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meralgia

Notalgia PAraesthetica

Notalgia parasthetica is the medical term for a benign condition in which there is an itchy patch of skin on the back, usually just under the scapula (shoulder blade).  The picture on the left demonstrates the area usually affected.

 

The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but it is thought to be related to minor damage to the nerves supplying the affected area of skin.

 

Patients with notalgia parasthetica usually present with an intensely itchy, well localised area of skin.  It usually affects only one side.  

 

Additional symptoms may include burning, numbness or increased sensitivity and tenderness.  The affected skin may be of a darker colour reflecting increased pigmentation.  Patients may even notice that frequent scratching over the area leads to worn-out patches on their clothes.

 

Who does it affect?

Adults of any age.  Males and females are affected equally.  It is more common in those with ‘wear and tear’ type changes in the spine.

 

Investigations required:

Usually none.  Notalgia is a benign condition.  

 

Treatment:

Whilst Notalgia is benign, it can cause considerable discomfort.  There are skin preparations and tablets available which may lessen symptoms.  Notalgia often settles down with time, though it may recur.

The area highlighted is typical of Notalgia Paraesthetica

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