Are you feeling that small insects are crawling over your skin, but, in reality, they do not exist? Are you frustrated due to the persisting feeling of the insects crawling over your skin? If yes, you perhaps have formication, a skin condition where the person experiences the sensation of insects crawling over or under the skin when in reality there is none. This is a tactile hallucination (a false sensation of touch or movement on the skin) and also one of the types of paresthesia. Among the others of a similar kind are the sensation of pins and needles, burning, coldness, etc.
Formication could be a troublesome symptom for the patient as this crawling sensation leads to itching, mostly aggravated at night, that disturbs the patient’s sleep. Also, it is quite frustrating for the patient since he is experiencing it but unable to prove it to others. It is equally difficult for his caregiver as well since he is unable to convince him about insects not being there on the skin.
What Causes Formication?
Formication is not an independent condition. It is often a symptom of an underlying condition. It could be due to physical illness or psychiatric illness or could be due to certain drugs, medications, and withdrawal effects. Below are some of the conditions listed that cause sensation of insects crawling under the skin.
1.Diabetic neuropathy: This is the most common cause of formication. Increased blood sugar levels cause damage to the small nerve fibers that carry the sensation from the skin to the spinal cord and brain. This leads to an abnormal sensation in the skin, such as tingling and burning, besides formication.
2.Senile dermatitis: Senile dermatitis is mostly seen in elderly people and could be associated with eczema.
3.Chronic kidney disease: Next to Diabetic neuropathy, chronic kidney disease is the second leading cause of formication. It is also called as uremic pruritus.
4.Perimenopause and menopause: When there is a decrease in the levels of estrogen hormone, it leads to the sensation of insects crawling on the skin.
15.Withdrawal symptoms of drugs, such as Cocaine, Amphetamines, Meth, and Alcohol.
16.Withdrawal symptoms of medicines, such as antidepressants, Tramadol, and painkiller containing opium derivatives.
17.Gabapentine, Ritalin, certain antibiotics, etc.
What Are the Symptoms of Formication?
Here are some common symptoms of formication that you should be aware of.
1.The patient complains of a crawling sensation under the skin when nothing is visible externally.
2.Continuous scratching the skin or marks of scratching on the skin are visible.
3.The patient picks up at the skin or causes wounds in the skin to let the insects out.
4.Restlessness and agitated feeling
5.The patient may also be hopeless if he is suffering from this condition for years and he has been seeking different doctors for the same.
6.The patient will also exhibit the signs of the underlying health issue that is causing the symptom of formication.
How Does the Doctor Diagnose Formication?
Based on a detailed history of the patient, clinical examination, a history of the disease, and the history of medicine and drug intake and stoppage, the doctor may diagnose the condition. Your doctor may also prescribe you certain blood tests to help identify the underlying cause of the condition.
What Is the Treatment for Formication?
The main focus of the treatment is to identify the cause of the condition and treat it. The doctor may prescribe you medicines that he feels would help you have relief in your discomforting condition.
How to Take Care with Formication?
Living with formication is very challenging, both for the patients and the caregivers. It is difficult for the patient because he is experiencing the condition but unable to prove it so that others understand his agony. For the caregiver, it is a challenge because he is unable to convince the patient that there are no bugs on the skin.
1.For skincare, one may use mild soap and moisturize the skin. Dry skin may lead to itching.
2.A skin massage might help relive the sensation temporarily.
3.Application of a cold pack would help relieve the sensation of formication temporarily.
4.Cut the nails short so that the patient will not damage his/her skin
5.Keep away all the sharp and pointed objects which the patient may use to dig the skin to relieve the bugs.
Homeopathy for Formication:
The scope of treatment for formication with homeopathic medicines would vary from patient to patient and depends on the underlying pathology. Understanding the cause behind the condition will also help us to know the prognosis of the case with homeopathic treatment and the scope of the treatment. In certain cases, homeopathy could act as a supportive treatment and modern conventional medicine has to be taken when required. Below are the most commonly indicated homeopathic remedies for formication.
Homeopathic Remedies for Formication:
1.Cocainum: This medicine is prepared homeopathically by using the active ingredients from cocainum. When the patient experiences a sensation that some foreign bodies or worms were under the skin, this medicine is indicated. It is used for treating the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol where there is formication. When the patient experiences the sensation of crawling in the hands and forehands along with numbness, is restless, cannot sleep for long after getting into the bed, has hallucinations of hearing, and is talkative with constant desire to do something great, this remedy is recommended
2.Aurundo: This medicine is indicated for crawling sensation in the chest and arms followed by itching. The burning and itching are the characteristics of this medicine. When you suffer from the burning of the soles and experience profuse sweat which is offensive, Aurundo is recommended.
3.Dolichos: This remedy is indicated for treating patients suffering from itching without eruptions, generally observed in the old people. Itching in complaints of liver diseases with constipation, itching turning worse across the shoulders, elbows, knee, and the hairy parts of the body, itching gets more pronounced on the right side, and aggravation in the discomfort at night indicate this remedy.
4.Zincum met: This medicine is indicated for treating the sensation of bugs crawling in the feet and legs which is aggravated at night, thereby preventing sleep. It is effective in treating a continuous motion of the feet, even when in sleep, and soles of the feet that turn sensitive to touch. This remedy is indicated in chronic diseases with brain and spine affections and nerve affections.
I hope this article gives you some clues regarding the crawling sensation under your skin. In case you have further queries, do write back to us or call us.