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Baths & Lotions for Deep PUVA Itch?  NOT!          
from Bonnim T.

I have something to say about the comments various people have said about PUVA Itch.  I have had PUVA ITCH. I refer to it as “the :itch from hell.”  I sat up many nights, or should I say mornings — like 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. — rubbing ice on my arms to try to numb my skin enough for me to go to sleep.  I finally had to see a neurologist because I found out that the PUVA light had damaged my nerve endings.  I had no idea that PUVA treatment could do this and that I'd wind up in so much agony! Creams, lotions, baths, were a waste of time. In fact, having someone recommend some new anti-itch cream became infuriating. My dermatologist finally prescribed Lidoderm patches.  The first time I used one it was like throwing water on a fire.  It was wonderful. 

Please don't tell people with severe, deep itching from PUVA treatments to take baths or use lotions; they don't even touch it. –Bonnim T.

*****

Ed’s Response:  For more information, this site goes into detail about the patch:

http://www.lidoderm.com

This site explains that the patch contains 5% lidocaine in a compound that promotes absorption only enough to reach the damaged nerves; not deep enough to absorb significantly into the blood stream.  This enables much longer-term use of the Lidoderm Patches.

Interestingly, the patch is the only product (according to this web site) “FDA approved to treat Postherpetic Neuralgia, which is the severe pain some people experience as a post-outbreak symptom of shingles.  It does require a prescription.

Another important note is that the patch should never be used over broken, or broken-out skin. 

Those of you who have had shingles with postherpetic neuralgia and who have also had PUVA itch will know if there is a difference in the agony.  If the PUVA problem approaches the shingles problem in severity, you might want to pursue the Lidoderm Patch with your derm.

Thanks for the tip, Bonnim.  -Ed

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