Multiple sclerosis is a condition that affects the central nervous system. Its symptoms affect the nerves and can cause dysesthesia, or abnormal sensations such as burning, numbness, or itching.
In some people, multiple sclerosis (MS) may cause itching early on, even before they have received a diagnosis. Pruritus is the technical term for itching.
MS itching can range from a minor bother to a stinging itch or a feeling of having pins and needles. Unlike a regular itch, the feeling does not go away with scratching. This is because MS affects the nerves that control the area where the itch is, rather than the skin itself.
The feeling is generally brief. Some people find short-term relief by avoiding scratching and applying a cold compress to the area.
Over-the-counter remedies tend to be ineffective, as the source of the itch is not an external allergen. There are some prescription medications and lifestyle changes that may help a person control MS itching.
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