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#1 dcc

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 05:31 PM

Hi, I am 55 and awaiting a diagnosis.  I have a pitted area with white in the center (on my face) which the dermatologist says is an atrophic scar.  It appeared out of nowhere in March.  There was no injury of any kind, it just wasn't there, and then it just was.  When it started pitting I was afraid it was cancer so I went to my former dermatologist.  She said she didn't know what it was but it didn't look like cancer.   I asked her if it was going to get bigger and she laughed.  That hurt my feelings, I don't think it's funny.  I may not look like a movie star, but I care.  She measured it and gave me a prescription for doxycycline.  She is mostly into spa and cosmetic dermatology.  

 

I made an appointment and saw another dermatologist who is board certified.  She said atrophic scars that appear suddenly can be caused by lichen sclerosis or scleroderma.  I looked up lichen sclerosis and do not think I have other symptoms, but will leave it to her to determine.  I looked up scleroderma (yes I read about cyberchondria, good point). 

 

I began having bowel incontinence about 3 months ago, which I found described under scleroderma, but I have not told my Dermatologist yet.  I have a recheck in 3 months.  I think we are watching to see if the patch does anything further.  I keep looking at it, of course.  She said she could do a biopsy, but that would cause a scar.  It already is a pitted scar, I don't think it would be much worse after a biopsy.  I know it is vanity but I have gone my whole life without any scars on my face.  I tried makeup and it only conceals the white, the dent still shows.  I looked up heavy duty concealers, but they look complicated to use.

 

1)  Does anyone know of a simple to use one step concealer that will level out a pitted scar (then I can put foundation over it)?  I feel like I need to hide this from people, especially at work.

 

2)  Is there a common test or group of tests I should expect?  I mean, is there a way to find out for sure.  Do you think I can get a definite answer at the next appointment or am I just going to be left wondering?  This has caused stress that is affecting other areas of my life.

 

Thanks



#2 judyt

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:54 PM

Hello ddc,

 

Welcome to the forums, as you have probably found already there is a great deal of information and support available here.   I am sorry you have unexplained symptoms and that your Dermatologist was not sympathetic.   Researching for yourself is not always the most reliable way to find a diagnosis but we all do it and it seems to give us some clues sometimes.

 

It is possible you have some form of Sclerosis but if you don't have Raynaud's it is unlikely that it is Scleroderma.   The usual course of tests is a range of blood tests including DNA and ANA (antinuclear antibodies) and then a comparison with the symptoms you are displaying.   It is possible that you would be better consulting a Rheumatologist but unless that person has experience with Scleroderma you are still less likely to get a definite answer.   Have you tried your GP?   Write a list of all the odd things you have happening, remembering to include everything even if you feel that it is not important, and then talk to a GP and see what he says.   Ask for a referral to somebody who is more likely to be able to help.

 

There are other threads here which talk about concealers and hopefully Jo will come in and give you some links.

 

In the meantime, best wishes with your search for answers

Judyt



#3 dcc

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:11 PM

It is possible that you would be better consulting a Rheumatologist but unless that person has experience with Scleroderma you are still less likely to get a definite answer.  

 

Thanks, this is useful, since I do not want to have to go to 2 rheumatologists like I did 2 dermatologists.  No, I haven't been to my GP, only the dermatologist.  I could try that, there isn't usually a long wait to get in. 

 

I realized after I asked about a concealer, that is like asking for a specific product and you aren't supposed to list them here, sorry. 



#4 Joelf

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 05:59 AM

Hi Dcc,

 

Welcome to these forums!

 

I'm sorry to hear that you've been having health problems and are concerned about having Scleroderma. Unfortunately it is notoriously difficult to diagnose not least because the symptoms vary so much in every case and no two people are affected in the same way. Also some of the symptoms you're experiencing can perhaps mimic Scleroderma but also relate to other illnesses as well.

 

I've included a link for you to our page on Corrective Cosmetics which I hope will give you some more information and help.

 

It's a pity that the first dermatologist was so unsympathetic; the last thing you want when you're obviously worried and anxious is the consultant trying to be a comedian and belittling your concerns! Please do let us know how your follow up appointment with the other dematologist goes; I know three months is a long time to wait, but if your bowel symptoms persist, it might be worth speaking to your doctor again, as Judy has advised and perhaps see about getting a referral to a Scleroderma specialist.

 

Kind regards,


Jo Frowde
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#5 dcc

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:57 PM

Thank you for both links.  They both exactly hit the mark.  I went through being diagnosed-undiagnosed on another condition (finally sent for genetic testing) so at least I have some concept of how that goes, and it makes me tired just thinking about it.  The part about insurance was interesting too.  I thought they couldn't uninsure you (I am in the U.S.) if you could demonstrate you'd had unbroken coverage for a length of time.  On the makeup, it said one of the brands is carried by a store here, so I may go see if they offer to demonstrate it.  I tried layering liquid bandage and that didn't work or I'm not good at it.  I found a 2-minute product while watching videos on how to hide a scar that looked good, too.  Thanks again. 



