Published On By Rachel Nall

Formication IntroductionAn unsettling sensation of something crawling beneath your skin is often described as formication. This feeling can be distracting and distressing, causing an urge to scratch the body.

Formication, also called paresthesia, can cause numbness in the skin for no actual reason. It can also manifest as a tingling or pinching feeling on the skin.

Tactile hallucinations or skin crawling can also cause intense tingling sensations and an irresistible urge to scratch the body, even without real insects.

Understanding the potential causes of formication is vital in developing effective strategies to alleviate this discomfort.

You can also work towards reducing the intensity and frequency of skin crawling episodes by addressing the underlying factors contributing to these skin crawling sensations.

Methods To Stop Skin Crawling Feeling

  1. Identify Triggers

    You can recognize patterns and potential triggers by keeping a diary to track when these feelings occur. Understanding these triggers may help you take appropriate measures and medical approaches.

    Here are some common factors that could contribute to skiing crawling feeling:

    External Triggers Internal Triggers
    Anxiety Hormonal changes
    Stress Dietary habits
    Medication use
  2. Relaxation Techniques

    Relaxation techniques might help manage sensations of formication and promote overall mental health. Meditation, deep breathing, and muscle relaxation could help calm the mind and reduce stress levels significantly.

    Relaxation Techniques for Managing Formication:

    • Engage in muscle relaxation: Progressive muscle relaxation techniques could assist in reducing physical tension and promoting relaxation throughout the body.
    • Consider smart drugs and brain supplements: Exploring using smart drugs and brain supplements under medical guidance may enhance cognitive function and mental clarity.
    • Shift attention away from sensations: Training your focus on external stimuli rather than internal sensations may assist in reducing the intensity of formication feelings and improving overall health.
  3. Proper Hygiene

    Maintaining proper hygiene is essential for managing formication and reducing environmental irritants. Good hygiene practices could help minimize body irritation and alleviate itchy skin sensations.

    • Regularly cleaning the home removes dust, allergens, and other triggers that could deepen the crawling sense on the skin.
    • Using gentle detergents for washing clothes can also prevent skin irritation caused by harsh chemicals in regular detergents.
    • Keeping bed sheets and pillowcases clean is necessary to avoid contact with dirt, sweat, or allergens that may contribute to skin discomfort.
    • Adequate ventilation can help reduce humidity levels, decreasing the possibility of skin irritation and itchiness.
    • Fresh air circulation may help maintain a clean and healthy environment, minimizing the presence of potential irritants that could trigger creeping feelings.
  4. Taking Care Of Skin

    Body oils could help keep your skin hydrated without irritation when moisturizing. Regular exfoliation may promote healthy skin by removing dead cells and preventing the crawling sensation. However, you must use gentle exfoliating products to avoid skin complications.

    Tips for Taking Care of Your Skin:

    • Use mild, fragrance-free cleansers
    • Opt for trusted body oils
    • Consider CBD oil for pain relief
    • Regularly exfoliate
  5. Stop Recreational Drug Uses

    Discontinuing the use of recreational drugs is essential for people experiencing psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as crawling sensations on the skin.

    Recreational drugs could disrupt the body’s normal functions, leading to skin numbness and tingling feelings.

    When you decide to stop using recreational drugs, it allows your body to gradually detoxify and rebalance, potentially reducing or eliminating these distressing sensations.

    Quitting recreational drug use may present challenges due to potential withdrawal symptoms. Seeking professional support and assistance during this process may ensure a safe and effective transition.

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What Conditions Trigger The Skin Crawling?

  1. Uses of Recreational Drug 

    Recreational drug use, particularly substances like methamphetamines and cocaine, may contribute to the development of severe formication.

    • Recreational drug use could trigger severe formication symptoms.
    • Methamphetamines and cocaine are commonly associated with inducing formication.
    • Overcoming addiction and alcohol withdrawal may worsen the formication.
    • Seeking guidance from a therapist specialized in managing drug-induced symptoms might help in the recovery process.
  2. Menopause

    Menopause could trigger sensations of formication due to hormonal fluctuations, leading to heightened stress and anxiety. During menopause and perimenopause, people may experience unsettling skin sensations as they transition through this phase.

    It is essential for people experiencing formication during menopause to address the reason behind hormonal shifts that may be contributing to these sensations.

    Consulting with menopause advisors could provide valuable insights and guidance on managing crawling symptoms effectively.

  3. Psychological Disorders

    Delusional parasitosis can contribute to skin-crawling sensation. It is a psychiatric disorder indicated by a persistent belief in being infested with tiny mites. Delusional parasitosis is often accompanied by the perception of fiber excretion from the body.

    Here is a structured breakdown of psychological disorders related to skin

    Psychological Disorders Description
    Delusional Parasitosis Belief in being infested with mites, fiber excretion perception
    Schizophrenia Hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking
    Anxiety Disorders Excessive worry, fear, and anxiety
    Depression Persistent sadness, loss of interest, low energy
    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Intrusive thoughts, repetitive behaviors
  4. Medication Side Effects

    Certain drugs like antidepressants, antibiotics, and corticosteroids might cause skin crawling sensations. For example, Methylphenidate, commonly used for ADHD, and amantadine, prescribed for Parkinson’s disease, could lead to unwanted skin-crawling feelings.

    Drug Class Specific Medications Associated Side Effects
    Antidepressants Fluoxetine Formication, skin crawling
    Antibiotics Ciprofloxacin Tingling or crawling sensations
    Corticosteroids Prednisone It may cause itching, skin crawling
    ADHD Medications Methylphenidate Skin-crawling sensations
    Parkinson’s Meds Amantadine Causes skin-crawling feelings
  5. Skin Conditions

    Numerous skin conditions present a range of symptoms that might contribute to discomfort, including itching and crawling sensations, often triggered by factors such as allergic reactions and immune responses. These conditions could lead to heightened distress and potential health risks due to prolonged exposure.

