02-22-2011, 07:38 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
skin weirdness

i noticed some strange dry skin patches on my hands recently.

My left hand - i have dry skin from knuckles upwards ONLY.
My right hand - started off the same as my left but has now spread over the whole surface.

the skin is not itchy or red.. just dry patches, and rough..

has anyone ever expereinced anything like this? i dont normally get dry skin.
could it be an alergy or reaction to meds? vitamin deficienct?

i finished a course of pred about a month ago and cipro about 2 weeks ago.
currently im taking imuran.

interestingly i recall the same thing happening on my skin (same visual pattern) about 4 years ago. saw a dermatologist.. he precscibed cream but it never helped.

again, ive tried creams.. vitamin e.. etc.. but nothing helps.

.. thoughts appreciated.
02-22-2011, 08:07 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Harlow, United Kingdom

Could be all sorts of things. Unfortunately, GP's and even some Dermotologists are not very good at getting to the bottom of these things. I know, I've seen enough of them!

Start with the basics. Keep your hands away from chemicals, even normal household detergent can provoke a strong reaction. Don't use ordinary soap, use one of the moisturising soaps/hand washes that are Ph nutral, perfume free etc. instead. Apply an Emollient several times a day, I use Dermovate. If you are not seeing any improvement after a week or two, then try adding one of the over counter creams that contain Hydrocortisone into the routine.

If things are really not getting any better then you have good grounds to go back to you Doctor and tell them what you've tried. Depending on what they think, then they my offer a stronger steriod cream such as Dermovate or a non-steroidal alternative. They may also offer to do tests, as some of these skin problems can have an auto-immune cause, particularly if you already have Crohn's.

One tip, make sure that you apply the creams last thing at night. They tend not to stay on very long during the day due to all the hand washing.

Hope that's some help.

Diagnosed late 1980ís
Azathioprine & Infliximab not tolerated
Humira since Aug 2010, weekly since Jun 2011
12 EUAs, setons removed & fistulotomy Dec 2012

Last edited by Mark63; 02-22-2011 at 01:07 PM.
02-22-2011, 01:04 PM   #3
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I have a massive patch of dry skin on my chest. I'm not sure how long it's been there, but I know it developed after my initial flare and diagnosis.
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02-22-2011, 05:39 PM   #4
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Location: Grimsby, United Kingdom

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I know if I have a flare my hands will get dry skin. I find its all down to how many times i wash my hands. Used soap with moisturiser which helped a bit, and making sure my hands where totally dry after i have washed them. I find E45 cream helps, does normally take me a couple of mnths to stop the rash if it appears. If you start to wash your hands more than normal then best to apply some kind of moisturiser afterwards (non perfumed)
02-22-2011, 07:02 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pottstown, Pennsylvania
I have had problems with the skin on my hands since I was in college. NOTHING helps but cortisone creams. But if I use those too much, the skin gets thin and splits. It's a vicious circle.

I am convinced that the issues with the skin on my hands are auto-immune related.

I have been using Bag Balm (lanolin) recently and it helps, especially if I have splits in my skin.

- Amy
02-23-2011, 02:02 AM   #6
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
thanks guys for your replies
will take suggestions on board - hopefully something helps.
yeah, inclined to think it could be auto-immune related... like i find it strange that with my left hand - only half is affected and the other half still looks smooth and fine.. it's quite inconsistent
02-23-2011, 02:06 AM   #7
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Location: Alaska

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I am so glad that I found this post. Crohndee, you have just about described what I've been going through with my hands for several years. I do blame the Crohns, and my doctor thinks so too. She claims that even minor nutritional deficiencies can play with the skin. Sometimes it will affect both of my hands, but usually it is just my left hand. I've always thought that was weird. Like, Amy cortisone seems to be the only thing other than being symptom free that will clear up my hand(s).
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 2005

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02-23-2011, 05:43 AM   #8
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Harlow, United Kingdom
I'm using a non-steroidal ointment on a regular basis and it's called Protopic. The active ingrediant is 0.1% Tacrolimus Monohydrate. It was only offered after I found a Dermatologist who recognised the potential for my problems to be autoimmune related as he had seen Crohn's patients in the past. Protopic avoids the problem with skin thinning and is very effective, just as well when the skin problem extends to my "private parts" and face where the skin is very thin and does not tollerate long term steroid use. He has also just started me on a 2 year course of Doxycycline.

The response has been so good I'm wondering about asking my GI if they would consider treating my Crohn's directly with Tacrolimus? I have fistulating disease and the response to the biologics and other drugs not been good, so far at least. I know there has been some work on this, but not sure if anything is happening in the UK?


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