Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Skin Thickening?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • June 19, 2007
  • 06:02 PM

During the past 1 year I have had the skin thickening on my thumbs and index fingers. It starts off with a slight pain to the tip of the thumb (or finger), then the sense of touch to the area is no longer normal and sure enough the skin at the tip will be thicker. It will continue to thicken for a few days and then starts to crack and peel away. Thick pieces, like several layers at once seem to break off leaving very sensitive and tender skin underneath. It has never involved the whole digit. Just the tip and to the first knuckle.

And as of last week, there is an outbreak of the ball of one of my feet. Exact same pattern. First time for it to occur anywhere other than my hands.

The process takes a month from start to finish to do all this then heal up before it starts up again without a break.

Any ideas as to what caused this?

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3 Replies:

  • It sounds like you have a condition known as Raynaud's syndrome. Raynaud’s syndrome (RS) can be a debilitating condition that causes periods of severely restricted blood flow to the fingers and toes (and sometimes to other parts of the body such as the nose or ears). The disease causes significant nerve damage in the affected tissues. This damage leads to local endothelial dysfunction, thickening of the arterial walls, and the formation of scar tissue, or fibrosis . It is crucial that people who have RS pursue aggressive antioxidant therapy to lower their risk of developing a more serious condition.RS typically affects the small blood vessels in the fingers and toes but can affect those in the ears, nose, and tip of the tongue as well. When a person with RS is exposed to cold or is under emotional stress, blood circulation in the arterioles is greatly restricted, resulting in a visible progression of symptoms as blood flow to the affected areas drops. Skin first turns white as it is deprived of blood, then turns blue (cyanosis) because of the lack of blood and oxygen, and then has localized red flushing as the blood returns to the affected area. This progression may be accompanied at first by a loss of sensation in the affected extremities, followed by a prickling, throbbing, or tingling sensation as circulation returns. Episodes of RS are unpredictable. RS can remain dormant for years, only to resurface suddenly in response to infection, fatigue, or stress. If RS progresses, permanently decreased blood flow to the affected area can cause fingers to become thin and tapered, with smooth shiny skin and slow-growing nails. Often the most serious consequence is loss of sensitivity in the affected extremity. However, more severe cases of secondary RS can result in tissue death, finger deformity, skin ulceration.Diagnosing RSAlthough it is difficult to cause an attack of RS in a doctor’s office, submerging the patient’s hands in ice, recording the time it takes for normal color to return to the hands, and performing a vascular assessment may determine the severity of RS. Diagnosis of secondary RS includes periodic episodes of cyanosis, a positive antinuclear antibody test result, and an abnormal erythrocyte sedimentation rate Nutritional Approaches to RSThe use of antioxidants in treating RS is based on research studies that showed that levels of important antioxidants (such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium) and also Magnesium, essential fatty acids, L-Arginine. L-arginine, and Ginkgo Biloba. Antioxidants are depleted in patients who have RS. Research this syndrome and see your doctor to see if this may be what you have.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • contact dermatitis?scleroderma type problems?
    rad-skw 1605 Replies Flag this Response
  • I was thinking perhaps scleroderma. There are pictures on you can view. "Google Scleroderma picutres". O am not so sure if this fits in with the foot. Please think and see if you can get a time-line thought out, any other symptoms and any drugs/injections/vaccines, surgical procedures you may have had also. And family hx of any autoimmune diseases would be helpful as well as other hx of familial diseases.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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