Slow to Heal

Good morning. It isn't raining.

Can anyone tell me why wounds are taking longer to heal - is it my age? - 76 - or is it the medication - Fostair and Salbutamol? I often cut or knock myself on arms or legs in the garden. If the skin does not break on my arms they are usually covered in blood bruises just under the skin. The last open wound on my leg has taken nearly three weeks to completely heal. I think I may need body armour to work outside this coming Spring.


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79 Replies

  • Hi, fostair is a steroid. When i was first diagnosed i was on seretide, another steroid, for about 5 months. I put on 10kg, but the worse bit was tearing of the skin and blood vessels under the skin. My skin was so thin that i only had to brush against a doorway or something similar and my skin would tear and take ages to clear. I told my doctor that i did not want steroids anymore, i had done my research and found that spiriva did the same job, but was more expensive. My doctor agreed and i had no more problems.


  • I have the same problem.

    I have been on Seretide and Spiriva and my doctor has not said there is any connection with the skin tearing or bruising. She did say it was probably due to the steroids I have to take during bad spells.

    My skin is so creped looking from the elbow down and also from the knee down.

    I get very depressed and have to try and cover up, but as you say even if you take a slight knock by hitting a door etc you end up with a cut or bruising that lasts for weeks.

  • Not sure why you are on seretide and spiriva as they are the same thing except one is steroids. I changed from seretide to spiriva because i did not want to take steroids anymore.


  • I'm on both as well ,I use coconut oil on my hands and nails ,I also use it as a serum on my hair ,and a face moisteriser,,,,I can see improvements,

  • It's ok, I went on Spiriva recently so looked it all up. They both contain long-acting bronchodilators but Spiriva is a muscarinic antagonist & the one in seretide is a beta2 agonist. Don't ask me for a scientific explanation but it means they work in different ways. I find it an effective combination for bronch/asthma

  • Me too,how stupid am I ,I never even new it was a steroid,I've been on both for 8yrs.

  • I am on both two, also have very thin skin on my hands showing all tiny veins and my fingers look like they have been dipped in boiling water..

  • I am Spiriva and my skin and muscles mass are just pitiful! Crepe paper! Only 75 but body looks like 105, bruise easy , etc. Wonder if it just the progression of copd!

  • The worst part of me is my hands ,,, they look like I could be 90 not 70 ,

  • Hello Nanny,

    When I was small I used to think it a sign that you were grown up to have visible veins in the hands. I used to scrutinise my chubby hands on a regular basis, but I've got there in the end!


  • Try coconut oil on them ,I use it as a hand and nail treatment and as a face moisteriser,also a finishing serum for my hair ,and I can see improvements

  • Will do Nanny1086. Thankyou for your advice. I won't talk about my thinning hair....heh heh

  • Mine to ,haha,

  • Hello vizzie123,

    Thankyou for responding. You have my sympathy. Please don't get depressed. Have a good swear and put some Arnica on and if it is an open wound, some Savlon.

    I did wonder about people who have tatoos, and if the bruises fit in with their designs:-)


  • I don't think I'll be having a tattoo at my age ,,,,although I do wish I had one years ago ,just a little one ,,,,but now I see far too many needles coming my ways,,haha,,,,my daughter a little Daisy tattoo on her tummy years ago ,,,,but when she got pregnant it turned into a gerbra ,,,,don't tell her I said that hahahaha

  • Heh funny, poor girl...I promise I won't tell, but I can imagine the picture in my mind.

  • Interesting Merv... I use both spiriva and a steroid inhaler and I'm wondering if I could get rid of the steroid one.

  • Hi frose

    I found spiriva to be fine, within a month or so i stopped tearing my skin. I don't know about your inhaler as i used to use ventolin.


  • Yes I also use ventolin.

  • Lol sorry but that is quite funny 😀 take it you prefer ventolin then!

  • oh yes lol

  • Poor you - just the one drink and on to the concrete! You must have been nicely relaxed when you fell. I would not know a cannabis or any other drug come to think of it. All these thingies must have appeared whilst I was raising a family. I never even had an alcoholic drink until I was 40 but then I made up for it.


