for you, but maybe?

Magnolia

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Craniogirl August 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I found you as I was looking for answers to my scalp but mostly my neck itchiness. First I have to state that I never had skin issues or scalp itchiness in my life. I eat a very clean, organic diet. I eat almost 100% home cooked meals. At the end of April 2013 my scalp got itchy out of nowhere and the itch rapidly spread to my neck sides and back. At first I blamed the shampoo and conditioner I used at the spa I go to but then I realized that it had nothing to do with it, I did change shampoo and conditioner, and even though I chose a very expensive totally natural product the itchiness and dermatitis was unchanged. I wash my hair every 3 or 4 days. The frequency of shampoos do not seem to affect my condition.
My naturopathic doctor advised me to take sulfur in homeopathy 3 times a day. No change. I also tried hives homeopathic medicine, no change either. I got a prescription for an hydrocortison cream and it sure helped but $25 later, the blotchiness and red bumpy skin flared back on the neck with a revenge. The itchiness and the skin issue never went away while using the cream. Plus, I am not supposed to use this medecine long-term. I use florazone cream which helps a little but I scratch badly in the middle of the night while sleeping and at that point, there’s nothing I can do! My neck looks like Dr Curt Connors’s neck after he gets his human body back in Spiderman 3. Except for me it is not scales but red bumps.
I did run out of D3 and omega 3, 6, and 9 a few months ago and will go back on it to see if it calms the issue down.
I thought at some point that maybe I needed to do a cleanse. I have done two one-week-long cleanse in May and nothing changed. At this point I just eat my regular diet.
I have been taking for about a year some vegetable progesterone (which by the way, has just been put hold by the FDA – unfortunately it’s not a joke. Soon you will only find the progesterone cream and who knows for how long). I found that two of those sublingual pills a day help a lot with PMS symptoms.
My cycle is regular, usually 28 days, once in a while it goes to 31 days. My period is normal, the first two days are heavier than usual, and after that the flow wanes quickly.
The first sign of my hormonal changes was getting hot flashes, anxiety attacks, and losing my hair in January 2011. I reversed that by taking Vitamins B complex (methylated) by Nutrametrix. It all went back to normal after one month of taking it. Then my body gained 10lbs even though I was eating the same (I went up to 140lbs). I reversed that by changing my diet: no more carbs at night and no protein every lunch and dinner. I found that I still had plenty of food and was feeling full (I am 5’5″ and 130lbs). In 2012 my body was stable. I knew my metabolism had slowed down, but I had no hot flashes, no PMS, no signs at all. But suddenly, since the beginning of 2013, the perimenaupal process accelerated. First I started to have PMS symptoms. But the changes were for sure noticeable by April.
A friend of mine suggested that I get my thyroid checked. Apparently itchiness has been connected to hypothyroid in some cases and I suffered mildly for it after my pregnancies. By the way, the typical medical ordered test showed that my thyroid was normal. To get a good read, you need to do the more complete test, that naturopathic doctors are familiar with. I will give you the information later, I will also check the levels of the 3 different estrogens. If I am low, I will probably take bioidentical estrogen.
For now, I will continue to itch….
To be continued…
I will let you know my progress.

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Craniogirl August 6, 2013 at 11:50 pm

This is Isabelle again, who left a long post about her battle with neck itchiness. I found that colloidal silver spray helps reduce the itchiness. But the application needs to be renewed. It feels ok in the summer, but I am not sure that I will like it when the weather is cold. Natural soaps without synthetic scents do not aggravate it. Other soaps do and it takes hours for the inflammation to calm down. I am also trying tea tree oil. I put it on after the shower and repeat a couple times a day. It doesn’t seem to reduce the itchiness but it helps the skin to heal.
That’s it for now. Still searching…

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Diane August 8, 2013 at 2:19 am

I have been going out of my mind with my back, arms and leg’s itching .it happens mostly when I sit down with my back against a piece of furniture such as the couch (which is new) or when I lay in bed. I have put on mattress and box spring covers that no bug or mite can get through, I have sprayed my furniture and my house. I just turned 49 in June and have other menopausal symptoms also. I was searching “Menopause and Itchy Skin” when I ran across this page. Thank God i’m not really crazy.

