What Can You Do To Stop Skin-Crawling Feelings?

Team Health Cages

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how to stop skin crawling feeling naturally


In this blog, we learn that the sensation of skin-crawling, also known as formication, can be triggered by various factors, including exposure to scary stimuli, mental health issues, drug use, medication side effects, and certain medical conditions. The phenomenon manifests as a feeling of bugs crawling on or under the skin, accompanied by sensations such as itching, pricking, tingling, and pins and needles.

Treatment for skin-crawling depends on its underlying cause, with approaches ranging from medication for specific conditions like Parkinson’s disease or fibromyalgia to discontinuing drugs or seeking professional assistance for drug-induced formication. Additionally, symptomatic relief measures like using creams, moisturizers, ice packs, or antihistamines may be recommended. Overall, managing the root causes of skin-crawling and seeking medical advice are essential steps in addressing this discomforting sensation.

The following topics were discussed in detail:

What Is Skin-Crawling

The feeling of “skin-crawling” happens when something makes you feel uncomfortable or scared. It can be caused by different things, like seeing something really scary in a movie or hearing a creepy story. It’s like something invisible is making your skin tingle or feel prickly, and it makes you want to shiver or move away. This reaction is natural and helps us stay alert to possible dangers or things that might make us feel uneasy.

People often say “skin-crawling” when they feel grossed out, scared, or anxious, and it makes their bodies react. This shows how closely our minds and bodies are connected. Whether it’s because of something spooky we see in a dark place or just hearing a scary story by a fire, that skin-crawling feeling reminds us of our basic instincts and how our bodies respond to what’s happening around us.

Causes of Skin-Crawling

Skin-crawling can happen for different reasons, like mental health issues or using certain drugs. It can happen if someone has

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Believes they have bugs under their skin (called delusional parasitosis)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Uses a lot of methamphetamine (often called “meth mites”)
  • Uses cocaine, crystal meth (sometimes called “coke bugs”), or heroin
  • Goes through drug or alcohol withdrawal

Skin-crawling can also be caused by medications used for mental health problems, like

  • Antipsychotics (like Abilify, Haldol, Zyprexa, fluphenazine, and Risperdal)
  • Antidepressants such as Paxil, Celexa, Luvox, Prozac, and Zoloft.

It can also happen because of other conditions like

  • Menopause
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Diabetic nerve problems
  • Shingles
  • Lupus
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Lewy body dementia

Symptoms of Skin-Crawling 

Skin-crawling sensations, also known as formication, can be described as a feeling like insects are crawling on or under your skin. This sensation can be caused by various factors, including:

  1. Stress and Anxiety: Heightened stress or anxiety levels can lead to sensations of skin crawling. The body’s response to stress can manifest in physical symptoms, including tingling or crawling sensations.
  2. Drug Withdrawal: Withdrawal from certain drugs, such as opioids or cocaine, can cause formication as a withdrawal symptom. The body’s adjustment to the absence of the substance can lead to unusual sensations on the skin.
  3. Nerve Damage or Irritation: Conditions that affect the nerves, such as peripheral neuropathy, can cause abnormal sensations, including crawling or tingling feelings on the skin.
  4. Psychological Conditions: Some psychological conditions, such as delusional parasitosis or psychosis, can cause individuals to perceive sensations of insects crawling on their skin, even when there are no physical insects present.
  5. Menopause: Hormonal changes during menopause can lead to various symptoms, including skin-crawling sensations. Fluctuations in estrogen levels can affect nerve endings, leading to abnormal sensations.
  6. Allergies or Skin Conditions: Certain allergic reactions or skin conditions, such as eczema or scabies, can cause itching or tingling sensations that may feel like something is crawling on the skin.
  7. Medication Side Effects: Some medications may list skin-crawling sensations as a potential side effect. If you experience this sensation after starting a new medication, consult your healthcare provider.

Treatment of Skin-Crawling

Treatment for skin-crawling feelings, called formication, depends on what’s causing it. If you have Parkinson’s disease, shingles, or fibromyalgia, your doctor will give you special medicines and create a treatment plan that lasts a long time. For example, they might give you antiviral medications for shingles or pain medications for fibromyalgia.

If formication is caused by medication, your doctor might suggest different medications. If it’s because of drug use, stopping and getting help from a professional can make the feelings go away. Also, using creams like hydrocortisone can help with itching, and moisturizers can keep your skin healthy. Putting an ice pack on the areas that feel weird can make you feel better for a little while. Your doctor might also say to take antihistamines like Zyrtec or Benadryl to lessen the feelings, but some of these can make you feel sleepy, so be careful.


Skin-crawling, also known as formication, is a sensation where one feels like bugs are crawling on or under their skin. While it can occur due to various reasons, including mental health conditions, drug use, medication side effects, and certain medical conditions like menopause or neuropathies, its underlying cause needs to be addressed for effective treatment.

Symptoms of skin-crawling include itching, pricking, tingling, and a sensation of pins and needles. Treatment varies depending on the cause. For instance, medications may be prescribed for conditions like Parkinson’s disease or fibromyalgia, while adjustments to medication or professional assistance may be necessary for drug-induced formication. Managing underlying conditions and seeking medical advice are crucial steps toward alleviating this uncomfortable sensation.


Q1. How do I get rid of the crawling feeling in my skin?

A1. It may help to take an antihistamine, such as cetirizine (Zyrtec) or diphenhydramine (Benadryl), right after symptoms begin to help prevent acute itching episodes. Shop for Zyrtec and Benadryl.

Q2. Can formication go away on its own?

A2. When you quit using drugs and your body gets rid of them, the feeling of bugs crawling on your skin usually goes away on its own. If you have mental health issues, doctors can give you medicine and talk to you to help you feel better.

Q3. Is it normal to feel things crawling on my skin?

A3. Formication is when you feel like bugs are crawling on or under your skin, even though they’re not there. It can happen because of mental health issues, medical problems, or other reasons. But it can usually be treated, depending on what’s causing it and other things.

Q4. What deficiency causes a crawling sensation on the skin?

A4. Having tingling or numbness, called paresthesia, can be a sign that you’re not getting enough vitamin B12, but it doesn’t always mean you have that problem. Sometimes, it just means there’s pressure on a nerve. If tingling or numbness lasts a long time, it could be a sign of a medical problem or nerve damage.

Q5. Is crawling skin caused by anxiety?

A5. When you’re stressed, your body can react in many different ways. This can make you feel itchy, tingly, or like bugs are crawling on your skin. It can cause all sorts of strange feelings in different parts of your body.

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