Thin skin - It's no joke...: I'm living proof that... - PMRGCAuk

PMRGCAuk
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Thin skin - It's no joke...

Marijo1951
Marijo1951

I'm living proof that pred thins our skin, so all of you, take warning by me...

Yesterday while at a friend's house, I clumsily tripped up while going into her kitchen from the garden, landing on the floor. My left calf fell on the base of the upvc door frame (which doesn't have a sharp edge) and it cut a long deep slice through the flesh like a knife through butter. It wasn't a serious heavy fall from a height, just a trip, and while I expected it to bruise badly, I certainly didn't anticipate anything like that.

This morning I'm feeling pretty shaken and have a week's worth of antibiotics to take on top of everything else and a pair of crutches to make friends with, but it could be so much worse. As on other occasions, I'm feeling deeply grateful for our treasured NHS. The ambulance team arrived within 5 minutes, attended me diligently and took me to the nearest hospital to my home. I was stitched up by two doctors, an orthopaedic surgeon and an A&E doctor, who made an incredibly neat job of it, considering the mess it was in. Every member of staff I encountered - nurses, radiographers, porters - were kind and patient, treating me not just as an individual, but like a star, rather than a clumsy old lady. And all this in a very busy A&E department.

46 Replies
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Feel for you. I spent most of last year having wounds dressed because I had such thin skin and seemed to bump into everything. I have been using Doublebase Dayleve Gel which has made a difference.

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to joat

Thanks for the tip.

jinasc
jinasc in reply to Marijo1951

Add

1) no soap and only use a Baby Shampoo.

2) do not shower everyday - too much strips the natural oils from your skin and you do not give it the time to recover.

Get the Double Base Gel, your GP can prescribe it and follow the instructions to the letter.

I was lucky, the lady who runs the Surrey Support Group told me about it, two months into GCA. GP prescribed it and when I went into remission I still use, I but it OTC.

When you have finished with the anti-biotic, which knocks out all the bacteria, good and bad. Buy some natural yoghurt with good bacteria in it............and help the good guys to get back quicker than the bad guys. I use Yeo valley with L.acidopolous in it.

VSL#3 then you get 20 billion good guys but it is expensive and not available on prescription. A Surgeon told me after an op and a longer stay on anti-biotics than was expected.

I am sorry to hear all that happened to you,,,,,,,but well done the NHS, who really pull out all the stops when it is absolutely necessary.

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to jinasc

Thank you so much. This is all very useful. I can't actually bathe or shower at present, because of the dressing on my leg, so I'll just have to dab at the reachable bits as best as I can for the time being. I use Aveeno baby wash normally rather than soap. I'll definitely ask my GP about the gel. If I have to pay for it, it's available online and not terribly expensive.

Yes, the NHS is unbeatable in emergencies. Let's hope it eventually gets the funding to make it top notch in all circumstances.

jinasc
jinasc in reply to Marijo1951

I was in plaster (toes to knee and unable to put foot on floor for 3 months) for six months (long story) so I bought a leg thing, which has elastic on top and bottom. A plastic garden chair in the shower............bingo.

'Water Proof Plaster Protection' in your search engine. You will be surpised at the shape and sizes of all the bits that you sometimes need to cover.

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to jinasc

Oh good Lord! Poor you - I definitely got off lightly. I'm not in plaster as fortunately no bone was broken, just got a lot of fabric 'stuff' wrapped round my leg. If it's on for more than a week, I'll investigate ways of keeping it dry in the shower.

jinasc
jinasc in reply to Marijo1951

Methinks a black plastic bin bag and some string would do the job 🤔🤔

No, not "poor you" it was before GCA and my family and especially my friends looked after me, with much laughter and sometimes, not often, tears (mine).

People in the NHS who became like members of the family. The kettle, teapot and cups were worked to death. The Plasterers put coloured plaster each time it was renewed and the last one did a Rainbow...............just to see if it could be done.

Coloured plasters are reserved for kids (the dye costs extra) .................just in case anyone thinks you can ask for one.

