Terrible problems with skin.

3 posts in this topic

I have been ill for about 15 years. I have been diagnosed with UCTD, but I think I could have scleroderma. I have had problems with my esophagus and bacterial overgrowth and also have Raynaud's and Sjogren's.


For about 3 months the skin on my arms and legs has become very, very uncomfortable. The skin on my lower legs also has been losing hair. My skin also itches. Is there anything I can do for my skin? The skin on my hands and face doesn't look like it has tightened although my face itches a lot.  


Thanks for any help you can give.

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Hi Itchy,


Welcome to these forums!


I'm sorry to hear that you're suffering with itchy, uncomfortable skin, which must be really unpleasant for you, as a constant itch can be very wearing and unfortunately the more it itches, the more you feel like scratching, the worse it becomes.


I've included a link to our medical page on Scleroderma Skin Involvement: Itching (Pruritus), which I hope you'll find helpful and informative. We do recommend that you consult your doctor right away if you develop sudden or severe itching, as this may be a symptom of other things, particularly with scleroderma and it is beneficial to consult a Scleroderma expert, even though your actual diagnosis is UCTD, which is when a person has symptoms of various connective tissue diseases without meeting the full criteria for any one of them.


Kind regards,

Jo Frowde

ISN Assistant Webmaster

SD World Webmaster

ISN Sclero Forums Manager

ISN News Manager

ISN Hotline Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi Itchy,


Welcome to Sclero Forums!  I'm sorry that you have UCTD and now issues with itching. Many things can cause itching besides, or along with, scleroderma, of course -- including Sjogren's, which can cause severe skin dryness, too.


With my particular scleroderma skin involvement, during the fibrosis stage(s), I experience swelling, itching, burning, plus tingling and other odd pain which feels like my skin is tightening, which it literally is, of course. I'm sure probably everyone is different, but I don't get lucky enough to have *only* itching, even though the itching can be enough to drive me up the wall during an acute phase.


Because itching can be caused by so many things, I strongly recommend that you see your doctor, and perhaps a dermatologist as well.


I also get very dry skin which can cause itching all by itself and is not part of an inflammatory process. For that, I have found relief with several different things. My favorite one is slathering on coconut oil and then taking a lukewarm shower -- with no soap -- and then blotting dry afterwards, and putting on more coconut oil.


If you try this out, and think it over, and really feel that it is likely following the pattern of scleroderma, then I suggest you consult a listed scleroderma expert for evaluation.


Using pure oils (of nearly any sort you like) is good for some of us, because it bypasses a lot of other ingredients that could cause dryness or allergies. Oh, and Bag Balm is good, but it is very thick, so I have only used it at night and then covered up (with gauze or clothing) to avoid staining furniture and bedding.


You can also take a delightful baby oil bath, as mentioned on our Xerosis (Dry Skin) page. It works best when you also play classical music and take it by candlelight -- because that helps reduce the tension caused by that incessant desire to itch!


Another trick I've used is to put a cold pack on my neck. It doesn't stop the itching or relieve the dryness (the other steps are still necessary, especially seeing your doctor), but what is does is interrupt the pain signal so you focus more on the thought of how cold your neck is, and breaks or relieves the mental obsession for a bit.  ANY healthy distraction is good!


But, that's also why itching can be more prominent right at bedtime, because there is often little else to think of so it gets the chance to command center-stage. If we let it!



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

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