  • Thankyou Merv. I have not put any weight on thank goodness, but yes, the skin thinning and weakness is bothersome. I asked the Surgery about Spirivia, I believe it is powder in capsule form to be pierced and inhaled. I know I could not do that.


  • If you can't tolerate the powder, it comes in spray form now Jennifer. It's called Spiriva Respimat. This is fairly recent so your surgery might not have known about it. I'm ok with the powder actually, as it's very fine, and it's improved my breathing hugely.

  • Thankyou Hanne62 for your very helpful advice. I will make an appointment and ask about it.

  • I use this also. It is very easy to take. 2 puffs in the morning.

  • Thankyou you vizzie123. No side effects?

  • Hi Jennifer

    Spiriva is taken the same as seretide. You pop the capsule into an inhaler, when you squeeze the button it pierces the capsule and you inhale through the mouth. Same as seretide, ventolin etc,


  • Hello Merv,

    Many thanks for the information.


  • Mine's the same. The steroid inhaler (Fostair) will have some long term effects but much more damaging are the frequent uses of the Devils Smarties Prednisilone to which we all have a love/hate relationship. I've also had cataracts, glaucoma and early onset Type 2 diabetes all put down as pred related. Also damages bone density and long term infection control. Not something to get hooked on if you can avoid it.

  • Had to smile at devil's smarties!

    And, yes, I agree!

  • Devils smarties:-))) So tempting but not good in the long run then?

  • Hi Jennifer

    I have started to bruse easily...l often don't know how l get them !! And my skin is's definitely the meds ( steroids ).

    You should make sure your tetanus shots are up to date with you working in the garden alot....soil and cuts don't mix !!

    Just stuffing breakfast down me...l have to fast in 30 mins time in preparation for my heart scan later today, when once again l shall be transforming into " Velvet...The Radio Active Lady "


  • did you know velvet they cut down on tetanus jabs I went to book mine cos i was due they told me I don't need it any more as cant remember if they said 3 or 4 in my life so I wouldn't need it doing I told them im always getting cuts from the garden they said it don't matter

  • Morning mm

    I have always been told to get a booster every 10 years....

    When l was the star striker in my Grandchildrens football game, and broke my arm after a nasty tackle from a 5 year old, a couple of years was the first thing the doctors at A & E asked between laughing their sock off at a grandma playing football....cheek !! 😂xx

  • if the kids now have the full jab program when little the last one the have is between 13-18 then they don't give them any boosters , they also stopped doing tb for teenagers as well

  • Hi mm

    Ridiculous cost cutting measures...TB is still about in this country, and we all travel so much these about when we are abroad.


  • isn't it on the rise again here , I think if your going somewhere abroad that's heavily infected they will do it

  • heh little tinker! I bet the staff dined out on your misfortune for quite a while!

  • good luck today hope everything goes well take care ,

  • Thank you x

  • Hello Radio Active Velvet Lady,

    I asked about a tetanus shot last time I visited the copd nurse but the said it was not necessary. Our doctors surgery has now closed and I've had to register with a new practice so I'll ask again. Gardens can be bad places. Thanks for the advice.

    Hope all went well with your heart scan after your fasting. Just rang my Daughter, she has cardiomyopathy. She is due another scan, she is very tired today, but she works hard and has to take her rest when she can.


  • Hi Jenifer

    Back from my scan it was a myocardial perfusion scan. I will get the results at my appointment in March.

    I would tell you GP about your skin and get your booster jab !!

    I am not glowing in the dark tonight.....shame !!😂😂


  • No nuclear velvet this time then, but still good to know that they are looking after you.

    I will take your welcome advice.


  • my dad is 81 he is on inhalers for asthma and different tablets he bruises really easy and his skin on his hands looks very thin

  • I suppose much of this can be expected but it isn't very nice.

  • Probably a bit of both but Pete is on steroids and can take ages to heal too. Take care. Xxx

  • I think I've lost the thread here Sassy59, he has my sympathy. I think the best thing to do is keep any wound clean and slap on the savlon.

