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A list of articles involving FM

Fibromyalgia & Skin Problems

Easy bruising could also result from nutritional deficiencies often associated with fibromyalgia. "Vitamin deficiencies, like vitamin C, can also increase blood vessel friability, making the vessels more likely to collapse under pressure," adds Pellegrino. "It also reduces the ability of the skin to restore and repair itself leading to an increased vulnerability to bruising."

Intense itching and rashes can also be a reaction to prescribed medications or yeast infections. "Yeast infections can cause rashes due to toxins released by the overgrowth of Candida in the intestines," says Pellegrino. "These toxins circulate in the bloodstream and irritate the skin, probably due to the body trying to remove the toxins through the skin. Prescribed medications, such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants, can cause dry skin, increased sweating and make people more sensitive to sunlight leading to sunburn," he continues. "The patient needs to work with their prescribing physician to determine if skin reactions are occurring and how to tackle them."

Andrea has a vivid red rash that spreads across her chest that other people often attribute to sunburn, but she is not convinced. "My chest area can look red and purple, so when I wear a v-neck top people often comment that I have caught the sun," she says. "I think, yes, very likely in the middle of winter!"

Surprisingly, these vivid red rashes can also result from a reaction to what own bodily secretions. "All bodily secretions are acidic and can burn," explains Marek. "It's common especially in the areas where you perspire to see red irritated spots. These usually occur on the forehead, under the arms or breasts, and behind the knees, especially if you wear nylon stockings. The lining of the nose, bronchial tubes, vagina and rectum all produce mucus that may be acidic and irritating. Women may notice red, chemically burned areas on their inner thighs from their vaginal secretions following intercourse, for example."

Itching without a visible rash may be a sign of subcutaneous trigger points (small lumps under the skin) or dysfunctional pressure-plate receptors called Merkel's discs creating a sensation called sensory itch. "Merkel's discs translate the tactile messages received by the skin to the brain." explains Dr Devin Starlanyl in her book The Fibromyalgia Advocate. "When they don't know what message to send, they have a default mechanism. Unfamiliar sensations are translated as itch. Cold helps to numb the itch because it numbs the pressure plate receptors. Dryness makes it worse because it creates an enhanced pressure reception by the discs. Some itches specifically follow trigger point referral patterns," she adds, "in which case the trigger point must be broken up. There is a maddening, inner ear itch which is often on the masseter trigger point."

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