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A word of warning to those with tight skin

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#1 amberjolie


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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:33 PM

I figured I should pass along something I discovered, in case anyone else has this situation.

I was getting TB tests done so that I can start Remicade. For the first test (they do two), she picked out a spot on my forearm that had hardened skin. I had mentioned that it was a spot where the skin had hardened, but I guess she felt it wouldn't affect the results so she still used the spot.

It was INCREDIBLY painful! After the shot, even when she drew a circle around the spot in pen to be able to see it later, it hurt like anything! And it was still somewhat painful for longer than I would have expected for a shot like that.

So yesterday when I got the second shot, I asked her to pick a spot that wasn't hard. I still have a little bit of soft skin left on my forearms, close to my elbows. This time, the needle was no big deal at all. A little scratch and that was about it.

So just a word of warning - if anyone has to do a TB skin test, or any other type of needle, do your best to get it done in a spot that hasn't hardened.

#2 Joelf


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Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:04 AM

Thanks so much for that info, Amberjolie. I'm sure quite a few of our members will be affected, like you, when they have blood tests or cannulas inserted.

Thankfully, I don't have much skin involvement, so haven't actually experienced this problem, although I've had many different nurses taking blood, some good and some not so good! ;) These days I have blood test at my general practitioners every six weeks as I'm taking Azathioprine; I usually see the same nurse and we've become quite chummy now! We always have exactly the same conversation thus:

Nurse: "Is this for Methotrexate?"
Me: "No, Azathioprine."
Nurse: "Just a small scratch", as she inserts the needle.
Me: "It's hardly a new experience for me, haha!"

We're rather like a vaudeville cross talk act!! ;) :lol:

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#3 Sweet


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Posted 03 October 2012 - 05:07 PM

Not to mention the pain, but the absorption of the medication is affected as well. She should have known better!
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#4 amberjolie


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Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:14 PM

Yes, Sweet, the first test showed a reading of 3 mm, which I think is a false reading (although it's still considered negative; under 5mm is negative). The second test was 0 mm.

#5 miocean


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Posted 04 October 2012 - 06:10 AM

I had a phlebotomist tell me once I was like trying to get a needle into a watermelon! :rolleyes: Of course, she missed and had to call in someone else. We all have stories to tell about how many times we have been stuck.

I never thought how hardened skin would cause some issues with tests that are done closer to the surface like the TB test or allergy testing. Thanks for the heads up!

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#6 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:21 AM

When I had tight skin most everywhere no way was anyone ever sticking a needle in it, ever! Good grief!

Take care.
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#7 debonair susie

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:31 PM

When my skin (first) hardened, I hadn't yet been diagnosed with Scleroderma, so when the nurse giving me my flu shot said to me that my skin was just like an elephant's, I took offense . Had I known, I could have come back with something clever...I don't know WHAT :emoticon-dont-know: , but it would have been something ^_^ !
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