Thin skin and Prednisolone: As a PMR sufferer, I... - PMRGCAuk

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Thin skin and Prednisolone

gannie
gannie
69 Replies

As a PMR sufferer, I have been taking Prednisolone for 15 months and am currently down to 6 mgs. I had thin and fragile skin on my arms before I started taking steroids but these have made it ten times worse. I only have to brush against something to cause the blood to seep under my skin and if I touch anything even vaguely sharp my skin tears and 3 weeks ago I actually had to go to A&E as I suffered a large tear and it had to be steri-stripped back together. My question is, does anyone here know of any product that would improve the quality of my skin?

69 Replies
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Primarose

That looks very painful. I have heard that collagen moisturiser can help. I have always smothered my bod in moisterising cream and doubled it when I started on the preds.

Even a tap of my cats claw would open up the skin. My skin did toughen up a bit when I got to about 15mgs. Maybe your doctor could prescribe something suitable for you.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to Primarose

Thank you, Primarose :-)

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PMRpro
PMRproModerator

Avoiding soap products (anything that foams) helps reduce the drying effect which makes skin delicate. Emollient products such as Doublebase and Diprobase which are used for eczema patients are helpful too - and they are available for cleansing too.

But avoidance is the real trick once your skin is so delicate - long sleeves too.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to PMRpro

I use shower oil instead of anything that foams so I'm doing something right, PMRpro, but I'm my own worst enemy in that I hate sleeves so have caused damage over the years by exposure to the sun. I keep seeing 'Doublebase' mentioned so will give that a go. I might even invest in a cardigan ;-)

As always, thanks for your input, PMRpro :-)

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PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to gannie

Don't believe all you read in the advertising stuff - shower oils are still cleansers and still remove the skin's natural oils. It's a big marketing con! I use nothing - just water and hair shampoo. I wash my hair every 3 weeks on average.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to PMRpro

The stuff I use is called Oilatum and was prescribed by the doctor for my dry skin a long time before I had Polymyalgia but I do agree that there is a lot of hype surrounding skincare products (which I generally ignore) :-)

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PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to gannie

Fair enough - it has a similar purpose to the other products mentioned.

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Pym1
Pym1
in reply to gannie

We’ve had a pot of ‘Oilytum’ in the house ever since our 30+year old children were babies. Wonderful stuff. Applied to them all over after bath time. Mind you, made them as slippery as eels. 😂

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gannie
gannie
in reply to Pym1

I agree that it's really good and, thankfully, my GP prescribed it for me. It's expensive to buy over the counter :-)

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Pat9442

My arms nearly always look like yours! It’s a family joke that it is due to my husband beating me! I use doublebase gel. A tube costs around a fiver -which is good to see if you like it before buying a pump action jar (£10). It doesn’t stop the bruising but my skin is definitely not so dry

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gannie
gannie
in reply to Pat9442

I shall hot foot it to the nearest supplier of Doublebase gel, Pat9442. Thank you :-)

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PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to gannie

Remember to apply it while your skin is still damp after a shower - that keeps the moisture in.

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Jeannie29
Jeannie29
in reply to gannie

I buy it from Boots x

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MrsNails
MrsNailsModerator

Oh Dear Gannie

How sore it looks, my Mums skin was like yours after many years on Prednisone for Asthma.

As PMRPro says long sleeves & also trousers, that was my Mum’s ‘Uniform’ at home to try & protect herself on handles, doors, edges etc!

Once it’s improved the Diprobase or Doublebase to try to keep your skin as moisturised as possible.

Please also get it checked at the surgery regularly until it’s healed.

Best Wishes 🌺

MrsN x

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gannie
gannie
in reply to MrsNails

Thank you, MrsNails :-) The photo shows how it looked just after injury but it has healed well. I have now invested in the full 'kit' of wound cleansing wipes, non-stick dressings, skin closures, stretchy bandage and micropore tape (which I have to remove with 'Appeel' which is an adhesive remover). :-D

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MrsNails
MrsNailsModerator
in reply to gannie

I’m so glad it’s healed well & setting up a ‘kit’ is an excellent idea, so lots of moisturiser now & keep away from sharp corners, even nit so sharp when your skin is thin.