    1. Allergic Reactions: Contact with allergens could trigger highly reactive immune responses, leading to hives, eczema, and scabies. Histamine release from these reactions induces itching, causing discomfort and potential skin inflammation.
    2. Dehydration Risk: Prolonged exposure to skin conditions characterized by itching and crawling sensations might lead to dehydration. Persistent scratching and skin inflammation may increase the body’s vulnerability to additional health complications.
    3. Skin Inflammation: Conditions such as eczema and scabies can result in skin inflammation, worsening discomfort, and the sensation of crawling or itching.

Diagnosis Of Skin Crawling

The diagnostic process for formication involves a complete evaluation of symptoms and potential contributing factors by a healthcare provider.

  1. Detailed Symptom Assessment: The healthcare provider will inquire about any additional symptoms experienced alongside the skin-crawling sensation. Information about the timing of these sensations throughout the day and any noticeable patterns will be crucial in understanding the condition.
  2. Medication History Review: It is essential to provide a detailed account of the medications being taken, including when the crawling sensations began in relation to starting new medications. Recreational drug use should also be disclosed as it can be a potential trigger.
  3. Rule Out Scabies: Since formication symptoms can mimic scabies, a skin infection can be caused by Sarcoptes scabiei mites. The doctor may need to conduct tests to differentiate between the two conditions.
  4. Complete Evaluation: Formication diagnosis may involve a thorough medical history assessment, physical checkup, and blood tests to identify underlying conditions. Neurological exams may also be conducted to assess nerve function, and imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans can be utilized to detect structural issues.

Complications Of Skin Crawling

Diabetic, neuropathy, or Lyme disease are a few complications that can cause formination. These untreated conditions may lead to cuts and wounds that heal slowly, loss of sensation, ulcers, abscesses, meningitis, heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.

People experiencing formication engage in constant scratching, which could result in cuts, scabs, and open wounds. These wounds might become infected, leading to complications such as pus or discharge, heavy bleeding, fever, lockjaw, gangrene, and sepsis.

Formication caused by neurological conditions or the use of psychoactive substances like ecstasy may potentially trigger delusional parasitosis. This condition manifests when people believe insects are crawling on them for real, leading to further mental health challenges.

Thus, seeking timely medical attention and adhering to treatment plans to prevent formication complications is crucial.

Engaging in proper wound care, maintaining good personal hygiene, and managing the itching sensation could reduce the chances of developing severe complications.

Treatment For Skin Crawling

Untreated conditions causing formication could lead to serious health complications. However, the appropriate treatment for skin crawling depends on identifying the underlying cause.

  1. Prescription Medication Adjustment: If formication is triggered by prescription drugs, consulting a healthcare provider for an alternative medication may alleviate the sensation without compromising treatment for other conditions.
  2. Topical Relief: Utilizing topical creams such as hydrocortisone for itching or moisturizers for skin hydration can provide immediate relief from the crawling sensations.
  3. Medication Intervention: In cases where formication is caused by recreational drugs, ceasing drug use under medical supervision is crucial. Rehabilitation programs could assist in managing addiction and addressing withdrawal symptoms like formication.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Stress and Anxiety Worsen the Sensation of Skin Crawling?

Stress and anxiety could heighten the sensation of skin crawling due to elevated sensitivity and nerve responses. Psychological factors could amplify the perception of physical symptoms, necessitating stress management techniques and holistic approaches for alleviation.

How Does Dehydration Affect the Likelihood of Feeling Like Bugs Are Crawling on the Skin?

Dehydration could worsen the sensation of bugs crawling on the skin by reducing skin elasticity and moisture levels, leading to heightened sensitivity. Adequate hydration is crucial to maintain skin health and minimize such discomfort.

Are There Specific Dietary Alterations That Can Help Alleviate Skin Crawling Sensations?

Increasing hydration and combining omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E may help alleviate skin crawling sensations.

Can Exposure to Environmental Toxins or Pollutants Trigger the Feeling of Skin Crawling?

Exposure to environmental toxins or pollutants includes chemicals, allergens, or pollutants that may irritate the skin, leading to uncomfortable sensations.


You need to work on the root cause of formication to achieve long-lasting effects. Proper hygiene and relaxation techniques might help reduce the uneasy feeling of crawling on the skin.

You can also use a moisturizer or barrier cream to hydrate your skin and regain freedom from distressing skin sensations.

If you are experiencing numbness or itching, placing an ice pack on the affected area might help you soothe the skin for instant relief.

If these remedies do not relieve skin crawling sensations, you should consult a doctor to seek a personalized treatment procedure to address your condition effectively.

  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • It is recommended to consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before trying any tips.

One response to “Formication: Complications, Diagnosis & Treatment Options”

  1. Caroline McGaughey says:

    My partner was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 66.. His symptoms included excruciating calf pain, muscular aches, tremors, slurred speech, frequent falls, loss of balance, and trouble standing up from a seated posture. After six months on Senemet, Siferol was given to him in place of the Senemet. It was also at this period that he was diagnosed with dementia. He began seeing hallucinations and became detached from reality. With the doctor’s approval, we stopped giving him Siferol and chose to try the Natural Herbs Center PD-5 protocol, which we had already looked into. After three months of PD-5 Treatment, he has made significant progress. The illness has been completely contained. There are no symptoms of persistent twitching, weakness, tremors, hallucinations, or muscle soreness. The PD-5 Protocol was obtained from natural herbs centre. com. Though you still need to determine what works best for you, I thought I would share my husband’s story in case it could be helpful. Greetings and prayers

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