Skin-related Symptoms in Fibromyalgia

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Editor’s comment: Skin-related problems are a common complaint among people with fibromyalgia. Some of the most common dermatologic symptoms include dry skin, itching (pruritus), rashes and mottled skin. The purpose of this study was to identify the various types of skin problems experienced by FM patients and to determine how common they are.

Dermatologic Manifestations of Fibromyalgia.

By Valerie Laniosz, David A. Wetter and Desiree A. Godar

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to determine the common dermatologic diagnoses and skin-related symptoms in a cohort of patients with fibromyalgia seen in a tertiary referral center.

A retrospective chart review was performed of all patients with a fibromyalgia diagnosis from January 1 to December 31, 2008, whose diagnosis was confirmed in the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Charts were reviewed for dermatologic conditions and cutaneous symptoms. Demographic and clinical data were collected to assess the frequency of skin-related issues in patients with fibromyalgia.

Of 2,233 patients screened, 845 patients met the inclusion criteria of having a confirmed diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Among these fibromyalgia patients, various dermatologic conditions and cutaneous problems were identified, including

  • hyperhidrosis in 270 (32.0 %),

  • burning sensation of the skin or mucous membranes in 29 (3.4 %),

  • and various unusual cutaneous sensations in 14 (1.7 %).

  • Pruritus without identified cause was noted by 28 patients (3.3 %),

  • with another 16 patients (1.9 %) reporting neurotic excoriations, prurigo nodules, or lichen simplex chronicus.

  • Some form of dermatitis other than neurodermatitis was found in 77 patients (9.1 %).

Patients with fibromyalgia may have skin-related symptoms associated with their fibromyalgia. No single dermatologic diagnosis appears to be overrepresented in this population, with the exception of a subjective increase in sweating.

Source: Clinical Rheumatology, January 14, 2014. By Valerie Laniosz, David A. Wetter and Desiree A. Godar. Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.

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5 thoughts on “Skin-related Symptoms in Fibromyalgia”

  1. IanH says:

    There is no comparison to controls. That would have been helpful.

    However the people I know with FM+ME have this range of skin problems. Dryness and itching being the main two aside from crawling sensations and sharp pain jabs.

    1. LouisVA says:

      I agree with IanH that the study has no controls; however, I do have bothersome skin problems and I am a fibro patient.

    2. Jrheingans says:

      In my case I have had hyperhydrosis since I hit puberty, and dermatitis about a year before being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Is that the cart before the horse, or did I have fibrmyalgia long before I realized it? I also am hypothyroid and have psoriatic arthritis, so having several immune diseases can be factors of skin problems too.

    3. jcon4 says:

      I was diagnosed about 2 yrs ago with Lichen Sclerosis; however I have probably had it longer than I thought. I have had fibro for about 10 years now. I also have the itching, dry eyes, hypothyroid etc.

    4. Baye01 says:

      I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 10 years ago though I suspect that I’ve had it a lot longer. As my children grew up I always had these unusual symptoms that would either come back as soft tissue damage or have no defining results.
      About 4 years ago we moved into a granny flat situation with my son and his wife and the stress was unbelievable. I broke out in what I thought was just my usual adult acne but it got worse. The lesion burned,itched and stung like someone putting a hot poker to my face and ached even when the wind blew on my face. The doctor ended up excising it and it was nodular prurigo, which apparently is associated with immune deficiency and stress related. It ended up spreading over about 30% of my lower face and other than being extremely painful was embarrassing.
      It took 3 years to clear up completely. I’m very careful about touching anything on my face now but my skin itches all the time especially when it is hot.
      We are no longer in the stressful situation and hopefully the face will stay clear

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