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Shell August 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Omg I am so glad I found this site. Thank you Magnolia ! I am 1 month shy of 46 and in the first 6 months of this year my periods went from normal to I thought I was hemmorraging and then in july I just spotted lightly for 3 days and I started itchy 6 months ago as well. I’ve always been an itchy person but this has been insanely crazy. The minute I lay down my back, my arms and legs start itching and then my head itches sooo bad I seriously have sworn up and down that I have bugs infested in my hair lol and I have a scabby, raw painful scalp now :( In the last week I have been just all of a sudden washed with waves of heat that make me so nauseated that im taking anti-nausea medicine now.Then some times I will just all of a sudden be drenched, my shirt and my shorts just like I was wearing clothes right out of the washer..I mean soaked. LoL I feel so icky and grumpy. That you Ladies for sharing, so now I know I’m not 100% crazy. LoL

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Magnolia August 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Hello Shell,

No, you’re not crazy. Not at all. Have you seen anyone for your perimenopause symptoms?

Magnolia

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Nina August 13, 2013 at 7:10 pm

I spent the last several nights awake with jumping muscle twitches and pins/needles itching skin. I am completely exhausted and dread when it’s time to lie down to go to bed. My symptoms get way worse at night. As a critical care nurse I have diagnosed myself with every horrible thing. I searched today for answers and found this site which I am so happy about. Can anyone tell me how to stop the pins/needles in my arms, neck chest and back? It feels like fiberglass in my skin. I want to scream! I also take a statin and someone else mentioned this earlier. HELP, I need sleep.

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Nina August 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm

BTW, I forgot to mention I am 53 and midway thru menopause.

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Beth December 20, 2013 at 2:54 am

Hi Nina,

What helped my jumping muscle twitches and restless leg type symptoms is taking 400 mg of Magnesium Glycinate every night before bed. It’s also supposed to help migraines. Some people take up to 800 mg a day to relieve migraines. I haven’t tried to take that much yet.

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Magnolia December 20, 2013 at 6:44 am

Beth, did the magnesium help you sleep too? I’ve read that magnesium can help with sleep.

Magnolia

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Lynn Deane December 23, 2013 at 1:36 am

Omg, thanks for the tips. I have had a itchy scalp/ creepy crawling on my head for years and now I’ve just got to the stage that I;m gonna make my head bleed if I don’t find a solution to stopping it. I’m 46 and have had changes to my cicles for the past few years, going a few months without a period, then when I do they come with a vengents, but I do get pain ovaries each month, thinking yes they are coming and nothing happens. My upper back is itchy as well. I will try some of theses tips and if that doesn’t work I’ll go to the Doc for steriods cream..Once again thank you..

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Sharon December 27, 2013 at 1:28 am

Thank you for your blog,I have just started itching. It drives me crazy. I itch at odd times during the day but the nite ones really drive me crazy. As soon as I try to go to sleep my arm itches, then my inner thigh, then my back, then my other thigh… On & on & on. As a heavy sleeper I am waking up every nite / early morning. So thankful to find this page & to know I am not alone. Thank you

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Magnolia December 30, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Hello Sharon,

No, dear. You’re not alone. Definitely not alone. And you’re not crazy either. Unless we ALL are. ;)

Magnolia

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Lenore January 6, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Thank you for this site!! I’m turning 40 in March and about 1 yr ago I started itching the back of my neck. I was blaming it on hair color for my greys! Little bumps that I can feel but no one can really see and when my husband does see he says it just looks a little red but it feels like lumps and bumps. About 6 months ago I started to itch in between my legs thigh area and on my pelvic bone so I shaved off my hair… Still itches like mad!! The weird part is it comes in goes in waves and drives me crazy!!! Glad to head I’m not alone!!!

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Kimberly Gould April 17, 2014 at 10:02 am

I am 44 and I too have started itching, especially on my pubic area and inner thighs. Will go all day with barely any itching then near evening I will feel a little prickle and start itching and it is so intense. The harder I itch the better it feels. I have some bumps starting on my lower back, hip and some under my breast which itch occasionally. But in general my whole body has a slight itch to it and I am always scratching somewhere. I have been trying tea tree oil after a shower and sometimes pure shea butter. Was considering going to the doctor because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong but I feel this pretty much sums it up. Thanks to everyone who has shared their experiences.

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Lissa January 10, 2014 at 12:04 am

THANK YOU to everyone for your posts!!!!!! I am 42 & a few weeks ago, I began itching incessantly from one place to the next & the itchiness increases at night! I have other symptoms of perimenopause & have searched high & low for an answer!!!! Just THANK YOU so much!!!!!!

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Magnolia January 11, 2014 at 9:38 am

You are welcome, Lissa. Please do join us at Facebook as well.

Magnolia

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Eileen January 25, 2014 at 10:59 pm

I am so happy I came across this site. I think I am going crazy because of itchy scalp and skin. I have spent so much money on shampoos, detergents, etc. I am 55 and I’m wondering if anyone can tell me how long this will last.

