Causes for Achy Muscles & Itchy Skin

Common complaints of physical discomfort include muscle aches and itchy skin. Muscles feel achy as a result of injury or irritation to muscle tissue as well as tissues surrounding the muscles, including tendons, ligaments and soft tissue. Skin can become itchy due to dryness or the presence of a rash—defined by MedlinePlus as a change in color or texture of the skin. Although these two symptoms seem unrelated, a number of conditions and diseases cause both symptoms.

Menopause

Menopause describes the period in a woman's life when the ovaries cease to produce estrogen thus resulting in the end of the menstrual cycle. The changes in hormone levels cause a variety of symptoms. The most classic symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances and thinning hair. The decrease in levels of estrogen and progesterone can also cause achy joints, muscles and tendons and itchy, crawly skin, according to ProjectAware.org.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis describes a type of arthritis that affects those with psoriasis—a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin. The National Psoriasis Foundation reports that up to 30 percent of patients with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis causes swelling and stiffness of the joints resulting in joint pain that can cause the tendons, ligaments and muscles to feel achy. Because all patients with psoriatic arthritis also suffer from psoriasis, patients experience dry, itchy and scaly skin patches.

Lymphoma

Lymphoma occurs when lymphocytes, a specific type of white blood cells, grow out of control, which classifies lymphoma as a type of cancer. Lymphoma usually causes swollen lymph nodes, especially those in the neck, armpits or groin. The swollen lymph nodes can press on adjoining areas, such as joints, causing achy joints and muscles. As the lymphoma cells invade other parts of the body, additional symptoms can occur. When lymphoma cells infiltrate the skin, they can cause thickened, dark, itchy areas of skin, as described by The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, a chronic medical condition, causes widespread pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, according to MayoClinic.com. The exact cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown, but a combination of genetics, infections, and physical or emotional stress can contribute to the onset of the disease. In addition to achy muscles, patients often complain of itchy skin rashes. The itchy skin may result from the brain misinterpreting the pain signals, according to the Fibromyalgia Symptoms website.

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