#6 Sweet

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:53 PM

Welcome dcc!! So glad you've joined us!
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#7 dcc

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:23 PM

Thank you.



#8 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:42 PM

Hi Dcc,

Welcome to Sclero Forums!  I'm sorry you have concerns about possible scleroderma.  To try to answer your questions a bit:

 

a)  There is a product called Dermaflage that we are planning on adding to our main website. You can google it for more info, see if it is helpful in your situation, or not.

 

Also, sometimes if you use a well-matched foundation with a good technique, and use more dramatic makeup elsewhere, it can fool the eye.  For example, you could try using airbrush makeup with a shade that is very well matched. And then do either much more dramatic eye makeup or lip color.  Pick just one feature on your face to highlight and invest your time, money and technique in that. Eyes are usually the best pick, but if you wear thick glasses you might be better off putting the emphasis on lips. Use this as a great excuse to have a beauty makeover done. If you find a truly exceptional foundation, buy it (don't flinch at the price), but basically you can generally do sufficient color matches using cheaper products for the rest of your face (if budget is a concern).

 

b)  I may be wrong, I often am, and you only have to read the forums for about five minutes to figure that out, but I think it would be odd for scleroderma to begin as a small, indented scar on the face.  Or should I say, it would be more odd for systemic scleroderma to begin that way, less odd for morphea (localized) scleroderma however morphea also has distinct color changes, and you haven't mentioned any color changes. Yet.

 

There are an awful lot of tests you would be subjected to, if they suspect systemic scleroderma.  But may we back off that for a moment?  If I were you, I would start right this minute by going to my primary care doctor and asking for a referral to a top notch gastroenterologist.  It is not normal to have bowel incontinence. Not even with scleroderma, usually until very advanced stages. That needs to be checked out regardless of whatever else might be going on, and the only type of doctor that can properly check it out is a gastroenterologist. See Causes of Fecal Incontinence by the Mayo Clinic.

 

So, first things first.  See your primary care doctor. Let them know of these concerns. Watch the scar, see if it changes or not. Maybe whatever it is now is all it is ever going to be. But get to the bottom of the fecal incontinence.  <Pun intended, sorry. You know how it is sometimes, when you just can't resist and you even sit on your fingers for five minutes and it doesn't help?  You just type away anyway?  Well yes, I'm sure you probably do.>

 

And please keep us updated on your progress, okay?

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#9 debonair susie

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 08:59 AM

Hi dcc,

 

I'm glad you joined us here and I do hope you are able to glean good information from the medical information that is provided on the ISN site.

 

Please don't let Shelley fool you; she is quite remarkable (in more ways than I would even begin to try to name! :emoticons-yes:  has done a wonderful thing by creating this International Scleroderma Network).

 

Having read through the posts on your thread here, you've received much great and useful information from ALL of the ladies; I only wish you the very best with getting to the bottom of your derma mystery, as it is very disconcerting when changes take place in dramatic ways, where our bodies are concerned.

 

As for your "vanity"? I SO understand what you are saying and the Dermatologist was not plugged into her sensitivity outlet, when she reacted as she did, to your query. Hopefully the latter dermatologist will be much more helpful to your needs.

 

I also hope you are able to get your gastro issues dealt with, to your expectations, as they are not pleasant, by ANY stretch of the imagination (as I also know first-hand).

 

In the meantime, please take care and keep us posted?


Special Hugs,

Susie Kraft
ISN Support Specialist
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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#10 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:14 PM

Hi dcc,

 

So, have you set up a doctor's appointment yet?

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#11 dcc

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:17 PM

I am very sorry, I did not see the last 3 replies.  I have the topic checked to follow it, but did not get any notifications.  I just went into the control panel and made some changes but don't know if they were the right changes.

 

On the indented/scarred area, it is on a diagonal between the corner of my mouth and jawline.  I'm not that much into makeup, if I use it at all I try for the "natural" look, and feel it is a success if I look healthier/better and the makeup does not show.   Wish I could use the diversion tactics, but that would be a big change from my usual look.   I have a foundation that is a perfect match for my chin, but it does not work for this because of the angle of the spot/scar.  It is about 1/2" long and diagonal so the light shining down from above (ceiling lights) catches the upper edge of it and throws a tiny shadow making it more visible, so it would need to be filled in to be hidden.  There was never any red or purple or other color, it just has 2 separate white roundish areas inside an indent.  I think there is more white than there was at first, but I can't swear.  The second dermatologist had her assistant take a photo of it.  If I use the foundation to get rid of the white, it seems to accentuate the upper edge and looks worse, not better.  Maybe I should try applying it with a pointed cotton swab instead of my finger, it could be technique as you say.  I think Dermaflage is the 2-minute preparation I was mentioning in my earlier post, only I didn't want to say the brand name.  I saw a video about it that was very convincing.

