What You Need To Know About Formication

Fibromyalgia has several different annoying symptoms, and not everyone suffers from the same symptoms. 

Pain, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating ​are usual fibromyalgia symptoms.

Some fibromyalgia patients also suffer from unique condition where they feel crawling under their skin and constant itch. These sensations can be at the different part of the body such as a face, arm, leg, and back.

The technical name for this condition is Formication, and some people refer it as bugs under the skin like symptoms.


The more severe form of this condition is called paresthesia which causes pricking, and tingling sensations.

Let’s understand the cause of formication and how it relates to the fibromyalgia patients and some ways you can treat this condition.  

What is Formication?

Formication is abnormal skin sensation where a person feels like something crawling under the skin. 

Although many people associate Formication with psychotic states as a result of drug or alcohol abuse such as crystal meth, cocaine, heroin, etc.  

But medical conditions such as fibromyalgia,  allergies, diabetic neuropathy, shingles and prescription medicines such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Lunesta also trigger the formication symptoms.

The above stimulants or medical condition causes a rise in the body temperature and increased blood flow to the skin.

The higher body temperature causes the sweat to release from the skin surface which when evaporates removes the protective oil and moisture from the skin.

The toxins released from the skin due to medical or drug use dehydrates the dermal layer of skin which creates an itchy sensation under the skin.

The problem with the nerves can also cause formication.

In extreme cases, patients with untreated formication can experience a delusional parasitotic state which makes the patients psychologically believe that they have real bugs crawling under their skin.

In severe cases, people with chronic formication condition scratch their skin to the point where it damages their skin and causes bleeding which increases the risk of infection.

Relation between fibromyalgia and Formication

Now come to the issue of fibromyalgia and formication. Is there any link between the fibromyalgia and developing formication condition?

Fibromyalgia has several coexisting and overlapping symptoms with other conditions such as chronic fatigue, pain, muscle spasm, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Several studies have proved that the underlying cause of fibromyalgia is due to a problem with the central nervous system.

Women suffer more than men with the fibromyalgia condition.  Studies have shown that adult females reaching menopause have a higher degree of developing fibromyalgia and formication condition.

Researchers at Albany Medical College have found that patients with fibromyalgia conditions to have an abnormally large number of unique blood vessel structures which are controlled by the nerves surrounding the skin.

The presence of a vast number of nerve endings under the skin in fibromyalgia patients causes them to have highly sensitive and tender areas around the skin.

Nerves in the skin control the blood constriction. Fibromyalgia patients have abnormally high number of nerve endings.

These blood vessels can be constricted or open to regulate the body temperature. But these same blood vessels also supply blood to underlying muscles and abnormalities in these blood vessels functioning causes the muscle pain, achiness, fatigue and other inflammations.

These problems further trigger the hyperactivity in the brain which increases the fibromyalgia flares.

There is a higher risk of fibromyalgia patients developing formication condition. Controlling your fibromyalgia condition and treating your skin with prescription and over the counter methods can reduce the formication discomfort.

Treatments for Formication

There are several ways you can get relief from formication.  But before you start any treatment, you need to identify the cause of your formication first.

Follow these methods to get relief from Formication.

Use of Recreational Drugs

If you use any recreational drugs, then you should stop using it. It will not only help you with your formication conditions but also improve your overall health.

Avoiding illegal drugs, alcohol, and cigarette can provide significant relief from the formication condition.

Change Your current medication 

You should make a list of prescription medicines you are taking and consult with your doctor regarding the side effects of those drugs.

Many drugs prescribed for the fibromyalgia patients such as a Lyrica and Cymbalta are known to have to itch as common side effects.

Ask your doctor about changing your medicine or lowering the dose to check if you get any relief.

Many people have reported the use of anti-inflammatory medication, and cold shower or ice pack have reduced their formication symptoms.

Take care of your skin

To get the immediate comfort and relief from the formication, you should keep your skin adequately hydrated by drinking plenty of water and supplementing it will electrolytes to keep skin moisturized and smooth.

Eat healthy nutrient-rich food 

Eat foods which contain balanced nutrients and avoid overcooking them as it usually means the nutrients inside the food get destroyed due to excessive heat.

The primary requirement of your nutrients and mineral should be met through eating healthy and non-processed foods.

Don’t overeat pre-cooked and canned food as these foods contain lots of preservatives and chemicals to keep it fresh and to last longer which are not good for health.

Increase Omega -3 intake

Omega -3 commonly found in fish or krill oil and also sold in supplemental tablets have anti-inflammatory properties and also helps to repair dead cells in the skin.

Use of Omega-3 with vitamin B supplements keeps the skin healthy.

Change your lifestyle

You should lead a more active and healthy lifestyle which means you should exercise regularly to keep the blood flowing in every part of your body and eat a healthy diet which contains less fat and more fibers.

You should avoid taking hot showers because it can dry your skin quickly. You should try taking a shower with the warm water and properly moisturize your skin with mineral oil or petroleum jelly.

Don’t use soaps which contain strong fragrances or is harsh as it can irritate the skin.

Consult your doctor

You should ask your doctor if formication conditions persist for a longer duration and you do not get any relief through any of your treatments.

If chronic formication has led to delusional parasitotic, then your doctor may recommend a psychiatric consultation to treat the condition at a psychological level.

How the weather change affected your fibromyalgia symptoms?

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Image Credits: Freepik and Pixabay

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Chief Editor here at Fibromyalgia Pain Cure, I'm a proud mother of one and diagnosed with fibromyalgia condition. My mission is to help others to get relief from fibromyalgia symptoms and live a healthy pain free life.