Best Wishes

MrsN 🌺

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gannie
gannie
in reply to MrsNails

Thank you and best wishes to you also, MrsNails :-)

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CT-5012
CT-5012
in reply to gannie

Just a bit of advice given to me (also have dry thin skin) by practice nurse not to use anything other than plain water to clean damaged skin whenever possible as anything else can cause further damage and delay healing. Best wishes.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to CT-5012

Thank you CT-5012 :-) I will remember that :-)

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piglette

I have had major problems because of thin skin. I am told to use moisturisers but the thin skin has caused major problems and I am not sure if there really is a good answer if it is bad.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to piglette

Thanks, Piglette, and I'm sorry to hear that you've had major problems with thin skin :-(

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piglette
piglette
in reply to gannie

I have even had to have an operation to sort out a lesion on my leg that became infected. I am not sure I can attach a photo unless it is the first item in the discussion.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to piglette

Oh goodness! That sounds awful, Piglette, and I'm so sorry to hear that :-(

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joat

My skin is ultra thin and has been called butterfly skin. I spend a lot of time at Minor Injuries and wearing jeans etc does not seem to make a difference as the skin just slices with no damage to the jeans! Infuriating. Have had to have so many dressings that the surgery offered me a camper bed. I do use Doublebase. Sorry can`t recommend anything else.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to joat

Thanks for your input, joat, and you're clearly worse off than me as it's only my arms that are affected. I wish you well and I hope you don't get into too much trouble with your fragile skin in the future :-)

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Marilyn1959

My mum had similar due to taking warfarin. Her cream was prescribed by doctor which meant she had it free on prescription. It takes an awful lot of cream over weeks, months years so if you are in UK try to get it on prescription as it will save you a fortune.

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karools16

My watch, medic-alert bracelet, sometimes bruise my skin. Forever got blotches on arms. Mother had as well. Dermatologist prescribed Hydromol cream, in pump. I get it on prescription.Warfarin does it.

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piglette
piglette
in reply to karools16

I get red blotches from my watch/bracelet too. I don’t mind them higher up my arm in the winter but annoying that far down when they can be seen.

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karools16
karools16
in reply to piglette

Had 1 that has just faded and now another.....oh well.....

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piglette
piglette
in reply to karools16

That’s what happens to me, Sod’s law! I usually check my arms in the swimming pool to see what the blotch status is!

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karools16
karools16
in reply to piglette

What a life we lead... Worse, for me though, is my hamster cheeks...

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piglette
piglette
in reply to karools16

I gave up gluten and simple carbs when I first started pred as someone said that stopped the moon face and amazingly enough it worked!

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karools16
karools16
in reply to piglette

No moon face any more, but hamster cheeks. Really battle with giving up sugar and carbs.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to piglette

I can't wear my Pandora bracelet anymore as the charms mark my wrists :-( Hey ho! :-D

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gannie
gannie
in reply to Marilyn1959

Thank you, Marilyn1959. I have ordered Doublebase gel so if I get on well with it I will ask my GP if I may have it on presrciption :-)

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CT-5012

Friend who has a small daughter with severe eczema uses a product called Baby Pharm ? Farm not sure of spelling. Not tried it myself but have heard some good reports. Good luck.

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MrsNails
MrsNailsModerator
in reply to CT-5012

Childs Farm Baby Moisturiser has a lot of good reviews for eczematous skin x

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CT-5012
CT-5012
in reply to MrsNails

Thanks, I knew I didn’t remember correctly. Pred head 😱

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gannie
gannie
in reply to CT-5012

Thank you, CT-5012. I have just 'googled' Baby Farm cream and it contains Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter - two very good moisturising ingredients so I will bear that in mind :-)

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Jeannie29

My skin is exactly the same, have had to visit Minor Injuries recently to have skin steri stripped . My legs are worse, barely touch them and they are bruised. I don’t think any product really helps, although I do use double base cream. I think it is also available on prescription.