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Magnolia January 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Eileen,

I eventually went to a dermatologist for my itchy scalp. She gave me a steroid type shampoo to calm my scalp down (it was red and inflamed). I used it everyday for about 2 weeks, then backed off to once a week, then as needed. I also took antihistamines, but no longer take those. Now, I just don’t wash my hair as often (which is fine for me, I have thick hair and I can pull it off).

Thyroid dysfunction, which is common for women in perimenopause, can cause itchy skin and scalp.

Magnolia

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Pam January 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm

I am a few months away from turning 50. The past few months my complection has gone from very oily to somewhat oily with dry scaly patches. I’ve tried using olive oil on my face at night and Oil Of Olay during the day. But It seems like it is just getting worse. Does anyone have any ideas ?

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Elaine February 3, 2014 at 5:34 pm

CeraVe with ceramides. Comes in a large jar the best help yet.

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Lisa February 10, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Hello Everyone,
I started itching 6 months ago. They did routine blood work and everything was normal. I switched to all organic food, switched to all natural detergents, soaps etc. One night I was sound asleep when it came on. Started itching all over so much I thought something was on me. It has slowly gotten worse and was ready for a food allergy test. I started cutting out foods and monitoring nothing helped. Then I found out from a friend to check my hormones. Sleep deprived and thinking how my period has changes I went to a hormone doctor after my primary told me I was to young (I am 40) my testosterone was low and my thyroid is off. I am on biodentical hormones. Have been taking them for a week. I felt great the last few days and thought I head the cure now today itching again . I now have rashes all over my body from scratching. I am up in the middle of the night, sheets get bloody from scratching. How long will it take for the hormones to work if thats what it is? I was having clouded thinking as well and that is gone. Its discouraging I saw improvement and today did not have a good day :( Thank you Lisa

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Joanna February 16, 2014 at 2:43 am

Hi Magnolia
Love this website it helps me to know that I’m not the only one going crazy! The itchiness is sooooooo bad I would like to literally peel my skin off! I get it all over at any time of the day. I can go some days with nothing and then it can come back and bother me the whole day. These symptoms you have listed are all me but not at all the same time. When I’m bad I just go into my room and shut myself off from everything, no one understands they look at you like you’re from another planet or they think you’re a hypochondriac. So I don’t turn into a monster and start biting everyone’s heads off because I’m having a symptom I just go into my room, read, rest and curse in silence. I don’t suffer too much with the itchy scalp (just about everywhere else) I give myself a vinegar rinse after the conditioner just normal white vinegar it soothes it cools it down and really cleans your hair and gives it the best shine. Thank you
Joanna

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Itchin' it February 16, 2014 at 6:00 am

Gaaawwwddd! The itching! I have just about taken my chin off! My scalp, neck and chest is very itchy and strangely, my ears and eyelids! I’m 49, am just getting on top of a bout of thrush, and two days after my period, I get another one! I think it has stopped now, but this itching is beyond a joke. I am lucky I don’t seem to have any other severe symptoms, but I had no idea the itching might be associated with menopause, so thanks so much for this info, I think I will hop off to the docs but there are some great ideas here to try too. :)

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Diana February 22, 2014 at 9:46 pm

I am so glad to realize that it is perimenopause that is causing this incessant itching! I turned 50 last November and have some other symptoms, but for me the itching is one of the WORST ones so far, but it helps knowing the cause. I had no idea until I googled it. Sometimes it feels like bugs are crawling on my skin, so much so that I expect to see a little creepy crawler on me only to see nothing. It’s bad enough having depression and moodiness, but seriously? I will be talking to the doctor about this!

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Jackie March 10, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Oh thank you all so much for all your comments on here, I Have been going crazy with itching everywhere scalp, inner thighs, arms legs everywhere. I started to think I had scabies or something so pleased to know I am not alone. I have had all sorts of funny little things going on in the last 3 years I am currently 52 and have in the last 3 years become allergic to hair dyes, not had a period of 2 years then suddenly one popped up from nowhere I can’t sleep constantly go to the toilet through the night and have been going crazy, thank you all for making me realise I am not alone. I shall be trying out some of the tips I have read on here thank you all once again Xx

