Itchy skin without psoriasis

Question for people… I do not have psoriasis, yet, but I have all of the joint problems and other things associated with PsA. Is Anyone else out there with a similar situation to mine experiencing itchy skin?? Lately my joints have been awful, swollen stiff knuckles 24/7, horrible back pain, red swollen joints in my feet and I’ve been itching like crazy! I feel like I could scratch forever and there’s a weird dull burning sensation too… I’m still navigating this new journey and figured I would see if it could possibly be related since I’m not sure what else could be causing it at the moment. It’s making me nuts like I have bugs crawling on me all the time!

Hi Erikazb,

I was wondering, if you didn't have psoriasis (or maybe you do), how did the doctor come to the PsA diagnosis? Was psoriasis in your genes? Are your fingernails affected? Just curious....

I also wanted to tell you that for me, often my skin would itch before I got psoriasis and sometimes, as in my scalp, get red and itch for days or weeks before it turned into psoriasis. I think there may be other conditions that cause extreme itching, and I definitely don't know much about anything but psoriasis. Hopefully, someone else can offer their thoughts on this.

Good luck!

Thanks grandma j! My rheumatologist told me that some people develop joint issues before psoriasis and some never develope psoriasis at all and that I most likely won’t since I’m starting treatment. He did a ton of blood work and X-rays and asked a million questions and said based on the joints in my body that are affected the most (my feet, ankles, hips, burning lower back, hands, wrists, tendonitis in shoulders and other areas) and all the testing he concluded it was PsA. I think I noticed all of my joint issues so soon because of being a waitress then hair dresser for the past 10 years and the damage that’s been done to my dominant hand has made it my mission to find an answer to stop the chronic pain fatigue and discomfort. Luckily I trust my rheumy 150%

I hit send too fast and wasn’t done! I trust him and I also kept notes of every possible thing that’s happened with my health the past 10 years to help him make some connections. I had a headache last year that lasted for months that stemmed from my neck being so stiff which is also a symptom. I also had a random swelling of my finger that was so bad I couldn’t move it and had to miss work which is what prompted me to find answers after years of pain. I have decreased range of motion in my wrists and shoulder and every one of my joints seems to crack and crackle all the time. I feel 3 times my age! Trying to stay positive for relief!

Do you take NSAIDS for pain? How about antihistamines?

I've always had problems feeling itchy, I can even remember episodes decades before my psoriasis or PsA showed themselves. About 15 years ago I developed a sensitivity to sunlight which caused quite generalised itching (this has been a bit improved the last two years but I still have to wear Factor 30 sun block April - October) and more recently itching/burning was a side effect of leflunomide ... but I don't think you're taking any meds yet are you?

Things which help me are comfortably cool baths with an emollient - either something like Oilatum Bath or even homemade with oats. Colloidal oatmeal is outstanding for itch relief. And an anti-histamine ... some are better for skin itching than others so get advice from your doc or pharmacist. I've even had to have steroids, but I think only twice. Oh, and a cream called Balneum that helped a bit as well.

Wishing you relief as soon as possible.

Me! Me! My skin was unbearably itchy for years. It would wake me up at night and I complained to the doc repeatedly. Her advice was “moisturize”. I did, and with colloidal oatmeal, and cool showers, and creams and shower oil and unscented products, I managed, barely. I got toenail “fungus” that resisted all prescription treatment. My joints started aching. I got terrible fatigue. My feet hurt. X-rays showed nothing. My knees “went” and were replaced. My feet became unbearably painful. They discovered erosions. I was sent to a rheumatologist who suspected PsA and P.
Dermatologist confirmed it all: the “fungus”, the lifting and pitting nails, the small rough patch on one elbow and … yes … the insanely itchy skin that I’d had for more than 20 years were all psoriasis.
When I went on Enbrel, the fatigue and (YAAAAAY) the itching lifted like fog in the sun. The joints responded later.
Did you say something about itching?

Thank u for all the info. I’m still waiting on insurance to tell me yay or nay on enbrel so I’m anxious to start that and hopefully get some relief. The itching is driving me nuts! And I’ve noticed it for a while but again having been a hairdresser I was covered in hair a lot which makes u itchy so I assumed it was from that. We shall see! I’m so grateful for this group to be able to chat about these things and not have someone look at me like I’m nuts.

I am going to play antagonist here. While it may be true that one will itch before a flare, if the flare never occurs then it’s probably best to ask a doctor. I have had similar problems and I found out that NSAIDS were making me itch. This problem had been well documented. If you’re not on an antihistamine cocktait I would suggest asking your doctor about it. It helps me considerably, even for psoriasis issues.