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thin skin and steroid use
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mattie16 posted:
Ok I thought I would toss this issue out and see if any one has a thought on the subject.

I took a lot of pred for about a 4 year period before getting my asthma under control, and unfortunately one of the side effects was really thinning of the skin especially on my arms. Add the natural hormone loss of perimenopause plus my low fat diet (due to liver enzyme issues triggered by the steroid use) and the skin on my arms has gotten paper thin. Just normal household chores and I can bump it and it bleeds under the skin, or sometimes tears. I constantly have dark bruising under the skin from just daily life. Its better in the winter months with long sleeves and sweatshirts, but that is not viable this time of year.

I asked the gyn about this, and all she could say was the menopause does tend to cause skin thinning due to lack of estrogen, but hormone replacement is not an option for me due to family history of uterine cancer. She suggested lotion.

I have tried lotions, drinking vats of water to keep the skin hydrated and more supple but nothing really helps. I even bought terry cloth wrist guards to wear when I clean which minimizes the bumps/dings .

Anyone have any ideas? I am not sure if a dermo would help at this point or not. Anyone else noticing that the steroids causes thin skin.

Going to run this issue by my internist next month when I see him, but wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions.

Mattie
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cmusi responded:
I can definitely empathize with you. I have very thin skin from the oral steroids as well. I haven't found anything that really helps the thinness any. I have noticed that a diet rich in Vitamin K seems to help the easy bruisinig issue. From what research that I have done the thinning is permanent and non-reversible. If you find out anything different I would be interested. I have been on oral steroids now for 5 years...although I am getting closer to getting off of them. Also, I have been to the dermo and he didn't have any suggestions to make my skin thicker, although he did encourage keeping the skin hydrated with moisturizers and plenty of oral hydration.

Caremme
 
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missyb09608 responded:
I am having some of the same issues and have tried different lotions or creams some work better than others. Currently "St Ives Vitamin E" works the best. for me. I look like a battered woman.
 
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coffee16 responded:
Unfortunately, I have no helpful info for you, but I did want to say it's nice to see you around again I miss your incessent harassing of the NORMAL one.
 
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h20emmibug responded:
haha... I hear ya. Same problem here. The worst is when I get cold... you can see every little bruise plus the "track marks" from all the IVs. I use Eucerin lotion- the kind in the jar because it is thicker. That seems to help a lot. Plus making sure I drink lots and lots of water. Well hydrated skin is a lot tougher and doesn't look quite as bad...
 
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mattie16 responded:
Thanks for all the responses...it makes me a feel a little better to know I am not the only asthmatic running around looking like I have been battered by a tribe of small trolls!! SIGH!

I talked to my nutritionist (certified diabetic educator) today and she recommended two things: (her response enclosed) ******Please check with your doctor before making any decisions----Her response-

"My suggestion would be omega 3-fatty acids, DHA/EPA processed from fish oil. I use a brand called Metagenics, which is highly purified and concentrated, providing 1000mg EPA/DHA combination. Most fish oils are just that ? fish oil and can cause a burp taste." " They are a great source of ?do no harm? and can do lots of good. They won?t thicken the skin, but do help with skin conditions and also act as an anti-inflammatory. Unless you are allergic to fish, I?d try these for three months and see what happens. You could also make sure you get enough Vit D 3- 1000 IU daily ? also a ?do no harm? but can help. These are not ?over the top? recommendations or large volumes, but I start at the protective dose and only take more with the recommendation of a physician."

I plan to talk to my internist to see what he thinks, but seriously anything that might help at this point is worth looking into...my skin is so thin it tears with just a slight bump. And I constantly have bruising under the skin which take forever to heal.

I take calcium with vit D (400 ID), plus a multi vitamin ( containing 500IU of vit D) so I am already getting 1300 IU daily of Vitamin D.(per internists orders).hoping to ward off the family gene for osteoporosis. My husbands endocronologist is a firm believer that most Americans do not get enough vitamin D (sunscreen use is preventing the absorption in many cases)and he checks all his patients routinely...so if you haven't had your D level checked, ask the next time you have labs done.

I did some research and found this info on vitamin D: ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp

Just wanted to share what I learned and hopefully it will be beneficial. PLease check with your doctor or pharmacist before making a decision..but I just wanted to share what I found.

Mattie
 
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neworleanslady0707 responded:
Hi Mattie, I have terribly thin skin, I don't know if it is because of steroid use. Everything you said pertains to me too. I have been using Gold bond Ultimate, restoring skin therapy lotion CoQ10, I get it at Walgreens. I am so sick and tired of having my skin look so bad, this lotion seems to help a little. I only have problems on my arms, the slightest bump and my skin tears like tissue, and bleeds under the skin. If you find help please let me know. denise
 
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crobbin2 responded:
Hi Mattie,

I have done a fair amount of checking in with lots of doctors on my very thin prednisone skin. From what I have been told, there is not much you can do. One thing for sure is not to get sun exposure. That will make it even thinner.

My dermatologist has recommended that I put on a cream called "Aqua Glycolic Hand and Body Cream" on the areas that are thin (my arms and legs) at night. You can buy this over the counter at the pharmacy. This product is designed to exfoliate in a gentle way while hydrating the skin and build up collagen in the skin. In the morning, after cleansing my skin, I put on a prescribed gel product called Bionect. It is not covered by insurance. It is made up of Hyaluronic Acid, 0.2%. If I remember correctly, it helps the skin get a bit firmer, less crepey and stronger.

I just started this so I don't know how helpful it is going to be. The doctor also recommended Arnica Montana for bruising. It comes in gel and pill form. I did some research on the pills and I read from a number of sites that the pills are not good for your liver or kidneys. I will try the gel, not the pills.