I wish you well x

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gannie
gannie
in reply to Jeannie29

Thank you, Jeannie 29 :-) I can see that some of the ladies here suffer far more than I do because in my case, it's just my arms. I wish you well, also :-)

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Linny3

That looks so painful. Yes my skin has been thinning but nothing to that extent. The absolute best thing I have found is Jewelweed Oat Salve sold by Ravines Edge.

I saw pictures on a facebook page where a woman had the same tear as you have and it was healed in 4 days. worth a try. It is great for drying skin and all bruising and injuries.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to Linny3

Thanks, Linny3 :-) Something else I shall look into....

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KSCGY2016

I have gouged my lower legs so many times - also through thick pants - that my SIL says I should wear shin pads. May be not a bad idea! Also gouges on my arms from cupboard handles, hedge twigs. LOL.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to KSCGY2016

I can definitely relate to hedge twigs and handles etc. I do now make sure I'm wearing sleeves when I go into the garden :-D

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gifford7

Vitamin K may help, either in dietary form [leafy green vegetables] or topically. Aspirin and other blood thinners make it worse. More info at medicalnewstoday.com/articl... "How to get rid of a bruise: Home remedies

.................................4. Vitamin K cream

The body needs vitamin K to help the blood clot when necessary. But a pill may not be the best solution, especially for those taking blood thinners or other medications. Topical vitamin K, however, shows some promise as a remedy for bruises and is generally safe for most people to use.

A study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology found that people who applied a vitamin K gel after having a cosmetic procedure had less bruising than those who used a placebo.

Many different vitamin K products are available over-the-counter. A person should look for one that lists vitamin K near the beginning of its ingredients, and apply it as often as directed.....................................................6. A bruise-healing diet

A person's diet can have an impact on all areas of health, including how their injuries and bruises heal. Certain foods can strengthen the body's blood vessels, which may minimize bruising...........................Pineapple. Eating fresh pineapple gives the body a natural dose of bromelain, which may help the bruise heal faster.

Fruits with natural quercetin. Foods with high amounts of quercetin include apples, citrus fruits, red onion, dark-colored berries and cherries, and leafy green vegetables.

Citrus fruits. One study found that citrus flavonoids significantly improved bruising in seniors who had senile purpura, or ongoing bruising. Citrus fruits include oranges, tangerines, and lemons.

Foods with vitamin K. A diet that includes vitamin K will prevent deficiency and may help a person bruise less. Good sources include kale, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, soybeans, strawberries, and blueberries.

Lean protein. Fish, poultry, tofu, and lean meat provide protein to help strengthen capillaries. Avoid sources of protein with high amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol, such as hamburger or fried meats.

Zinc-rich foods. Zinc helps the body heal wounds and tissues. Good sources of zinc include crab, lobster, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and legumes."

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gannie
gannie
in reply to gifford7

A lot to digest there (no pun intended, gifford7) so thank you for relaying all the helpful information :-)

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Janicep

My skin looks similar to yours and my Doctor suggested ceramides. I have bought CeraVe Moisturising cream from dermstore.com It has ceramide

which area waxy lipid molecules and apparently good for our skin. It is good and keeps my skin nice and hydrated.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to Janicep

Thank you, Janicep :-) Another kind suggestion which I will look into :-)

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xdbx

Ooh that looks so sore! I’ve had skin problems on Pred too and have helped to resolve them by diet rather than external creams, most of which (including Doublebase and Oilatum) contain paraffin wax or petroleum in some form so I personally wouldn’t go anywhere near those! I use Lotil which is a cream that doesn’t contain petroleum products.

I’d definitely recommend working from the inside out though rather than, or as well as, the outside in. That’s exactly what the meds are doing after all!

