Tag Archives: itchies

Sensory Solutions

I hate showering.

Well, not really the shower itself.  That part is rather pleasant.  And I don’t particularly like being sweaty or dirty, so I like that I wind up clean.  I even like that it’s an efficient way to warm up or cool down if I need to.  What I don’t like is that I also get itchy.

Very itchy.

Want-to-tear-my-skin-off itchy.

It’s awful.

I finally decided that I wanted to (again) figure out what was going on and find a way to fix it.  I’ve tried a number of things already, all of them assuming that the itchiness was caused by dry skin.  I use very good soaps, I moisturize, I use soft washcloths, etc.  All that might help a little bit, but ultimately the problem remains.  Besides, when I think about it the problem is not dry skin.  Dry skin itchies have a specific feel.  Post-shower itchies have more of a crawling-beneath-my-skin feel.

So I started paying attention more.  As far as I can tell, it’s linked to scrubbing actions – scrubbing myself when I wash, and then scrubbing myself again when I dry.  My new best guess is that showering makes my nervous system go hyperactive, which means the best solution is to find some way to calm it down.

Then I remembered something I had read a while back.  Someone had written about wanting long hair, but having problems because long hair triggered sensory problems.  Someone else had suggested hair brushing as a solution.  Specifically, really firm brushing that scraped at the scalp.  I didn’t pay much attention because I already comb my hair that way, and my long hair doesn’t bother me.  But then I thought – maybe combing my skin could help the itchies!

So I tried it.

IT WORKS.

It still isn’t a perfect solution, but it makes things so very much better.  I started with the same comb I use on my hair – just drawing it down my arms and legs in a smooth, even motion.  A few minutes of that fixed my arms entirely.  My legs are more challenging – once I stopped combing the itchies came back within a few minutes.  However, even that few minutes reprieve tells me that I am probably on to something.  I invested in a boar’s bristle brush to see if that would work better, but I honestly think my comb is working best so far.  It’s also better if I start before the itchies get a chance to really build up – an ounce of prevention and all that.

All of which means I am definitely in favor of brushing or combing skin as one method to deal with sensory issues in the skin.  It seems to be working pretty well for me.

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