Even in the summer, I will wear a long sleeved shirts and long pants. That extra layer may mean the difference between a bruise and a skin tear.

I think that I will increase my Vitamin E oil consumption from 1,000 IU to 2,000 IU as recommended by another person. I did notice that my skin was less dry when I started taking the 1,000 units (one capsule). I will report back in a month to let anyone know if this stuff has helped. If anyone has any questions, let me know. Cathy
 
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Berna1957 responded:
Hi Mattie, I too have Asthma and I have thin skin! I have been to Cleveland Clinic, I also have Adrenal Insufficiency, from long term Steroid usage for Arthritis. I was told my thin skin was not associated with my "AI" but maybe steroid usage. My AI is associated with the Steroids as well. I have symtoms of Cushings Syndrome "from Steroid usage", as well as Addisone Disease.

I have searched this web most every night looking for answers for the thin skin and none to be found. At this time everything that touches my arms makes them bleed, I put my arm in a box last night and scratched it open to bleed. If you know of any lotion that might give some relief please tell me that much. I too drink enough water at times to sail a boat .

I hope to hear more from you and any progress you may have. Thanks for your story. Berna1957
 
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doggloverr responded:
Mattie , I have suffered with this for several years and yes I have taken steroids for my breathing problem on and off for breathing problems. What did your GP say about the cure. I have two puppies and my arms are a mess. please let me know what they said to do.
 
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love_eyeore responded:
I have been "mostly on" prednisone for the last 14 years. I am danish heritage and just have very pale thin skin, then add the prednisone. I bruise very easily as well. Right now I have huge black brusies all over my wrists from blood gases. It's just par for the coarse with the brusing. I get so that if i itch my skin i get purple peticheal looking areas. So i definitley understand this.

I have had a much better year this year and have only been on prednisone for a total of about 6 weeks of the last year. Due to this my skin is MUCH better, although i still bruise, I do not have the petechial looking stuff and nastiness you all describe, so i think it can get better.

As a practitioner your symptoms scream to request a complete blood count as well as a platlet count just to make sure it's the pred causing the problem-which it 99% chance is, but get the labs drawn to.

That being said here is what I have used: 1-Fish oil-If you keep them in the freezer and take them right before bed it lessens the fishy issues. 2-Vitamen E supplement. You can even cut those caps open and spear the oil right on your skin. 3-Aquaphor or Eucerin for very dry skin, apply liberally twice a day. 4-I love Aveda skin products. Everything Aveda has been a blessing. 5-DRINK WATER, lots of water. 6-Eat enough fat. 7-Be thankful that you can atleast breath! I mean what some annoying derm stuff compared to not breathing! 8-A derm consult would be appropraite.

Hope that helps a bit. jess
 
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specialk118 responded:
I also have super thin skin from long term steroid use and now I have AI as well due to the pred so I"m back on medrol for life. My skin is so thin, I have a condition called pseudotumor cerebri and have had 5 brain surgeries for the placement of a vp shunt in my brain with a catheter to my belly, well after the last shunt revision, I thought I had a scab on my skull but it was actualy and ulceration and I could see into my shunt, theyt ried to stich it but that was a major mistake only made a bigger mess of things so ya thin skin sucks. I also have tons and tons of strech marks all over, I'd tried mederma (I thnk that's it??) but we found this stuff called arniaca gel, its otc and a natural thing but it helps my strech marks and bruises and it's also got a little pain killing effect. I have to watch it since i"ve had my super wide and deep deep strech marks rip open due to thin dry skin so now I also use some body cream from bath and body works and for some reason it helps me a ton, I also have super super dry cracked feet and nothing relaly helped but I came across socks that have aloe or shey in them and they are soo comfy but moisturize my feet so they're not super dry, also I would get super dry hands, I'm not a big fan of germs since i have severe cvid and cf so any infection could be my last, so now I have come across lotion that has antibacteiral propertis in it so now I have soft and germ free hands once again a bath and body works thing (ge I dont like bath and body at all) just thought I'd add my thoughts on the subject.
 
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whiskeyLEM0 responded:
Hello Mattie I suffer from thin skin. have been taking asthma preventatives for the past 30 years. Am still researching products for thin skin. I too have red leaking bruises at the touch of my skin on wrists and lower arms. These horrible red marks would last for 10 days or more until I started rubbing emu oil into them at frequent intervals during the day. Most they last now is 4 days and you can see the blood dissolving from them in 6 hours. It's the best I can do at the moment but it gets rid of them faster. I also rub emu oil into my wrists and lower legs think the skin is more resillient but not good enough. It also goes against the grain as I don't eat meat but I have been desperate.

Saw a recommended skin thickening cream on the internet think it began with det or den could kick myself because I didn't bookmark it. Anybody know what i am referring to? Maybe a usa web site. Emu oil is a prop until something better. Regards Shirley
 
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jbird0001 replied to whiskeyLEM0's response:
Hello whiskeyLEM0;
I've suffered from thin papery skin for about 4 years. I drink LOTS of water, I use moisturizers (not as often as I should), I take fish oil supplements, as well as vitamin D-3 daily. I still get the bleeding under the skin & easy tears. If you figure out what it was you saw on the internet I, and the others, would welcome the info!! I'm tired of looking like a battered woman, too. My poor husband!!!
Thanks,
Janna
 
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jbird0001 replied to jbird0001's response:
I got some advice from a friend to try unfiltered shea butter for my skin so I ordered a small amount from shea essentials. It doesn't smell pretty, but WHO CARES!! It has definitely helped the skin on my arms. I still wear long sleeves in the house, though. Despite the help, we can still get those ugly spots. This is worth a try, at least. This product is from Ghana, and the unfiltered kind is the best. It's worth a try, right?


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