There are so many lovely foods that do the job. I eat plenty of things like oily fish, olive oil, avocados, cucumbers (for silica to increase moisture and elasticity), nuts for vitamin E and sweet potatoes for vitamin A which is really important for preventing dry skin. Also important are foods containing zinc which creates collagen, like beef, beans and wheat germ (if you can tolerate it). I make bone broth regularly and drink it most days because it’s packed with collagen and highly beneficial for the skin and also the bones and connective tissue as well as hormonal balance, all of which need extra help on Pred! 😋

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gannie
gannie
in reply to xdbx

Thank you for you advice, xdbx. It all makes a lot of sense :-)

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IzzysGran
IzzysGran
in reply to xdbx

Hi xdbx. Do you have a reasonably simple recipe for your bone broth? Sounds like a really good idea.

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xdbx
xdbx
in reply to IzzysGran

Yes! I use either chicken bones/carcass, especially if we had a roast chicken, after we've eaten the meat off it, or I get beef bones from an organic farm - it's best if they're from grass-fed animals because you don't want added hormones and other nasties in your precious broth! I get chicken feet from the farm too and add two or three to the pot because they have a lot of collagen in them. You can do just chicken or just beef or you can combine them. It really doesn't matter.

If you can't get grass-fed organic beef bones it's a good idea to blanch them in plenty of boiling water for a good 20 mins and then pour that water away.

If I have time/energy (!) I'll also roast the beef bones in the oven for about 1/2 an hour because it improves the flavour but it isn't essential to do this.

I put the bones in a pressure cooker with some very roughly chopped onion, carrot, celery, maybe the tops of leeks and whatever herbs I have to hand - thyme, rosemary, parsley - with a few whole black peppercorns and a bay leaf or two and a tablespoon of cider vinegar if I have any. Top it up with 2 to 3 pints of water and cook on high pressure for an hour. It's better not to use too much liquid. You'll get a lovely concentrated broth this way and you can always dilute it later but you can't make it more concentrated! Ideally it will be beautifully gelatinous when it's cold.

If you don't have a pressure cooker you can slow cook on a very low heat for anything up to 6 hours - the longer the better. If you have an electric slow cooker this is an excellent way to do it.

When it's cooked strain off the broth and throw away the veggies. You can store the bones in the freezer and ad them to the next batch if you like and you can keep using them until they fall apart!

If there's a layer of fat on top of the beef broth when it's cold I skim it off and use it as cooking fat. Beef tallow adds delicious flavour to other things. However I throw away the fat from the chicken broth because I'm never sure how good it is.

I usually make enough so I can freeze some and also have some in the fridge ready to use. It's delicious heated up just as it is and wonderful to add to other dishes like stews and as a base for soups etc.

I hope this is simple enough - it's actually very easy once you get the hang of it and definitely worth the effort!

It's also possible to buy ready-made bone broth but it's pricey and not always easy to find.

Happy brothing! 😃

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IzzysGran
IzzysGran
in reply to xdbx

Wow, thank you so much for that. It all sounds really delicious - especially the chicken feet!!! 😉 They’re a delicacy in China as I’m sure you know , though to be honest I’ve never really fancied them...but understand perfectly why they’d be good in broth.

I don’t have a slow cooker or a pressure cooker any more but do have an Aga which is just as good for slow cooking.

I live alone and don’t eat a lot of meat and though there are organic farms around they’re quite a way from here so finding a supply of organic beef bones could be a bit of a problem! The chicken is much easier of course.

Anyway, you’ve really inspired me to get out and start making bone broth. Thanks again. 😊

I love this forum btw. It’s so friendly- who’d have thought that you’d get a recipe for broth here!!

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xdbx
xdbx
in reply to IzzysGran

Good! I’m so glad you’re inspired and chicken will be absolutely fine, highly beneficial and very tasty! I did know that chicken feet are a delicacy in China. I never eat them but they do make the broth extra good! Your Aga will be perfect for long slow cooking too. 😊

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PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to xdbx

They look disgusting BTW - and the one bit that strayed onto my plate WAS disgusting! I put it in my mouth unconsciously so it wasn't a preconception! Bone and gristle...

