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Skin issues


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#1 debo_92

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 05:56 PM

Okay, so maybe this is completely unrelated to Sclero issues but thought I would try getting info here anyway. My feet have started getting painful in the middle of the night (I have a high pain tolerance and can generally fall back to sleep without needing meds or being up too long). Then on the bottoms of my feet, on the pads below the toes (primarily under the big toes) my skin is thicker and peeling really badly (some spots are almost raw). Could both of the issues with my feet be connected and could they be sclero related?

Another new issue is in my left elbow. It is suddenly very stiff and painful. I take two of my husbands prescription pain pills before I go to bed at night and an anti-inflammatory and can still feel the stiffness and pain. This causes a weakness in that arm and if I try to pick up something too heavy I get a sharp, shooting pain that radiates both directions through my arm, from my elbow. I do not see visible swelling. I have had no injury to the elbow or arm for that matter. Any thoughts?

I do have Raynaud's but have no other official diagnoses. I do suspect Scleroderma and have had a doctor mention I had some mild signs of Sclero though.

#2 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 06:16 PM

Hi Debo,

Can't help you with the foot problems, sorry. I had similar elbow problems to those you describe and my doctor diagnosed it as tendonitis. The culprit turned out to be my habit of lugging an ultra-heavy knitting basket on that side. Well, hmmm, yes. Once I took out my book, my handbag, my thermos, my granola bars, my water bottle, my penny whistle and a book of music, just leaving the knitting, the problem eventually went away. Of course, I'm not a doctor and you should probably get it checked, but for starters you might try resting the arm on the affected side and then pay attention to what you have been doing with it if the problem flares up again or gets worse.

Should I give you my Mother's Lecture on The Dangers of Taking Someone Else's Medication? Very bad idea and all the more reason to see your doctor~

Best wishes,
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#3 debo_92

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 05:19 AM

I do a lot to try to rest my arm right now. I do get similar pains in both knees and my shoulders on occassion but they do not last nearly as long as this one elbow has. It is frustrating.

I don't need the lecture, I know the dangers :blush: . Unfortunately when you have no insurance you get a bit creative in meeting your medical needs. I will definitely be seeing my doctor in the near future though and see what we can and can't get done.

My feet are driving me crazy for sure. I wonder if it is dry skin but then think that I have never had issues with this before and there is nothing new in my environment or lifestyle. I guess this is one for the doctor too.

Thanks for the information and suggestions!

#4 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 05:32 AM

Hi Debo,

I don't know if my doctor thinks it is scleroderma related (or maybe age-related), but I have bursitis in both hips and tendonitis in the shoulders. The thing that has worked abosolutely the best for me is exercise. I do Pilates and also some PT-prescribed specific area exercises, all with resistance bands. With my miserable elbow, it's always a weight thing that triggers it, so I have now accumulated a collection of small knitting bags that I can't overload and leave the big projects in the Behemoth Basket at home.

Again, I'm not a doctor, but a lot of us have had foot pain, especially in the beginning. The fat pads can disappear, leaving us feeling like we are walking on marbles. That lack of cushioning also leads to calluses. I have extremely dry skin everywhere, including my feet. I try to do common sense things like wearing flat shoes with a good cushioning sole, soft warm socks, give myself an at-home pedicure on a frequent basis. You might try soaking your feet in warm water and then giving them a good rub with moisturizing cream before you go to bed. Your feet might be getting cold and cramping a bit while you sleep.

Good luck!
Jeannie McClelland
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#5 enjoytheride

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 05:44 AM

I've had some significant relief from joint aches and pains with increasing my level of Vitamin D. Having said that, I have not spoken to anyone else who has had the great relief I had with this. So may be just a problem for me.
Good luck with resolving your problems.

#6 Honey

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 08:40 AM

Debo,

I, too, have peeling and cracking of the skin on my outer ankles, where the skin tightening is the most severe. The skin has tightened so much on my feet that I am unable to move my toes and barely my ankles. I do believe it is the sclero that is the cause. I must apply shea butter 4-5 times a day.

