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Itching and new member intro...HI!


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#1 Eos

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 04:20 PM

Hi,

I am a new member. I was just diagnosed with systemic scleroderma :( . I am quite overwhelmed by all this!!! And I am trying to accept and be proactive with all this. I am looking into adding herbal supplements and/or traditional chinese meds to whatever my doctor is/will prescribe for me.

Recently my skin on the underside of my forearms (near my wrists) started to itch terribly to a point where I scratch myself bloody. Is it true that the site of itch will develop hardened skin? How long until my skin in the itchy area will change? What do I have to expect?

Thanx!!

#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 04:33 PM

Hi Eos,

Welcome to Sclero Forums! I'm sorry you've been diagnosed with systemic scleroderma, but you have certainly come to the right place.

As it happens, we just had a discussion last week about Traditional Chinese Medicine, which I'm sure you'll find interesting. Basically, no matter what we consider doing, we must always ask our scleroderma expert about it first, before implementing anything. So many things can be dangerous for the illness or interact with our meds, that we can never be too cautious. So, it's great you asked!!

Itching often indicates that inflammation is going on. And it is one thing to itch, but another to scratch -- the scratching only makes it worse! When I go through the itch phase on my forearms, I find that bedtime is the absolute worst. So I cover my arms with lotion (Udder Cream, usually), and put long socks over my hands and forearms. (Jefa's trick is to cut off the tip of the socks, and then you can use your fingers, too, during the day.)

People have plenty of tips to share and I'm sure will be sending in their ideas soon.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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#3 canon

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 05:25 PM

Hi Eos,

Wanted to welcome you to the forum. Can't help much with your questions but wanted to say hello and sorry you have scleroderma. There are a couple things that may help and one is a scentless lotion for your skin. When you feel the itch starting use some lotion instead of scratching. There is no limit on how much lotion to use. Take care.

With gentle thoughts,

Judy
A happy heart is good medicine.

#4 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 06:01 AM

Hi Eos,

Welcome to the Forum!

Shelley, do you think we could get group discounts on gallon buckets or 10 gallon drums of lotion or cream? :lol:

Jefa, I'd never heard of the sock trick. That's great! My husband's old cotton socks won't be going for dog toys any more.

Eos, I have the "sine" form of systemic sclerosis - no hardened skin, just internal stuff going on. But! she says, I do get the itching and also big patches of skin (more all the time) that feel like they've been scalded. My rheumatologist recommended I use something fairly heavy like a tiger balm or petroleum jelly.

The other part of your question is how long till skin changes? Well, my itch has been itching and the burn burning for several years now and there has been no visible skin change other than worsening dryness. No hardening at all. :)
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#5 Snowbird

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 10:36 AM

Hi Eos

Just wanted to say hello....you're in the right place for questions and answers....
Sending good wishes your way!

#6 jefa

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 11:31 PM

Hello, Eos. Let me add my welcome to the forums. I think it is very easy to get caught up in all of this and fear for every new symptom and its possible outcomes. The best thing to do is try to relax as stressing is certainly not good for us -- it can bring about Raynaud's attacks, among other things. The way things play out is different for each one of us.

Jeannie, after reading your rheumatologist's comment about using heavier balms, I tried some all purpose salve I have been using as a lip balm on some itchy spots on my hand and it worked quite well where lotions hadn't quite done the trick. Thanks.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#7 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 05:09 AM

You're welcome, Jefa.

I hadn't thought of using the lip balms! That's a wonderful idea because now I really can always have something handy. (No pun intended. . .) I've got a drawer full of the things because my daughters and I are always buying each other ones in funny tubes or tins.
Jeannie McClelland
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#8 Little Red

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 07:43 AM

Hi Eos
Would like to extend another welcome to the forum!
I have morphea over 70% of my body. rheumatologist tells me it’s in remission asked him why it’s still itching & spreading he had no answer.
I also use creams (keep trying different ones) also take an antihistamine so I can sleep.
Hope this helps
Best to you
Little Red

#9 Nina

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 10:17 AM

Eos ~ Welcome to our world!
You have found the right place, I promise! Lots of good people, suffering, but you would never know it ~ with tons of good ideas and support.
I'm still learning myself, seems like we never stop learning.
Much love,
Nina (DE)

#10 Sweet

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 02:43 PM

Hi, and welcome Love,

It really can be overwhelming at first. I had a tough time for a long time. My advice is to take one day at a time, one symptom at a time, try not to "think" too much and truly, I promise it will get easier to handle.
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
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#11 Peggy

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 06:24 AM

I just wanted to send a "welcome". I too have the systemic. I don't however have the itching which I'm sure must be terribly annoying. I do though have the terrible reflux and skin involvment and I also have terrible fatigue and muscle pain all over. This disease is a constant one that is always there to remind us that we have it. You just need to stay on top of it by having a great doctor who knows sclero and see them on a regular basis to do the monitoring. I go every 4-6 months and have routine tests on different things all of the time. This forum however is wonderful as it's a place to go to for support, answers to questions, and to just vent. I wish you all the best and WELCOME!

Warm hugs,

Peggy

#12 Dreamer

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 04:37 PM

Hi Eos,

I can understand how you feel about the itching, it sends you mad. I scratch until I am black and blue and it also feels like sunburn. I have had no thickening of the skin where the itch is. Hang in there and keep in contact, I am very new to this site and have already felt it to be a great help.

Keep in contact.

Warmest Wishes To You

Evelyn.

#13 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:43 AM

Hello Eos

Welcome to the family, much like our real ones it may not be one we'd necessarily choose! :lol:

It's a lot to take in, offically moving from the world of well to the world of hurt but at least you know why and what you're dealing with.

The itching :angry: was one of my first symptoms an I remember my husband lotioning my legs at 3a.m. trying but not getting any relief. As we had no idea of the cause the creams were all wrong. I have skin involvement where the itching was and still is and per my rheumatologist it goes when the sclero becomes inactive but as with eveyrthing to do with this disease no one knows for sure and no one can predict to a medical certainty how it will pan out.

Antihistamines can help along with creams applied frequently, and forgo run of the mill soaps etc. I found that keeping the area cool/cold helped and I have also found that Cellcept helped my itching. Prednisilone did but the side effects were too high a price to pay. Ranitidine is supposed to help as well, I know it's a reflux drug but itch control is a pleasant side effect so I'm told.

In my opinion itching is an underrated symptom. B)

Keep posting and take care.

Amanda
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#14 lizzie

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 10:54 AM

Hi Eos, I have have itching skin, particularly bad at night when am warm (ish). I have found that any form of lotion (even dermatological cream E45) makes the itching worse not better. The only thing that seeem sto work at all is petroleum jelly. In my case the itching has usually preceeded skin thickening/ tightening.
Lizzie