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xdbx
xdbx
in reply to PMRpro

Ew!

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PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to xdbx

It was in Seoul - not China. The Koreans have even stranger dietary predilections...

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LarryLeek

Make sure you drink PLENTY of water if you aren’t already, one of the biggest reasons for dry brittle skin that peeps don’t realize is the lack of water intake. We have to remember that it’s what 80+ % of our body is made of. I’m guilty of this as well. Talk w/ your Dr. & he can tell you how much you should be drinking a day going by your weight. Most peeps will be shocked when they find out lol. I’m tall but thin & even I should drink over. gal. a day.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to LarryLeek

You make a very valid point, LaryLeek, and there's a NHS chart available to work out how much one should drink according to weight :-)

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PMRJ

BEEN THERE!!! It's awful. More than one trip to urgent care for infection!

Good news! you can protect ripped, bleeding skin with Tegaderm film by 3 M. It is a wound protecting film, used in hospitals. I order from Amazon. Not cheap, BUT works to help the bleeding mess that seeps all over the place. SOOOO ugly we feel when our skin looks like that. It IS the prednisone thinning your skin. Now that I am at 3mg my skin is not so thin and bleedy anymore. I'm BEGINNING to look like a 'normal' person again. Blessings PMRJ

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gannie
gannie
in reply to PMRJ

Thanks a lot, PMRJ :-) I will look for the Tegaderm as I have a feeling injury could happen again. In fairness, I can't blame the Prednisolone entirely as the skin on my arms was already thin due to years of exposure to the elements. I've always hated sleeves and when younger didn't bother with sun protection cream :-(

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HeronNS
HeronNSAmbassador

Nutrition should help achieve a long term improvement. I was interested in the post about Vitamin K (I assume both K1 and K2 would be helpful) as I had wondered whether that would help. But adequate Vitamin A (retinol) and Vitamin C are both helpful to the skin.

An anecdote: one of my sons developed acne and was prescribed tetracycline. As neither of us wanted him on this antibiotic for a long time I was really pleased to read that application of egg yolk would help. Indeed it did. within a short space of time (he'd already given up the antibiotics) after applying a bit of beaten egg yolk as a mask every evening his skin cleared up and he has never had any trouble since. He was in his mid-teens then and now his late thirties. I have since been told it might be the retinol in egg yolk. We used organically produced eggs can't remember if they were also free range. Just wondering whether a similar treatment could help heal very thin skin?

Btw I tried putting this slimy yellow goop on my face one evening just to see what it felt like. It felt deliciously cool and refreshing! My son would apply it and then do some stuff on the computer for a while, perhaps an hour, before washing it off. He'd only use a bit of the yolk and keep the rest in the fridge, probably good for three applications before we threw any leftovers away.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to HeronNS

Gosh! That is very interesting as I had also read that Retinol would benefit thin skin so I might well give that a try. Thank you, HeronNS :-)

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piglette
piglette
in reply to gannie

Retinol (vitamin A) is also supposed to work against aging if used on your face or possibly anywhere!

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gannie
gannie
in reply to piglette

Yes, I had read that somewhere. Thank you :-)

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IzzysGran

My skin is similar to yours caused by Ciclosporin and subsequently pred. I use Dermol 500 or Dermol cream to bathe with ever since I developed chronic eczema four years ago. I get it on prescription (it’s quite expensive) and though it doesn’t strengthen the skin it certainly helps to keep it moisturised. I also put on Aveeno cream after bathing.

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gannie
gannie
in reply to IzzysGran

I've not heard of Dermol 500 but I do use Aveeno in it's various forms :-)

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IzzysGran
IzzysGran
in reply to gannie

Dermol is good in the bath or shower as it’s not as oily as something like Oilatum which makes the bath dangerously slippery ( and a pain to clean😕). Aveeno is great though isn’t it and I find with the combination of the two that my skin is pretty well moisturised, though, like you definitely thinner than I’d like. Anyway, take care. 😊

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