Text Size: a  |   a 

The MS Itch

August 5, 2015

Many neurological sensations tend to occur when living with multiple sclerosis; pins and needles, burning, stabbing or tearing pain (known as dysesthesias) and then finally, itching. Itching is widespread through the MS community and can be even worse if one already has other conditions such as psoriasis or eczema. Though it is tough and can be exasperating, there are a few different ways one can try to overcome these horrific itching sensations.

Start by trying to distract your mind and body from the itching you are experiencing. You can try this by keeping your hands occupied otherwise. For example, you could make an attempt to knit, type or write something down or even better—make some food and get to cooking to keep yourself busy.

There are some creams and lotions you can try using as well, especially if certain areas of your body are itchier than others, or if you have another skin condition. There are many different kinds of medicinal creams you can use or ask your doctor about.

While itching in MS patients is most problematic throughout the night, it can prevent a good night’s sleep. In order to work your way around this problem try wearing loose, cool and comfortable clothes to bed (as well as throughout the day). This will allow your body to cool off at night as heat usually induces most itching as well.

While sleeping, some have noted that they also try sleeping with items such as gloves or socks over their hands. This prevents people from scratching themselves, since scratching the itch always tends to make matters worse.  

Cold tends to ‘confuse’ the already mixed up nerve system that is making you itch, so ice packs and cold showers can help tremendously in keeping your itching to a minimum. Just be sure that when applying cold packs or ice to never apply directly to the skin or in an area for more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.


Even though itching is one of the lesser-known symptoms of MS, serious itching can be extremely aggravating and can definitely add to the unwanted stress you may already have.

The MS Itch - Wed August 05, 2015 2:42 PM