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Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK)
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Itching and Rashes

Hi there. I was diagnosed with limited systemic sclerosis three years ago. There has been no skin involvement but in Feb I developed rashes on backs of knees, inside thighs, front of wrists, forearms (now extending up to armpits) and sides. At times I think the sides are the start of shingles as they are painful linear clusters that looks like they are about to blister but don't, other times the rash looks like nettle rash My fingers and knuckles are now very itchy with a few tiny hard spots on the sides. The rashes will flare and subdue but there is always an active area somewhere. It is worse at night.

Is this related to systemic sclerosis? GP shrugging shoulders a bit, doesn't know what it is but said I might be stuck with it.

I did have slight problems with itchy wrists over the last couple of years but nothing like this. I also had a pretty major episode is nausea and fatigue in May that lasted for a couple of months but has improved since going back on hydroxychloroquine in late May ( I was taken off it in early March).

Any advice would be very welcome here.

7 Replies

I suffered a few years ago with Erythema Nugosa (spelling might be a bit off) on my right shin which started like a bite but spread. I asked my rheumatologist to look it but he dismissed it and said to see my GP. She didn't know what it was and so sent me back to the Rheumatologist because by then it had spread further. He did diagnose it then, and gave me cream to put on it and also said to keep it well moisturised. I did ask if it would eventually go to which he told me that it would always be there but would only flare up every now and again. It has left me with an indentation in my leg that looks like I have had very tight socks on. I also suffer at night with itching all over my body and this is annoying because it happens just as I am about to go to sleep and I have to get up and put cream on. I have Diprobase from my GP which works but I have found that any moisturiser will do the trick.


Thanks for your reply I see my consultant next week so hopefully will get a bit further forward :-)


Sorry I should have said that I too suffer with Limited Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis.


Hello there. Your symptoms are related to your condition. I have experience and still do all and more of the symptoms you speak of. Mine started in 1997 and my GP had no idea what caused it. I developed other autoimmune disorders and was referred to the Rheumatologist at my local hospital where all was revealed. These problems are on going and there seems to be no cure. They rather seem to multiply on a daily basis. We just try to manage with prescription creams and pills to minimise the itching.

The rashes do flare up and some do resemble shingles and nettle rash. Your description is spot on and all sufferers can totally identify with it.

My arms and legs are covered with dark patches and scarring from these rashes which is not nice especially now summer's here.

Try to keep your skin moisturised as much as possible with unperfumed creams and oils. I use a lot of natural oils but from time to time I need to use a little hydrocortisone cream/ointment and take antihistamine tablet every night.

Ask your doctor to refer you to a dermatologist if not yet done. Good luck!

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I have the same problem, I am on my second round of antibiotics from scratching my right foot until it was infected. I have had diffuse Scleroderma for 14 years and this began last year.Antihistimines def. help.


Thanks to graygirl1 and lifeforce always reassuring to know what it is. It seems that a lot of the things I develop 'don't fit' which can be frustrating especially if they get ignored or dismissed as I'm sure you are both well aware of. Off to dive into a tub of E45. Anyway onwards and upwards


Hi There AnjiGrunty - I hope by this time, you have improved with these annoying skin problems. I've continued to have itching from time-to-time with my feet. After being diagnosed in 2008 with Scleroderma, we went back into history and at my level based in 2009, the foot itching was an probable early symptom of the hidden Scleroderma at the time. I have been hoping to practice juicing and more natural smoothies. These conditions are loaded with inflammation and many of the foods we eat arouse more annoying problems. I've been juicing daily for 2 weeks today and making my own natural smoothies with fresh fruits and really pay attention to my well being; heck, I've needed to gain more energy, a better remedy for reducing the edema in my ankles and feet and simply feel better more consistently since my last 4 day hospital visit at the end of May. I am feeling a little better and figured, after 30 days of less sugar, less caffeine, more organic veggies-coupled-with fruits in my system w/spring water and more natural smoothies of fruits, eating more fiber and nuts, hopefully I'll notice a well-benefited difference. Haven't had the energy to really resume low-impact aerobics, but managing to do my yoga, strength training and stretch routines exercises in a few days a week. I am praying for you and wishing you the best. - I truly believe getting back to the basics of healthy food intake, a regimented schedule, excluding as much stress as possible and engaging to stress relieving approaches as exercise, relaxation tips, practicing calmness within - will help a lot with our conditions and help to reduce flair up of physical aggravation. Again, wishing you the best; hope you feel a lot better already.


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