Is Itching A Symptom Of Ra?

Question

Asked by jav2jan

Is Itching A Symptom Of Ra?

My neck started itching six weeks ago. I don't have a rash, just itching and my skin texture has changed. There is always an underlying tingling, even when it's not itching. I thought it was my necklace and took it off. It didn't help. I've seen an allergist and he doesn't think it's related to allergies or asthma. Is this a symptom of RA?

Answer

Itching is not normally a symptom of RA. There are a lot of things that cause itching and some may be related to having an autoimmune disease like RA. I'm going to mention some examples, but please remember that I'm not a doctor, so these are just possibilities that you may want to consider.

People with RA want biologic medications sometimes develop shingles. It's why it's a good idea to get the shingles vaccine before you start on a biologic (but not after - then there is a bigger risk of developing shingles). Shingles can start with itching, followed by some pain, and small bumps on a roll following a path of a nerve.

Another possibility is that this could be a side effect of the medication you take. If you look at the Expert answers below from Lisa and Lene, they both bring up potential side effects expressed in two very different ways, but both having itching as a common factor.

A third possibility could be psoriasis. This is a skin condition that is very itchy and which can also bring about changes in skin texture. Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease that's very similar to RA, in which psoriasis develops following a diagnosis of RA.

Of course, what's going on could be something completely different than this. I'd recommend that you ask for a referral to a dermatologist for further testing.

Best Wishes,

V