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Skin Shrinking Or Something?

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Does this sound like a layer of skin is shrinking underneath the top layer or something like that? Does anyone recall this being how it started for them? I have a description below & then Jefa (I think is how you spell her name) asked the question below my description which REALLY explains it. I can feel it pulling where the creases are.


The skin on my fingers is starting to do this thing where sometimes when I straighten them, they feel like the skin is being pulled tight & when I look at my fingers (bottom side, not nail side) they look puckerd kind of, like vertical lines or something, it's weird. I just wondered if this rang a bell for anyone. It's like the listure in my hands drains out easy & my skin shrinks up, they don't stay this way, they go back & forth, depending on the position I guess that my hand is in, like sitting at the computer will do that. It's like the look as if there is something holding the skin down at the tip in an "every other" spot so my skin (vertically) will be indented, sticking out, indented, sticking out.


Jefa asked: do the fingertip pads have vertical creases or wrinkles, as if the tissue under the skin has shrunk a bit, kind of like the surface of a raisin?


I say totally.

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If it is the tightening of the tendons and tissue below the skin layer, this is when it is VERY important to start stretching excersizes on a daily basis!!! I started hand pt a couple of weeks ago and it has improved some of my mobility in my hands, but If I would have started it back when my hands started to "shrink" I think my mobility would be even better! Same thing with your elbows and shoulders, keep the mobility you have, don't let it go. But you have to be very vigilant about it!


The creases or lines that you speak of sounds like the inside of my upperarms when I extend them and twist them one way or another, my Doctor called this "modeling".


Keep Warm and Happy :D Vee

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Yes, and more to the point even -- please check with your doctor for any new or worsening symptom. If you feel like your hands are tightening for any reason, it would be time to see the doctor. They would be in the best position to say whether what you are noticing is normal, or not.


I may be wrong (I often am!) but I think that sclerodactyly is more likely to begin with Raynaud's, and very swollen hands (like sausages) that begin to lose their wrinkles and then gradually begin pulling inward. And digital ulcers or calcinosis (or both) would likely appear around the same time.


All I can say is that I think it is normal to have slight vertical wrinkles on the underside of fingers, but it is impossible to tell exactly what you are describing by email, and none of us are doctors, which would make an exam by your primary care doctor important, especially if you are experiencing cramping or tightening of your hands, for any reason.

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Thanks for the input, I so appreciate it. I know it's hard to see what I mean over the net. My first symptom was raynaud's, last October (I mean, they could've been doing raynaud's with out the major blueness & I didn't notice that before Oct. but Oct. is when they wen t blue blue) Anyways, everything else has gone down hill since then. My hands started feeling tough or something this summer, my mom had asked me why my hands were so hard, so then I knew it wasn't all in my head. They have been getting tighter & harder ever since. I think the whole raisin thing, it seems to happen when my hands are coldest & dried out the most, & the creases are a mjor pulling on my finger tips....it's weird.


I'm just getting so so so so frustrated. I'm sick of the pain, I'm sick of being tired. I'm sick of writing being so hard, I have to keep my pencil really sharp & use the cusion things otherwise it hurts my fingertips that hold the pencil when I wrote (that's above & beyond the pain). And then there's writing in cursive....it seem much harder, it's like my hands do NOT want to write out checks. My skin on my hands, it's like they can't hold moisture when elevated, so at the computer, the dry up & get really tight, but by morning, they're back to stiff, swollen & sore! I wake up every morning with my hands in a fist. Oh, & winter is arriving & I can't wear shoes because everything is too tight on my feet & makes them fall asleep (Podiatrist says it's systematic & he thinks neurological & he'd prefer I not mess around with my rheumatologist & just go to Mayo (or UofM or Cleveland).


I won't bore you all with all the dragging on of details, You've all probably been there done that. I think I have PMS so I'm unusually irratated with myself today. My hands have slowly but surely been losing mobility in them, but ever so slowly over the last year & I just don't want to go running to the rheumatologist because I can see creases where my skin is pulling, as if attached to a layer below, but only where the creases are. I don't know!


I'm trying to just hold off until I get to mayo & I hope I don't drive you all batty in the meantime!


Ok, I'm done venting....for the moment...lol. I have a journal I keep everything in to help me cope day to day. But anyways, seriously thanks for the ideas, this board is great & all you here are great...I love the support! You're all awesome!

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hi love,

you have described my hands ! since I have been off the methotrexate ( liver got angry) my hands have stiffened, are more swollen, and skin on top side of fingers is stretched and shiny but on the palm side the skin is dry, red , has the little vertical lines. when I try to straighten my fingers, it feels like the skin will rip. i know all this is due to fibrosis and collagen deposition. this was the main reason my rheumatologist wanted me to start the methotrexate in the first place. yes, i agree that stretching and using your hands is very helpful. still, the joints in my fingers hurt so badly. it is getting hard to pick up small objects like pills, etc. i drop things more often now. i am going to go back on some sort of chemo or anti-rheumatoid drug soon after my liver has a rest. i need my hands.

by the way, does anyone have pain and contraction in the achilles tendon ?



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Dear Luvbnmom3...


I just about fell off my chair when I read that you wake up with your hands in fists every morning! Mine do the same thing. And it scares the daylights out of me! I am afraid that one of these days I am not going to be able to straighten out my hands.


While we are on this subject, my fingers look like raisins too - and heaven help me if I have to wash dishes, or wash my hands a lot....they get so tight it hurts just having fingers! And then it feels like someone is sticking me with hot needles!


With the mention of elbows, I have a question... I work at the computer all day long and I find that when I stretch my arms out - either straight out or to the sides, the bones in my elbows feel very sore; like they are swollen or being stretched. Does anyone else have this feeling?




P.S. I am also quite grateful for this forum. I have learned so much - sometimes more than what I really want to know... ;)

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  • 13 years later...

Re: Tendonitis/tendon tightness or a popping sensation which causes great pain.  For me this seems to have been caused by Vitamin D3! Although my D3 level is always low, when I start having tendon problems I back off a bit and thankfully this has worked every time so far.  When I resume taking the D3 as prescribed, the tendon issues inevitably start up again after a while.  My doctor is totally stumped as to why this happens, however I’m just grateful to have (accidentally!) found some relief for the time being.


My mother was recently diagnosed with DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis of the wrist - she was in a lot of pain.  When she called and told me about it I suggested she contact her doctor to ask if he’d allow her to try stepping down her D3 supplementation for a few days. When I called her later in the week to check on her, she said she‘d actually forgotten all about it!  


I also have a relative who was diagnosed with Dupuytren’s contracture several years ago. I think his condition may likely be related to D3 excess as well.  I have no way of knowing for sure whether this is actually the case or not, but he tells me stepping down his D3 dose seems to help him as well.  I’d think that if anyone here is suffering with this painful and disfiguring condition, lowering the D3 dosage or frequency for a while might be well worth trying.


***Of course it’s imperative to check with your doctor before making any changes to the supplementation regimen he/she has prescribed especially for you!***


(Disclaimer: I don’t have scleroderma afaik, but I sincerely hope this information will be helpful to some or all of you dear souls who do.  May each of you find peace, wellness and happiness just around the “bend” [the pun was totally intended because hey - if we’re not laughing, we’re not living!]).


Take care!


Medical Mistery (sic)


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