Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sangria and the symmetry of itch

I've mostly recovered from my evening out in the rowdy company of science writers. What I'm recovering from is not the socializing but the bad sangria at the tapas bar we went to. I'm sure they make it from what's left in the wine bottles from the week before.

Red wine has much higher histamine levels than white wine. Histamines cause itch. Therefore, if I'm going to drink wine, it should be white. But I don't like white wine-- I like red wine. (Plus, the idea of white sangria is vile.) I pay for my stubbornness.

So I woke up this morning with the skin on my right ankle all torn up. Must have scratched it in my sleep. I've also been scratching the back of my right wrist this week. Have you ever noticed a weird symmetry with eczema? Usually, if you have a patch on the right side, you have one on the left side in the corresponding place. And if you have a patch on your arm, you have a patch in the corresponding part of your leg on that side. Or at least I do. If there's something on the inside of my elbow, there's something on the inside of my knee. If the forearms are acting up, then the lower legs are in the game. Not always, but enough to make me think there's some weird connection in the motor part of my brain.

Oh, another thing-- if one hand is scratching, I find the other hand is also compelled to scratch in mirror symmetry. Sometimes I have fun with this, kind of like tickling the belly of a dog and watching its leg kick. I'll use one hand to scratch, and put the other hand on a towel or tablecloth and watch it do its thing by itself.


  1. I too have noticed the symmetry. Right now both ears (only across the top edge - on both ears), the inner aspect of both ankles, and the outer 'bone bump' on both wrists are acting up. But only the distal joint of my right index finger is peeling and peeling and painfully peeling right now. I think I first picked up on this about 50 years ago. Strange...I've never found any literature which offered an explanation of this.

    J A Waldron

  2. Thats nummular eczema. Its eczema thats assymetrical. Look it up on google.