  • Yes, Ivy landlady of The Terminus bless her had the same problem or it could be your medication have you talked to your doctor ? Hope all goes well good luck x

  • Will do, next time I go to the surgery. Thankyou:-)

  • Steroid inhalers make the skin very thin and cause bruising on a big scale. When my dog was a puppy he often broke the skin on the back of my hands with his paws. The trouble is my COPD is very bad and I cannot stop taking the inhalers. Also in the past I have had to take Prednisone which has the same effect, although now I refuse to take it unless I am at death's door because of other side effects, such as terrific mood swings and confusion. I also take Spiriva. It's either put up with the bruising or not being able to breath.

    By the way I live in East London UK and TB is the highest on record for England and it is antibiotic resistant, so don't think for a moment that it no longer is a threat, as someone has posted. Perhaps they don't live in the U.K.

    I have never had a tetanus shot for years and have never associated it with TB, only tetanus.

    If you have a choice not to take steroids in any form, then you are lucky, but I don't. In the past I have used Manuka Active as high in number as I can find, and used it under a plaster. A wonderful cure for nasty cuts that won't heal properly with very thin skin.

    Some of us are between a rock and a hard place!

    Take care...Val.

  • hi val I think you miss read what I was saying I wasn't linking tetanus with tb only saying that doctors no longer give teenagers tb jabs as a routine like they did when I was a teenager , also I went for my 10 year booster jab for tetanus and they said you don't have them any more

  • I will try the manuka most definitely. Thankyou very much for the tip.

  • It's definitely the steroids A1J1S. I used to have an inhaler which had steroids in it and got so fed up with bruising and bleeding that I refused to take it anymore. The only time I resort to them now is in a short burst when I have an infection....which fortunately is rare. Ask your GP for an alternative and your skin will get back to normal - albeit, with scars. XX

  • This is just what I am going to do Nikkers. I never realised that Fostair is steroid........sigh. The scars of healed skin are hypertrophic in appearance. . Thankyou very much for your advice.

  • Earlier I answered the door to a parcel delivery man, he laughed when I apologised for being in my bath robe and said "it is the perfect day for a long lie in". I just stopped myself from telling him no "I am dressing my wounds". LOL that would be tmi - I just hope he didn't notice the bloody mess my legs are in!

  • Hi ,your not on your own with this one ,my arms are covered in those under the skin blood bruises ,,, that are about to bleed ,,,the slightest knock on anything and my arms are a ness ,my legs also bruise really easily and it takes weeks for them to fade ,I've got 3 beauties at moment on my legs that I hope will fade as I'm off to a spa to celebrate my 70th birthday next week ,,,, as for my arms ,,, it's not too bad in the winter I can cobpver them in sleeves but the sumner ,,,,,my arms a mess ,,,as they are now ,,,,,I'm going to be extra careful not to knock them again before my spa day ,

    I was told ie: as you get older your skin gets thin and all the steroids etc don't help ,

  • Yes - you take extra care and have a wonderful Birthday!

  • Unfortunately age has a lot to do with bruising., My husband is 81 very fit and not on inhalers or steroids just general meds for BP. He bruises very easily and Doc said its just "your age". Sorry.


  • Seems the general consensus is just as you say. Oh well, it isn't the end of the world - just the start of a new phase:-)))

  • Have you been checked for diabetes? Taking blood thinners? Do you have enough protein and vitamen c in your diet? Any can b a factor

  • Yes thanks Debbie - had all the checks recently, not taking anything, not diabetic, mostly meat free diet using lots of fish, all veg and dried beans, lentils, barley, chick peas etc. I've always tried to eat sensibly apart from the odd bacon butty!

  • Hello AIJ I had so many wounds on arms and legs due to knocking them and the skin tearing off so badly that l had to go to A &E to have stitches/strips. I had been advised to cream my arms and legs daily, my GP gave me double base gel and this has proved to be the answer, l still bruise but my skin doesn't tear. Now that l have said that out in the open l hope it won't result in another visit to the hospital!!!!! but seriously it seems to be the answer for me. It is not medication only a cream . Worth a try? Grimmie

  • I'm willing to try anythinbg Grimmie, and a big thankyou for your welcome advice.What is the name of this gel?

