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Skin problems - can you help?

I woke yesterday to what I can only describe as a skin ulcer on my elbow, very sore, wheeping clear fluid and throbbing like mad, also the skin on my hand is peeling off??? My other elbow has started peeling, red and sore but not open yet.

Have got rheumy on weds and my last lot of bloods showed ana negative but before that was positive? This skin problem has never happened to me before so im very unsure if this is linked? Have got a definitive diagnosis of raynauds but all else is a mystery, though I have really bad joint stiffness and lately during sleep my elbows lock and are very painful. Take my regular pain meds and am on hydroxychlororquine.

Any input or advice would be gratefully received as am still awaitng a diagnosis but for me my bloods are showing nothing!!!! CONFUSSED.COM:) XX

5 Replies

HI Beckybooboo

You don't say how long you have been on Hydroxychloroquine for but it sounds as if you could be having a reaction to the Hydroxychloroquine, it can cause blistering and peeling of the skin. Do you have any blistering or peeling of the skin on the eyes,nose, mouth or down below? if so this could be a condition called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, different to just your elbows and hands blistering and peeling.

My advice, I would phone your Rheumatologist on Monday, you may not get to speak with him/her but the secretary will pass on a message or if you have a Rheumatology Nurse Specialist she will call you, some Rhematologists will also call you back. Wherever the blistering is you need to get this checked out. The advice with Hydroxychloroquine is if blistering and peeling occurs stop the medication and seek the advice of a Doctor.

Hydroxychloroqine is long acting so if you decide to stop it today it is not going to have a detrimental effect but it could stop the blistering getting worse. You could also attend A&E and get it checked, not all Doctors have an understanding of Hydroxychloroquine so if you go down that route I would take the leaflet about your Hydroxychloroquine with you.

Good luck and get it checked and let us know how you go.


Been on hydroxychloroquine for 6 months, got no other sores apart from elbows and skin peeling on one hand, tho occasionally I get little red bumps at the back of my throat which flares and I end up with oral thrush (nice) had that about 3-4 times over last few months. I think that Im going to ask for referal to a dermatologist I know this sounds like im crazy but am very reluctant to stop taking it as I see my rheumy on Weds and I want all the symptons to be present..................................................... I also have very white finger nails, toe nails and feel like I have an ingrowing toe nail on my big toes, very sore.


The main thing for me is that I want to be unwell when I go cos im sure that they think im making it all up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your reply, im very grateful for your input and do take your advise on board.



its gets you like that becky, i never wear make up when i go 2 the drs even if its just for bloods as i think they think cor u look well, i think its in our heads hun as it takes soooo long for a diagnoses i actually used to think i dreamt it now i know its like being woken up in a nightmare, evrytime i have my bloods i still say , have i still got lupus :( x

good luck hunx


becky boo boo and kittykat68 i get treated exactly the same, "you loo soooo well! you cant be in pain"......but my body is screaming inside,we have to learn to hide it and put on our brave faces everyday. sending you both a hug x


Firstly, the fact that your blood tests are ok is great, the lupus is not attacking in a major way.

The problem are the symptoms that remain which they also need attention. I don't know about you but I tend to forget that when I see the doctor, particularly if he is telling me bloods ok. Then I get home and despite the euphoria over the good news, I realise that the pain is still present, the skin is still itching, the hair is still falling, etc, etc. Now I go in prepared to push with "so what about my symptoms, what shall I do about them" and don't leave until I get a plan for each of them (although sometimes there isn't sufficient time to go through the entire list, so I focus on the top 4, say). If that plan means referral to another specialist, then great.

I would definitely go to a dermatologist in your situation, despite the good blood results, lupus affects the skin in a different way to the rest of the body and the treatment for skin issues is slightly different, so I'd go for it, good luck.


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