In the words of Monty Python, always look on the bright side of life..............

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to jinasc

I love your attitude. You've lifted my spirits and made me feel much better.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Marijo1951

She's like that!!!!!!

Poor you, but good you had all the right attention at the right times. Take great care during healing and keep that leg up! 💐

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to SnazzyD

Thank you. I'll do my best. I keep my legs up on the sofa every day so I'm well practised!

Hidden
Hidden

Wishing you a Speedy Recovery Marijo 🌷🌷🌷

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to Hidden

Thank you. I just feel rather shaken and a bit sore, so not too bad.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Marijo1951

Take it very easy as it may well catch up with you, no Tapering until you’re feeling better. 🌷

MrsN 🌷

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to Hidden

Excellent advice. I even thought of increasing a little this morning, but didn't as I felt better than I'd expected. I will just see how it goes. Fortunately being lazy is no problem for me these days.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Marijo1951

What dose are you on?

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to Hidden

Sorry missed your reply earlier. I'm on 7 mg but, as I replied to poopadoop, I'm upping to 8 for a week or so, and I'll call the rheumatology nurse on Monday to see what she advises. Mind you, if she tells me it's a terrible thing to do, I'll probably ignore her!

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Marijo1951

That’s OK - it’s my Volunteer Session at the Hospice on a Saturday.

I was concerned that if you were at around 7/7.5mg you might need to increase as the Adrenals are still probably not working & it might be a stress on your system.

Hope you’ve had a good day, l’ve had a nap since l came in.

Kind Regards

MrsN 🌷

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to Hidden

What you say makes me feel more justified in going up slightly.

I slept from 2.10 to 5.55 if that counts as a nap! Feel a lot better for it...

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Marijo1951

Now that’s a Serious Nap 😴

but absolutely the right thing to do after what you’ve been through.

Take it easy & have another nap tomorrow.

MrsN 🌸

Oh how awful. Please take it easy. Hope you heal up well. I have butterflies reading that!!

How very unpleasant! I'm glad the doctors did a stellar job of stitching you up nicely!

I have heard that pred thins the skin...but this is the first time i have heard someone provide first hand experience! Hope u get better soon!

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador

Ouch!!!!

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to PMRpro

Ouch indeed. It's funny - 'like a knife through butter' is a bit of a cliché, and 'a knife through chicken fat' might be more literally true. I hadn't realised we look so thoroughly animal under the skin. It might be the thing that finally makes me go vegetarian...

Hidden
HiddenAmbassador

Please try and take care. I will keep my fingers crossed you recover quickly. It is not unknown to have a bit of a flare after a fall- what dose are you on at the moment? This paper suggests an increase for a week.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to Hidden

Thank you so much. How I love this forum - I hadn't realised that there was evidence of this kind available. I'm on 7 mg at present, so I think I'll go up to 8 for a week. I might also phone the rheumatology nurse on Monday and see what she recommends.

If I sit out in the sun, my leg skin also blisters besides being bruised and cut by anything it touches. Spend my time having my legs dressed.

jinasc
jinasc in reply to piglette

Your GP can prescribe factor 60. Mine did and I did not even have to ask.

piglette
piglette in reply to jinasc

I have decided it is easier to protect my legs having been diagnosed with Necrotizing fasciitis thus needing surgery at one point. Also months of having district nurses visiting me.

Hidden
HiddenAmbassador in reply to piglette

I saw a man getting out of his car at the supermarket yesterday wearing shin pans similar to football pads. He got a light wheelchair out of his boot, he was unsteady on his feet. At first I thought good idea but they looked harder than anything I would like to protect my legs. But perhaps they had fleece or something against the skin. But they may useful under trousers for someone banging their shins a lot. I saw cos he had shorts on. They were more like the blue ones on this site.

wikkieslegprotectors.com/co...

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to Hidden

Gosh, these are great. Thanks for bringing them to our attention. It's nice that they were designed by a daughter worried about her elderly mother's problems. I'll know what to do if my thin skin leads to any further injury.

