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random itching after a trip

Travel Forums General Talk random itching after a trip

1. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 8y

I've been back from my 30 day trip to Italy and Greece for two weeks and I still itch all over! At different times, my eyes itch, legs, arms, anything. It moves all around randomly so I don't know what it is. I did get a bunch of bug bites in Mykonos but they have almost all healed up so I can't tell what could be happening. I would think if anything I would get athlete's foot from hostels but that's about the only thing that doesn't itch (I wore flip flops in the showers). I've tried putting body lotion on in case my skin is just too dry but that doesn't explain my eyes. Has this ever happened to anyone else? Did I pick something up from the hostels I stayed at??

[ Edit: Edited on Aug 6, 2008, at 8:37 PM by laurim ]

2. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

laurim At different times, my eyes itch, legs, arms, anything. It moves all around randomly so I don't know what it is.

Sounds like you have an allergy. Itchy with Itchy eyes is a symptom. Best bet is always to see a doctor.

Bedbugs usually leave little red spots. Fleas and the like don't make your eye's itch, and are quite rare in that part of the world.

I would say an allergy. To what it's hard to say from here. Washing powder, new shampoo. Soap. Bug bites while over there. All this is possible.

Again, see a doctor. They will probably give you a mild antihistamine to combat the allergy effects. Unless it's localised I wouldn't self treat. See a doctor.

Hope it helps.

3. Posted by dr.pepper (Travel Guru 316 posts) 8y

At first I thought this was going to be a post about "itching to go travelling again"... :)

But I'll second Outcast's suggestion to go see a doctor. My best guess would be that you may have been allergic to something you ate or touched.

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

I agree with OC and Eric - follow this up with a visit to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

Several things can cause this type of reaction. Allergies are usually the main cause. Bug bites (especially if they were numerous) can cause a hypersensitive response also, even though they have healed. Other things to consider are any changes in soaps, detergents, cosmetics, cleaning fluids and even sunburn while you were away. The body's immune system is a rather complicated one and it can slip into overdrive for minor reasons. Do not rule out a fungal infection either as there are many, many different types of fungi that do not always develop as a rash or skin eruption. The itchy eyes really do point to an allergic reaction to some type of agent.

If you know you can take something like Benadryl - try that as recommended on the package until you can see your physician. I have allergies to molds/mildews and frequently have that overall itching including itchy eyes. I also get some really bizarre reactions but a trip to the allergist and doing all the sensitivity tests pointed directly to the molds and mildews. Until diagnosed, most severe reactions will continue until the immune system is brought back under control with meds such as antihistamines.

I was also stung by numerous wasps when I was younger and developed a sensitivity to stings. Now, if I am stung, my system goes haywire for a few days and I have to take my antihistamines until it calms down.

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

Lauri - I thought of something else (as I walked by the frozen seafood at the grocery this morning). Yes, my mind works in mysterious ways...

When did the itching begin - while you were traveling or after you returned home? If during, where were you when it began (Italy or Greece)? Did you go swimming in the ocean at any time or in a pool filled with ocean water? (Some hotels offer salt water swimming pools they fill from the sea.)

The reason I ask is that there can be blooms of algae or plankton that you won't see but can cause contact dermatitis. When you shower or bathe, you would wash those microbes off your body but the contact has been made and the reaction started. I had it happen with (almost) microscopic sized jellyfish in Jamaica. Turns out we'd been swimming and snorkeling in a "jellyfish nursery" so to speak. Only when we snorkeled did I finally see these itty-bitty-head-of-a-pin-sized jellys. Again, tratment was oral and topical antihistamines.

6. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 8y

thanks for all the suggestions. I think I'll take some nice warm baths with epsom salts, use plenty of lotion and if it doesn't go away in another week, I'll see someone about it. Without any rash or obvious sign to show a doctor I think it would be really hard for them to make a good diagnosis so it would be a waste of money to go without trying to let it resolve itself. 30 days of almost constant 90-100+ degree heat in hostels with shared bathrooms and swimming in various seas was probably just a shock to my body!

Funny you should mention jellyfish. I got stung by one in Manarola early on in my vacation and the sting went away in about an hour. Can't imagine being in a nursery of them!

7. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

Quoting laurim

90-100+ degree heat

Ahh, could be heat rash! I had it in Africa. Drove me nuts. Random itching with no rash. Head, legs arms, everywhere. Especially the head. It gave one the feeling you had fleas! Very annoying.

It took a while to go as well.

8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

Quoting outcast

Quoting laurim

90-100+ degree heat

Ahh, could be heat rash! I had it in Africa. Drove me nuts. Random itching with no rash. Head, legs arms, everywhere. Especially the head. It gave one the feeling you had fleas! Very annoying.

It took a while to go as well.

The pesky prickly heat. Applying medicated powder to the itchy areas will help relieve the symptoms and help keep the areas dry. (Prickly heat is basically clogged sweat glands that may or may not develop into a rash. When a rash does develop, it creates the "prickly" sensation which the name implies.) Look for medicated powders that contain zinc oxide and/or boric acid. The most common ones available in the US are Gold Bond, Bismoline and Ammens.

9. Posted by Wonkerer (Respected Member 592 posts) 8y

A couple of random thoughts, though some of the aforementioned ones might be more on. First off, pollens, bug bites, chemicals, etc. can cause an allergic reaction that then makes your body susceptible to things that may not have bothered you before. So it could be that you are now allergic to something back home, that never bothered you before. As far as remedies you could go for Benadryl, or you could also try Zyrtec - take it at night, so the possibility of onset drowsiness isn't a problem. If either of these help, then it's probably an allergy to something If you're eyes are really bothering you try getting some Stinging Nettle pills (preferably freeze-dried). You can generally find them at health-food stores or supplement stores. These are the only thing that help my itchy eyes and they work wonderfully!