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Missy March 15, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I have been searching for a cure for my itchy scalp for almost two years now. My hair is breaking all over especially at the scalp area…I have no dandruff no dry patches…nothing. My scalp looks healthy but something is seriously wrong with me. My hair started breaking and really falling out two years ago…I’ve spent so much money on vitamins, shampoos, oils and so forth. I’m itching around my ears, base of forehead (temple areas) even my eye brows itch. Sometimes a allergy pill will help. Just when I think I fould the cure…it all starts over again. I turn 46 in a few months…could this be hormones? I have HORRIBLE sugar cravings and the only stress I really have in my life is this issue…I seriously think it’s making me crazy a bit. I spoke to my husband this morning, he has been so wonderful…even though changing out our whole water softening system, bleaching are well and never saying a word about the 9-10 different shampoo bottles in the shower…he suggested going to natural hormone replacement therapy…any thoughts? Has anyone else had bad hair breakage with the itchy scalp? Thanks for letting me vent… ;-)

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Magnolia March 17, 2014 at 9:49 am

Yes, Missy, I’ve had issues with an itchy scalp and it did seem to get worse in perimenopause. I found that cutting back on washing my hair helped. I also saw a dermatologist who gave me a special shampoo which I used for a while to get the inflammation and redness under control.

Once I did that, I cut back on washing and it helped a lot. There is also evidence that thyroid dysfunction can cause awful scalp and body itching as well. So, that might be something to consider.

Magnolia

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Lulu March 19, 2014 at 5:19 pm

So glad I found this site. I finally have answers as to why I have been itching! Tomorrow is my 2nd appt. with a dermatologist. I will be sure and mention the perimenopause and formication (creepy crawly feeling under your skin). I am 49 and this started about 6 months ago. I waited until January to go to the dermatologist (she prescribed a steroid cream for my wrist, elbow, neck and chest and a liquid steroid for my scalp – also a pill (Atarax) for the overall itching – which works well but I cannot take at work – makes me too drowsy. Am going tomorrow to see if we can make this go away or at least get me stronger creams/lotions. Wish me luck!

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Lulu March 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Well, went to dermatologist – said they never heard of perimenopause causing these symptoms :( They did a scrape test, CBC bllod work and skin punch biopsy. The scrpaing and blood work showed nothing! Waiting on biopsy. Not sure what to do next. Still have rash and itch like crazy!!

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TerryC March 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm

So correct me if I’m wrong but the Dr’s are prescribing temporary solutions only? We still have to mix and match to comfort ourselves? :( Like the others, I’m glad I found this site. My wrists, hands and chin area are itchy too. It looks like an allergic reaction but it goes and comes. Thank you all for sharing your suggestions!

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Cherie March 31, 2014 at 7:06 pm

42 and Itching EVERYWHERE! I missed my period last month and thats when the itching started. I’ll be 43 this month…I had an ovary removed at the age of 22 and it’s been an adventure from there. My blood work is always normal. As I sit here scratching my forehead, neck, legs…you name it…I just wanted to thank you for this blog and all those sharing their experiences. A couple years ago I missed my period 3 months in a row and then it came back with a vengeance, much heavier but still the normal 3-4 days. I REALLY have to pay close attention to my body because although I keep track on the calendar, I never really know when my period will show or not. I’ve had 4 c-sections and two operations and from those I have periodic back issues….but this ITCHING has to stop! I’m truly praying that this IS a menopausal problem and nothing more but I will see my doctor to be sure. It’s just good to know I’m not the only one.

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Carolyn April 2, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Just turned 46 – same story as everyone else. It started all of the sudden one day, mostly the palms of my hands then did what others are describing – focuses on a forearm then my knee then jumps to my back and so on. I feel like a do with fleas.

Question: is there any anti-histamine that is NON DROWSY? I took just ONE Benadryl yesterday at work – big mistake. Would something like Claritin work?

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Jojo April 3, 2014 at 3:41 am

I have been itching every where but my face (thank GAWD) for the last 3 years and I am 47 years old. I find taking tagament (it has anti-histamine in it ) helps my asset reflux and itching at the same time . I also been getting oily hair out of the blue and making my hair really greasy, I wash it daily ,if I skip a day it gets oily, never had that problem before. it comes and goes. Anyone have that problem? I know I am going through perimenopause based on blood test and symptoms, but the one thing I have not had is hot-flashes. However, emotionally I feel like I’m going crazy sometimes with these mood swings. Does it get better when you get to menopause (with the mood swings)?

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Jojo April 3, 2014 at 10:56 am

I would much rather have the hot-flashes than the mood swings. Mood swings affect other people around you and then you get upset with yourself . Its a vicious cycle.

I am so HAPPY that I found this web page! I started to believe we had invisible fleas running around the house that we couldn’t see . I went to see my doctor about it and he couldn’t figure it out either.

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Brendeta April 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm

So Happy I have found this Web Page ! Crazy itchy lady here ! I itch everywhere but my head and its driving me crazy. Nothing like waking up to itches ! UGH Im going to read more and see what I can do . Thanks

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