  • Hi I use aloe Vera cream on my arms and legs every day, because my skin gets really dry and thin, the aloe Vera really helps me x

  • Thankyou for your really helpful tip Tracy. I'll try it.


  • Have seen countless posts with the same theme - something in the meds is causing this but not sure what. I've been on Seretide and my arms particularly looked like the map of China, don't take prednisolone except for rare infections. Maybe a combination of ageing and meds?

  • Seems to be just that dragonmum. It's good to have lots of input from you all, it is very helpful and appreciated.

  • Injuries to your skin do take longer to heal as you advance in age, nothing to worry about. Please take a little more care in the garden, if you are anything like me roses reach out and grab you as you walk by!!!!!!!! Happy gardening A1J1S

  • Thankyou Antony76,

    I will take more care this year and get longer gloves. I already wear wellies and an old coat.

  • I agree with those who have blamed the steroid. Even when inhaled, this is one of the side effects. I switched from Advair to Spiriva for just that reason a few months ago, and found my skin improved almost immediately. Unfortunately, I began to have hacking coughs at night and so I went back on Advair. I need the steroid. My skin is bad again, but being winter, my arms are covered more and less likely to be injured.

  • Thankyou very much janesilver. I appreciate you telling me about this. It seems to be trial and error doesn't it?

  • Hi A1J1S, three weeks to heal is good , the last time I hurt my leg in the garden it took three months to heal and I am younger than you, and I did go straight to my surgery for treatment.

  • I feel better now for reading this katieoxo60.

    Thankyou for your response. I'll have to take greater care in the garden this year.


  • Hi Jennifer. Drives me crazy too but if it's a choice between papery skin & breathing.... I'm 63, skin's been dreadful for years, after 40+ yrs of inhaled & oral steroids. I get really fed up too, eg at daughter's summer wedding, hot day & I'm covered from head to toe because my arms & legs are so scarred & discoloured. Couldn't wear heels either because of arthritic feet (& I'm only 5' tall). But, without steroids I'd have been dead years ago.

    One tip is, on the advice of my surgery's wound nurse I keep a small first-aid kit in my bag & car. Literally a capsule of .9% saline, disposable tweezers, a strip of steri-strips, and a couple of different-sized Op-site dressings. Squirt the saline on the wound to clean it, bring the edges together with tweezers, carefully position the steri-strips & lastly the Op-site to seal it. Gives you enough time to get to surgery, & more likely to save skin flap, speed healing & reduce scarring.

  • Hello Hanne62,

    Thankyou for your very helpful and sensible advice. I am going to make sure I have one of these kits in my greenhouse and one in the kitchen. I can see that I will have to be prepared.

    Anyway your Daughter loves you warts and all and was just so happy that you were with her on her big day. She would not see your coverings - just the love and pride on your face.

    Jennifer x

  • Aww that's a lovely thought Jennifer, & you're right she is very loving. I had my makeup done & my hair is still good so I looked ok from neck up :D Didn't feel very glam but at least I was there, had it been the following week I'd have been in hospital!

    Definitely put a kit together, it saves losing so much skin, which as you'll have noticed, shrinks very quickly & it's then impossible to bring the edges together. I haven't had an ulcer yet & don't intend to!

    Glad to be of help ;)

  • Hi, the one cream is called double bass gel which l get from my doctor, this is put on my arms and legs daily and there is another one much heavier but for smaller surfaces is nice is called Conotrane, l can get this one from my GP too. Both can be bought from the chemists at a fair price. My skin is very thin and l am so glad that someone told me how beneficial creaming would be, so hope you will find it is good for you, it cannot harm you anyway. Good luck. Grimmie

  • Thankyou for your helpful reply Grimmie. I have put the names on to my list of things to ask the doctor.


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