What is brachioradialis itching?

brachioradia itching is a neurological disorder that causes itching of the skin covering the brachioradialis muscle. The brachioradialis is located on the outside of the forearm and, along with other muscles, helps bend the elbow.

Although it is rarely a serious problem, symptoms can be uncomfortable and difficult to treat. That’s partly because it’s not entirely clear what’s causing it.

This article looks at radial brachioradiasis and the various symptoms you may experience. It discusses possible causes and explains how your healthcare provider might treat it.

What is brachioradialis itching?

Brachioradialis pruritus is an itching that occurs especially on the outer skin of the forearm. Intense itching occurs on the affected arm, or in some cases, both arms. Itching may also occur elsewhere on the body, including the neck or legs, although this is rare.

Brachioradialis itch is not something you can catch or give to someone. Instead, it stems from nerve irritation or injury.

Common skin and rash conditions

Brachioradialis pruritus symptoms

Pruritus is a typical symptom of radial brachioradiasis. Sometimes pain and itching are also present. This is because the same nerves send pain and itching signals to the brain.

If you scratch the itchy part of your arm, you may not actually get any relief. In fact, the area may become more itchy. This leads to more scratching, known as the itch-scratch cycle. In some cases, itching can be distracting and uncomfortable, especially when you’re trying to fall asleep.

Other symptoms of radial brachial itching may include:

  • tingling in the arm
  • burning sensation in the arm
  • itching in the shoulders and upper back

Symptoms may be worse after sun exposure. Brachioradialis itching does not cause a rash.

Causes of itching on the radial side of the brachiora

The exact cause of this itching is unknown. Nerve damage and sun exposure are the two main causes associated with radial brachioradiasis, most likely a combination of both.

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nerve damage

Degenerative spine disease is a disease in which part of the structure of the spine fails. These changes in spine stability can put pressure on nearby nerves that connect to the arm. This can cause nerve damage, which can lead to itching on the radial side of the arm.

One such example is spinal stenosis. It’s caused when the center of your spine narrows and presses on the spinal cord and nerves.

another called cervical spondylosis Spondylosis. In this condition, the nerves that leave the spinal cord from the neck are compressed and damaged.

sun exposure

Long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause damage to nerve fibers in the skin.

It can make the nerves more sensitive to the pain and itching of itching on the radial side of the arm. This may be what really triggers symptoms in people with cervical spondylosis.


Chronic burning itching in the arm – that doesn’t go away when you scratch – may be a symptom of radial brachioradiasis. The condition is not contagious and is most likely caused by nerve damage and sun exposure.

Who gets itching on the radial side of the upper arm?

Itching on the radial side of the arm is more than twice as common in women as in men. It can occur at any age, but is more common in middle age.

Because radial brachial itching is often associated with sun exposure, people living in warmer climates may be at greater risk. The same is true for people whose lifestyles include a lot of outdoor activities such as gardening or swimming.

Diagnosis of radial pruritus

This condition is usually diagnosed by a skin specialist called a dermatologist. They will usually identify it based on your symptoms and the part of your body that reports itching.

Your doctor may first try to eliminate other possible causes of your itching. For example, if your rash is accompanied by itchy skin, you are unlikely to have brachioradial pruritus. Unfortunately, it is difficult to diagnose itchy skin when there is no rash. Brachioradialis pruritus may be suspected when antipruritic medications fail to provide relief.

A healthcare provider may use several diagnostic tools to form a diagnosis of radial brachioradiasis:

  • Ice pack test: Many people with radial arm pruritus notice that applying an ice pack to the affected skin is the only way to get them relief. The provider may place an ice pack on the skin during the evaluation to see if this is true for you. This usually leads to a definite diagnosis.
  • X-rays: X-rays of the cervical spine may also be ordered to make sure nothing is putting pressure on the nerve roots in the arm. Images may show degenerative disc disease or osteoarthritis, which may point to other conditions of pruritus on the radial side of the arm.


Diagnosis of brachioradialis pruritus is based on symptoms, affected body parts, whether ice packs relieve the pruritus, and the results of X-ray imaging. This condition is more common in women than men.

Brachioradialis pruritus treatment

Symptoms of radial brachioradiasis are difficult to treat successfully. Oral antihistamines, such as Zyrtec (cetirizine), hydrocortisone, and other corticosteroids applied to the skin, usually do nothing or do little to relieve discomfort.

Heat doesn’t help either. People who have tried heating pads or soaking in hot baths often find that the heat only makes their itching worse.

Quite a few other treatments have been tried for brachioradialis pruritus. Still, success rates are spotty. These include:

  • Capsaicin cream, which inhibits chemicals produced by nerve endings
  • Pramosin cream, which numbs sensory nerve impulses in the skin
  • Doxepin cream, an antihistamine known to reduce itching-causing chemicals
  • Ketamine cream, an anesthetic that also relieves pain

Some other medicines may help relieve the symptoms of brachioradialis pruritus. They include:

  • Gabapentin, a seizure medication that relieves itching
  • Carbamazepinean epilepsy drug commonly used to treat neuralgia
  • lamotrigine, another epilepsy drug used to treat itching
  • Amitriptyline An antidepressant that can be used for pain relief

In addition to medication, some people report that they find relief through acupuncture or cervical spine treatment provided by a chiropractor.

It is important to remember that sun exposure is a known cause of radial brachial itching. Any treatment plan must include sun protection. This can include using sunscreen, wearing clothing to protect your skin, and staying out of the sun completely during peak hours.


Brachioradialis pruritus is a disorder that may be associated with spinal nerve damage and sun exposure. It causes the skin on the outside of the forearm to itch that scratching does not relieve. Over-the-counter creams, allergy medications, and heat packs often don’t help, and may make it worse.

A healthcare provider can diagnose brachioradialis pruritus by examining your symptoms, seeing if an ice pack relieves the itching, and taking X-rays to look for spinal problems.

Treatment can be difficult, but some people find success with alternative treatments such as creams or acupuncture on the skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to treat humeroradial pruritus at home?

    Try using an ice pack to help relieve symptoms. If ice works for you, another strategy might be to use a menthol (cooling) cream to relieve itching.

  • What other conditions can cause itchy forearms?

    Depending on your other symptoms, possible causes may include dry skin, bug bites, folliculitis, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. If your itching doesn’t go away or gets worse, talk to your dermatologist.