Abstract: Use less cosmetics-suffer less from fibromyalgia?

1: J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2004 Mar;13(2):187-94.

Sverdrup B.

Department of Rheumatology, Malarsjukhuset, 631-88 Eskilstuna, Sweden. berit.sverdrup@mse.dll.se

BACKGROUND: Widespread muscular pain, tenderness, unrefreshing sleep, and fatigue all constitute the fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), which is often seen in both general and rheumatology practice, primarily in women. The etiology is unknown. The FMS patient usually looks normal.

The cardinal finding is the presence of focal areas of hyperalgesia, that is, tender points. My clinical impression was that FMS patients often complained of dry skin. My hypothesis was that overambitious cleaning, resulting in dry skin, and regular use of cosmetics as moisturizers could contribute to their symptoms.

METHODS: A prospective, randomized, controlled trial of 48 women with FMS (some of whom had a rheumatic condition) who were regular users of cosmetics was carried out to investigate if a reduced use of cosmetics would reduce the symptoms. The intervention group received special instructions on skin care, with reinforcement when needed.

RESULTS: After 2 years, there was significant improvement in pain (p < 0.02), sleep (p < 0.01), and stiffness (p < 0.02), together with better physical function (p < 0.01) and improved wellbeing (p < 0.01) in the experimental group, as measured by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ).

CONCLUSIONS: The results should motivate further studies on the possible adverse effects of cosmetic use in FMS and perhaps other conditions.

PMID: 15072733 [PubMed – in process]

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