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Theory Of Problem Causing Scleroderma

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#1 Rochelle



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Posted 06 December 2006 - 10:52 AM

Did you ever wear any platinum jewelry or have it in your dental work? The reason I ask is because I wore a platinum anniveresary ring for 2 years with no problem. Then one day huge horrible rash. Took off, cleared up. Did this many more times until finally stopped wearing it. Looking back, this is when all my problems began with acid reflus and now these skin/finger/scleroderma problems. And the worst area effected and where the skin changes started was on that same finger. I can even bend that finger back as skin is so tight there. I'm at the beginning of my diagnoses. Something just tells me it's that ring. There are theories that it had nickel in it....so I tested it and no nickel. The other theory is that it had bacteria on it....so I cleaned it with peroixe and bleach. Put it back on and still did it. I also find myslef itching like crazy when I put it on and breaking out in red itchy bumbs. I take it off and itching is gone. So, looked on the internet to find others with scleroderma to test my theory that someone platinum got in my blood stream when the rash was all open and nasty. Or maybe don't need to have a rash. Just think about how "the patch" works for birth control or for smokers. How does that get in your system?? I hope to hear your thoughts.

#2 jefa


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Posted 06 December 2006 - 11:57 PM

hi, Rochelle. An interesting question. Have you put rings other materials on that finger with different results? I am thinking that maybe it is just the pressure of the ring, not the material it is made of. In the Wikipedia entry for platinum under precautions it says,

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, short-term exposure to "platinum salts may cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat" and long-term exposure "may cause both respiratory and skin allergies."

Nothing said about platinum used in jewelry.

#3 Heidi


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Posted 07 December 2006 - 03:13 AM

Hi Rochelle,

I think that it is so hard to pin down any one cause of Scleroderma. There has been a fair amount of research looking into it with lots of different things being implicated, but of course nothing proven. I thought you might be interested in reading our page on the Sclero website about causes of scleroderma. As you will see there, the list of possibilities is quite extensive!

Warm wishes,

#4 janey


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Posted 07 December 2006 - 04:28 AM

Hi Rochelle,
Welcome to our forum! I'm so glad that you have found us and have posted so soon after joining. I'm very sorry for your recent diagnosis and hope that your presence here helps both physical and emotionally.

In reference to the platinum - I think that different metals affect us all in different ways. I had a gold wedding band about 1/2" wide that always gave me those tiny red, itchy bumps every time I wore it. So after about 3 months I quit wearing it and the bumps never returned. Fortunately it didn't jinx the marriage because that was 32 years ago - still married, but I don't wear a ring to show it. As to attributing the platinum to having caused your sclero - who knows. There are SO MANY possible causes of scleroderma as you can read here on ISN, that it could be more a combination of factors than just one thing. When I first reviewed the possible causes I saw mercury from fillings, silica exposure from working in a cleanroom, genetics, and stress. It didn't take me but a few weeks to give up the quest of determining the cause because I became too obsessed with an effective treatment that would give me at least some of my life back. I realized that trying to determine "why" was fruitless. So for the past 3 years I've been focusing on treatments and it will continue to be my focus for the rest of my long and happy life.

Again welcome! Please keep us informed on how you are doing. We're so glad you're here.

Big Hugs,

Janey Willis
ISN Support Specialist
(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster
(Retired) ISN News Director
(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#5 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 04:49 AM

Hi Rochelle,

Since you are still trying to get a diagnosis for your skin/finger problem, I'd recommend going to a board certified dermatologist, asap. They can examine the skin and possibly biopsy it to see what is causing the itching/rash/swelling/tightness, etc.

If your only symptom outside of this is reflux, which is very common in the general population, odds would probably be very high that your skin problem is treatable, such as a form of fungus or contact dermatitis that has just been allowed to go on too long.

For future reference, one rule of thumb is that if anything you come in contact with creates a problem (such as a rash), the first thing to do is avoid it, always. In the case of jewelry, put it in the jewelry box, sell it, trade it in, give it away, cover the inside with nail polish, or just wear other jewelry. Don't tempt fate by trying to wear (or consume) it again, unless you are somehow able to rule out allergy as a cause, since some allergic reactions can be fatal.

I also had a wedding ring that was bothersome. It had a wide band, which trapped moisture underneath it from hand washing and sweat. So now I have another "wedding" ring which has a design of open hearts and a much narrower band. It is made out of the same metal (gold) but it has never caused a problem, so my situation was simply with the design of the jewelry causing fungus, and not a metal allergy.

But in any event, it's perhaps a little bit premature to worry about the cause of scleroderma when you are still in the diagnostic stage and it could be something other than scleroderma. If you really relate your skin symptoms to the ring, which certainly sounds reasonable under the circumstances, odds would be very high for it to be something other than scleroderma. So please, see an excellent dermatologist as soon as possible, and even if it is good (as in non-scleroderma) news, please let us know!
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.

#6 Sweet


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Posted 07 December 2006 - 07:36 AM

Hi Rochelle!

Welcome to the board!! Sure glad to have you here, but sorry it's because you are ill.

I have read many 'reasons' why people get scleroderma, and one was heavy metal toxicity. However, when it comes down to it, no one really knows. I for one did have all of my mercury fillings replaced and I also went through a treatment that was to remove the heavy metals from my body.

I think a lot of people have reactions to jewelry, many that I know personally have reactions to jewelry, and yet they don't have scleroderma. I've never been able to wear fake jewelry, as I would have reactions like you expressed.

At this point, I think it's important that you seek treatment with a dermatologist and then perhaps a rheumatologist to see what you're dealing with. It would be great if it wasn't sclero!! Or did you already receive a diagnosis for that?

So very glad you posted!! We look forward to hearing from you more often.

Much love

Warm and gentle hugs,

ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#7 Elehos


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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:11 AM

Hi Rochelle,

My skin does react horribly to nickel in jewelry, and it also causes severe joint pain, so I don't wear it at all. I've also had two fusions done on my back, and became far worse after each one. These are titanium nuts 'n bolts, and something I heard on the radio made me wonder the other day; I didn't catch exactly which buildings were now using titanium on the outside of their buildings, but they began using it since it was easier to clean. After the fact they found it actually absorbs air pollution, so it makes me wonder if titanium in the human body absorbs and holds toxins as well. To make it worse, a lot of these prosthetic devices are "reclaimed" and reused for other patients, so it makes me wonder how many other people are now in the same condition. This isn't to say that my health had been great for most of my life, but there was a serious, rapid decline after the fusions were done. I hope you find out what's going on with you, and that you can at least avoid anything that could make you worse.

Best wishes to you,

#8 peanut


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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:36 AM


I'm no doctor but here's my two cents: I've had sensitive skin problems my whole life and was diagnosed with contact dermatitis way before my scleroderma diagnosis. One thing my dermatologist told me is stress can make your body more sensitive. Stress can induce allergies you may not have when your body is in a normal, calm state, I have this. Scleroderma is also stress sensitive. I don't know if the metal can cause scleroderma but your body is likely to be more reactive to things such as metal due to stress. And scleroderma and its symptoms are stressful. I don't know if that's the answer but its something to think about.


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