Weird skin stuff - MS related or not?

Dear group,

I know, you probably won’t be able to answer my question- as you’re not my neurologist. However, even my neurologist usually can’t really give me straight answers anyway.

I have been experiencing strange sensations on my skin lately. One of the things I get occasionally, lasting a day or so on and off ( most noticeable when I’m lying down ) is this feeling as if I have an insect crawling under my skin in my upper back- armpit area. It comes and goes for a day or two at a time, a couple of times a week.

The other thing I have is that on my ankle bone, it also feels like something is crawling there. It’s an annoying feeling, even slightly like an electrical current. On the same foot, same side, on the outside of the foot, I get occasional muscle spasms. It’s pretty annoying. This has been happening for two days.

Is there anything I should do about this ? Is this MS related ? Or does everyone get stuff like that - that’s what everyone seems to tell me when I complain about it. Apparently everyone has stuff like that. Which is fine, but how can you get it to stop ?

thanks for reading !


Hi Emily

The insects & electricity feelings sound like MS to me. We can get all sorts of weird sensory things. I often describe my legs as feeling fizzy. There are various medications that can help with spams and neuropathic stuff like this. Gabapentin, Pregabalin and Amitriptyline are common ones. Speak to your GP and see if they van prescribe something, though they may want your neuro to get you started instead.


sounds like a sensory symptom to me.I used to get a feeling of icy water been poured into my veins.

yes, a sensory symptom. Pre-m.s. periodically I experienced a very itchy scalp - nit killing shampoo used regularly - strangely! enough this didn’t solve the problem. The odd thing with sensory problems is that when we first get them we worry about them but as they re-occur we almost get used to them.

Hello Emily Had a similar problem about 3 years ago in my back. Felt like rats running up and down my back, it used to last for several hours and went on for 6 months. Told my MS nurse and she had a medical term for it. Then it just stopped happening Wished it would come back, enjoyed it. Bertie

I think the term for what you’re experiening is formication - the sensation of ants or insects crawling under your skin. It’s part of the sensory range of Paresthesias which can occur in MS. It was one of the symptoms that led to my diagnosis. (Optic neuritis, paresthesia and an MRI showing that my brain had more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese confirmed the diagnosis).

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Gosh i can remember having a Tarantula crawling across my forehead it was horrific, then the flea, oh yeh the flea always across my nose and cheeks, and the crawly things up my legs, the bee STINGING me, running into the house screaming with pain thinking i had been stung, literally taking off my trousers to find NOTHING. the ankle and pain. it comes and goes. As MrsFlute said Formication (be careful how i spell that lol). Its bizarre, and creepy.

Yep - definitely an MS sensory thing - had similar experiences in the past

Yes, you’ve just described most of the sensory things I have, also the odd wrist spasm, left ankle spasm nightly, ants/insects crawling on head or down back from right shoulder, annoying!!!