Hidden
HiddenAmbassador in reply to Marijo1951

I have fibromyalgia and when I flare the tiniest bang can send waves of nauseating pain to my brain. I may see if I can use, adapt something like these shin protectors and something for my arms too. Adding thinning skin to the mix means I will definitely do something.

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to Hidden

Really bad luck having fibromyalgia as well as PMR, but I agree these protectors could help a lot. If you do get some, let us know how they feel and how successful they are.

piglette
piglette in reply to Hidden

What a really simple idea.

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to piglette

Yes, prevention is certainly better than cure. I think this has just brought home to me how fragile my skin has become. It split like paper.

I had another experience a few weeks before I was diagnosed with GCA and PMR, although I was certainly already suffering both. I grazed the same calf very slightly on a car door. This refused to heal and I was left with a small hole in the flesh about the circumference of a pencil. When I finally went to the practice nurse she found a lot of strep bacteria. I understand that this could have led to necrotizing fasciitis if it hadn't been nipped in the bud.

Slosh
Slosh in reply to Marijo1951

Phew scary.

Slosh
Slosh in reply to piglette

I'm sorry that you struggle with that as well.

So sorry Marijo! Glad to hear that NHS are still wonderful when it counts.

If you want to take a shower get someone to pop to chemist and buy a special bag to fit over your leg. Worth every penny. I think mine cost £13 approx. So easy and safe to use. Plastic bags and elastic are a pain and bags are slippery in the shower.

I split my shin on dishwasher door. Had to keep stitches dry for 3 weeks!! I love my shower so life was made bit easier with my special foot bag 🚿🚿

Do hope you heal well and soon as possible 😎

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to patrees

Thanks for that good advice. I think I'll follow it. Good to hear from somebody who's experienced something similar. I expect you, like me, thought 'Oh that'll bruise badly!' and were astounded when you saw what had actually happened. I hope mine mends in 3 weeks. They were contemplating sending me to the Plastic Surgery unit at the Royal Free Hospital but, once they'd shot my leg full of anaesthetic, they were able to manipulate and align the skin enough to stitch it up. They've warned me that I might still need plastic surgery if it doesn't knit together properly. I really hope not as my skin is demonstrably thin and I don't want to have a graft taken from somewhere else. I'm resigned to having a nasty scar whatever happens.

I've just acted on your advice and ordered the following from eBay:

'Limbo Half Leg Waterproof Cast & Dressing Protector - Reusable Shower Bath Cover

Fully submergible for use in bath or shower'

It cost £15.99 including postage and should arrive by Tuesday.

Thank you again patrees for the invaluable tip.

patrees
patrees in reply to Marijo1951

I have had asthma for over 50 years. Well controlled with steroid inhalers. So have always bruised badly for the least little knock. Then GCA/PMR struck nearly two years ago . 60mg steroids do paper thin skin and look at me sideways and I bruise like I have been in a boxing ring !! I have photos of spectacular bruises to grim to share.

But when I knocked my leg on the dishwasher I could not believe the damage. My hubby nearly fainted. Up to A&E. 4 hours later I was stitched and bandaged up and warned it could take 3 months to heal due to the high steroid dose. I had to visit the health centre every few days for it to be dressed. The good news is it eventually healed without complications.

Yours will too, so stay strong and enjoy a shower when your foot bag arrives.

Marijo1951
Marijo1951 in reply to patrees

Thank you again. I wasn't looking forward to feeling dirty and smelly and now I won't.

Hi all, Do you know about Dermatuff leg and arm protectors? They use kevlar, (bullet proof fiber). I have been using them, and they really work. Website is Dermatuff.com.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to misspops

Do please start a new thread with the info together with how you have found them, user report so to speak. Then lots of people will see, there probably won't be many who see this now.

They have been mentioned in the past but I didn't know anyone who actually used them.

misspops
misspops in reply to PMRpro

Will do.

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