 

My follow up appointment is in July.  I do have a question right now. I told the dermatologist, I get very mild tingling down inside the skin near the area of the spot at odd intervals.  If it starts tingling, I put my finger on the place that is tingling and go look in the mirror to see where it is.  It is always right near the spot but not always right on it.  I keep wondering if that means it is "active" or something, whatever that means?  Every time I feel it I think, "Is it spreading?"  I never had any tingling before the spot appeared.

 

I may mention the "other problem" to my regular doctor.  I know it's tied to a loss of sensation, but I don't know what is causing that.

 

Thank you



#12 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:40 AM

Hi dcc,

 

I suppose the tingling could be anything, from inflammation or from a trapped nerve, and so on. Here is a link to Common Causes of Skin Tingling by Right Diagnosis.com.

 

Scleroderma skin involvement is often preceded or accompanied by odd, assorted skin sensations, such as tingling, tugging, numbness, burning, and/or itching; but such sensations can occur with many other ailments, too, so it is not specific to scleroderma.

 

It would make sense that it would be difficult to camouflage something that is indented. Is the Dermaflage supposed to stay on long enough to make the application worthwhile?

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#13 dcc

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:39 PM

I haven't tried it because the starter kit is $50, which is a lot, and you have to order the correct skin tone, which could be a $50 mistake.  The website claims it stays on up to 36 hours.  They have videos demonstrating it on places on the face that are mobile, so I suppose it must stick pretty well.  They tell you to put on your makeup first, then put on the Dermaflage.  It seems like with so many different formulations of makeup, with different amounts of oil, etc., it might not stay on equally well for everyone, but I don't know? 

 

The dermatologist said she could do a collagen filler, but I think we are watching to see if it's going to change any.  And I wanted to say I am embarrassed and sorry to be paying so much attention to a fairly small pitted area when plenty of people probably wish that was all they had to worry about.  It's a little bit of wondering if anything else will develop.  



#14 Joelf

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:35 PM

Hi dcc,

 

Perhaps it would be better to wait and see how the indentation and mark progresses (if indeed it does) and then perhaps you could consider the filler. I do understand how you feel about it, especially as it's on your face and it is important to you and you shouldn't feel embarrassed and sorry over your concern about it, as it affects the way you feel about yourself.  I managed to develop a DVT through my one and only foray into the world of cosmetic surgery to improve my varicose veins (long and incredibly tedious story, with which I won't bore you now! ;) ) so I know how much our appearance can influence the way we feel.

 

It's a pity you can't perhaps get a sample of the Dermaflage to try; it might be worth contacting the company to see if that would be possible?

 

Kind regards,


Jo Frowde
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#15 dcc

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:21 AM

Ok, that was a good idea.  I called the company and asked two questions. 

 

First I wanted to know if it smelled.  (I tried clear mascara recently and it looked fine but continued to smell all day, and I was afraid this might do the same.)  He said it does not smell.  There is a primer you can put on for extended wear, and it is lightly scented with lavendar oil, but the smell goes away as the alcohol evaporates, and if it bothers you you don't have to use it.  He confirmed that if you do use it, 15 minutes later you can't smell it.

 

Then I asked about making a color mistake.  He said two things.  1)  If you order the wrong color, they will exchange the kit for the cost of shipping.  2)  The starter kits come with 2 colors, so for example in one kit there might be the lightest and the second lightest color, or there might be the second lightest color and the medium color, etc.  Now I just have to decide whether I want to talk  myself into spending $50, but I'm not worried about making a color mistake.  I guess it could be possible that neither color would a perfect match but I bet it would still be an improvement.  Apparently you are not supposed to put makeup over it, except something like bare minerals.



#16 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:24 PM

Hi dcc,

 

That is all very interesting. Thank you for explaining how it works, I am sure many other people will find it helpful.

 

It's my understanding that we should never use mascara if it smells funny. It could have been contaminated or even just on the shelf too long.  You can call the company that makes it and talk to them about it. They can look up the lot number.

 

I buy mini mascaras, which are both smaller and cheaper, and throw them out on the first of every month; but I have dry eyes (which makes them very prone to infection) and want to err on the side of safety.  In general they say we should never use smelly mascara, and always throw it out after 90 days, because mascara makes for a great petri dish, being dark and moist with exposure to all the delightful germs in and around our eyes.

 

Have you decided to order it yet?  I'm very eager to hear how it works for you!

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#17 dcc

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 04:17 PM

Hi Shelley,

 

I never even considered that there might be something wrong with the clear mascara.  I just thought it must be made with some kind of acrylic compound or some kind of chemical that smells.  I just went upstairs and pitched it, couldn't think of anything else to use it for.  

 

What I decided about the Dermaflage is that $50 trial makeup is not in my budget right now.  It's just too much.  I am keeping it in mind in case the spot gets bigger or I feel more desperate, then maybe I will be able to justify the expense.

 

Thanks for your interest, thanks for your support, thanks for the hugs, and I appreciate the content I see all over the website, that you added.