I was diagnosed with systemic sclerosis one year ago this month. My feet hurt 24/7 and I am taking neurontin (gabapentin) for the pain. It helps a lot, but they still hurt. Wearing socks is painful...forget shoes!

I hope you are able to manage your condition. You can ask your doctor for his opinion, most certainly.

Kindest regards,
HONEY

#7 erika

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:14 AM

Hi all,

feet are special story in this nice exciting illness. Well I still do not have hard feet hardening only my skin on the feet cushions seems thicker, elastic and pale shiny. At the same time there is much less cushioning. For few years I have had problems with shoes. None fits, and I have bought a lot of shoes in each having problem walking due to feet sensitivity. Have provided myself soft orthopedic insoles which in part improved the situation. Finally I bought world famous physiological footwear (cannot write the name here)with very thick round soles. They are ugly but they absorb the stress from walking and when you walk you exercise your muscles up to the spine. They are very expensive (double than usual anatomic footwear) but it pays back quickly because you don't want to wear anything else. I can throw away all other shoes from my collection now.
How the situation will go on when the skin thickening "improves" (don't have any cracks yet)I cannot predict but "we will see - said the blind".
Regards to the world.

Erika

#8 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 04:32 AM

Hello Debo

My feet are easily the most painful part of my body and how they are on any given day is a determining factor in what I do. I have tight skin all over the foot and ankles so I am unable to move my ankles much. The foot pain falls into 3 categories 1) skin pain because of the tight skin, 2) mechanical pain, hurts to walk because of padding loss 3) nerve pain, shooting pain in the foot and ankles.

I too have the physiological footwear (I am assuming) and they help me walk because of the rounded sole they make the rocking motion my foot can't and enabled me to loose the cane. However they aren't the cure all I had hoped they would be because of the skin pain. Some days shoes, any type, are out of the question because the skin is painful to even touch.

Foot issues are indeed a common sclero issue and I am hoping it's one that will get better with time!

Take care.
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#9 JustME

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 07:36 PM

Hi,
My feet get very dry as well. The elbow pain I can say it sounds JUST like tendonitis. It hurt to even lift the covers of me in the morning. I had the pain you speak of for 8 years and it just kept getting worse. Finally it got so bad that it showed on an xray and that is when my doctor finally believed me. Ask your doctor for an MRI of your elbow it won't show most of the time on an xray. Tendonitis is often associated with Scleroderma as well. Put ice on it 3-4 times a day, NO HEAT. Ask for some Voltaren Gel, Indocin and/or a cortisone shot. The shot has worked the best for me but I have to get it every 6-8 months. Hope you get to feeling better

#10 debo_92

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 10:07 AM

I appreciate that information. The worst thing for me is that I have no medical insurance right now. I am going to pay out-of-pocket for my annual exam but there is no way I can afford an MRI. I just got offered a chance at a full-time, permanent job today but it seems they want perfection 5 days a week plus 2 Saturdays a month and no benefits. I didn't think that sounded like the best idea for me so I had to pass it by. I hope this is a temporary situation. I will see what my doctor says at my annual exam. I will try the ice thing for now though.

#11 perfect

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 05:03 PM

Wow, I really know what you all are talking about when you talk about your feet. My feet have been so bad, for many a year. I have no foot pads on the bottom of my feet at all, my toes, the tops of my feet and ankles hurt so bad also, this is a more recent development, but I had no idea it had to do with the scleroderma when I read all the posts, it is describing me. I am so sorry that you all have the same issues, but you really make me feel that I am not nuts. All these symptoms all these years, and now I know what it was and is. My ankles feel like the skin is tighten so tight over the ankle bone, I thought it was sprained but this makes more sense. I work 8-10 hours a day retail on my feet, sometimes when I get home I take my shoes off and I can not even walk. Wow I feel so enlightend thank you.

P.S. You also talked about the tendonidis in the shoulders and that is also what I have my rheumatologist doctor told me. I thought it was arthritis, I did not know when he told me I have that, that it was also a sign of this disease. Again thank you for clearing up a few things for me.

P.S.S. Do any of you have your nails on your toes thicking also?
Susie