Steroid Induced Thinning Skin, Tears, and Bruising

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dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7167
   Posted 5/24/2009 9:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Do any Flovent users here experience skin atrophy/thinning, excessive bruising, and skin tears? I'd be interested in hearing your stories. I'm experiencing these due to chronic asthma related to allergies and GERD. My docs are trying to get my asthma under control so they can reduce my steroids further. My GERD has been resolved by surgery, but I'm still severely allergic--especially to pollens.
Please share your experiences!
Denise

Razzle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4392
   Posted 5/26/2009 2:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, my Husband's skin was very fragile - he would bump into something and his skin would rip open. His joints were also very bad - a short walk and his knee would give out and his other joints were in pain all the time. He had been on steroids for severe allergies (food, inhalant) for a number of years before this started happening. But then we found a supplement called MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). He started taking this supplement along with Vitamin C supplements and his joints stopped hurting. Vitamin C by itself did not stop the joint pain - the MSM was what did that. And now that he's been on the MSM and Vitamin C supplements, and has since added Cod Liver Oil supplements for the Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids, he tells me that he feels like his skin is thicker and more normal feeling to him again. BTW, he has been able to go hiking on weekends - this last weekend, he hiked 10 miles!

I personally believe most of the side-effects of steroids are due to imbalances in nutrition and electrolytes in the body. Prednisone and other staroids block sulfur metabolism and also block the conversion of essential fatty acids from food. The only way to overcome this is either to get off the steroids, or to provide nutritional intake that overwhelms the drug's blocking abilities (or a combination, which is what my Husband did - he lowered his steroid intake while at the same time increased his supplement intake). Vitamin C is the conductor that tells the sulfur and other materials where they are needed in the connective tissue. Skin cells are held together by fatty acids. And the middle layer of skin (i.e., where the connective tissue is in the skin) requires sulfur for flexibility. Connective tissue in joints also requires sulfur for flexibility. But these nutrients do far more for the body as well. Vitamin C, MSM and Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids are natural anti-inflammatory substances that may reduce the severity of allergic reactions for some individuals. These substances also may support a balanced immune system (thus reducing susceptibility to infectious diseases). Sulfur is required for detoxification of some metabolic and other waste toxins. Fish Oil also contains Vitamin D, which is a fat-soluble vitamin that supports the immune system, may reduce pain and depression, and is required for calcium absorption and good bone density. Calcium absorption is also interfered with by steroids, so adding Vitamin D and Calcium supplements while taking steroids is usually a good idea, too. Calcium helps the nervous system to function properly, and reduces muscle cramping. Calcium is also an essential electrolyte mineral. Steroids also increase sodium retention and potassium depletion, so it is a good idea to reduce sodium intake and increase potassium intake while taking steroids. Sodium and potassium, also essential electrolyte minerals, need to be maintained in a certain ratio to one another or fluid imbalance (i.e., water retention or dehydration) can occur. Steroids also mess with blood sugar, which can be improved in most cases by adding a chromium supplement (or taking a daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement).

Just my $.02...
-Razzle
Chronic Lyme Disease, Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD ("Secondary Lupus-Like Syndrome"), Osteoporosis, Pancytopenia, chronic malabsorption/malnutrition, etc.; G-Tube; Currently TPN-dependent.
Meds:  Zofran, Pulmicort, Heparin (to flush PICC line), Claritin, Colloidal Silver (used topically), IV Milk Thistle, probiotics.


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7167
   Posted 5/29/2009 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Razzle!
Thanks for the information. How much vitamin C does your husband take daily? I take flaxseed oil, and could increase that. How much omega 3 does he take daily? I never heard of MSM--where would you get it, and how much is taken?

I do take calcium/D (liquid form, because I just had stomach surgery), and a multivitamin.

I'd appreciate details as to supplements and amounts.

Thanks a lot!
Denise

Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 5/29/2009 4:02 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Denise, I haven't taken flovent so I can't help you with that but if you are taking steroids for asthma there are so many other treatments out there that you might be able to take. By steroids, do you mean prednisone?  That is usually a short course for 5 or 6 days.  I assume you take flovent for your long term inhaler.  There are many other long term inhalers that will not do that to your skin. Do you see a pulmonologist?  If not I would suggest getting an appointment.  PCPs do not know enough about lung function to really correctly prescribe the right meds.  I take symbicort for my long term inhaler and I have absolutely no symptoms from it and it has worked so well from the 1st day I started it.  There is also advair,  xolair, ventolin, a number of others that you might tolerate better.  What good is a med if it is going to give you such problems. Also, I just started taking singulair for allergies as well as asthma and it is great and gives me no side effects. I do have albuterol for a rescue. If you can't take albuterol you might ask about xopenex.  It is rescue but is a different type and is much milder.  Maybe you need to have a portable nebulizer at home to help you.  I am just trying to give you some ideas.  I hope you find something that works well for you.  I will be thinking of you.  Please keep me posted on how you are doing.  I do strongly urge you to get a pulmnologist if you don't have one.  Good luck.

Hugs,

Aurora

P.S. Singulair is particularly good for pollen, tree particles, mold



Razzle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4392
   Posted 5/29/2009 4:31 PM (GMT -7)   
dencha said...
Hi Razzle!
Thanks for the information. How much vitamin C does your husband take daily? I take flaxseed oil, and could increase that. How much omega 3 does he take daily? I never heard of MSM--where would you get it, and how much is taken?

I do take calcium/D (liquid form, because I just had stomach surgery), and a multivitamin.

I'd appreciate details as to supplements and amounts.

Thanks a lot!
Denise
Hi Denise,
 
My husband has been taking several teaspoons of calcium ascorbate powder daily, this equates to about 12,000mg of vitamin C per day.  He is doing this because it helps him feel better.  But everyone is different in their ability to tolerate Vitamin C - basically, start with 500mg, then increase by 500mg every other day until you reach bowel tolerance (i.e., get diarrhea from the vitamin C), then back off by 500mg/day until no more diarrhea.  The dose you wind up at is how much you should take.  And this is assumming you do not have kidney disease -- high dose vitamin C is not recommended for those with kidney disease.
 
He is taking Cod Liver Oil, 6-9 softgels per day (the bottle recommends 2-4) but he has malabsorption and a severely limited diet (due to Allergic Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis), and says he feels better with this higher amount.  I've heard that 2-3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil daily is sufficient for most people.
 
MSM is methylsulfonylmethane, a natural source of sulfur.  Most health food stores carry various brands of this product.  I've heard that the typical dose ranges from 1500 to 2500mg/day.
 
I hope this helps - take care,
-Razzle
Chronic Lyme Disease, Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD ("Secondary Lupus-Like Syndrome"), Osteoporosis, Pancytopenia, chronic malabsorption/malnutrition, etc.; G-Tube; Currently TPN-dependent.
Meds:  Zofran, Pulmicort, Heparin (to flush PICC line), Claritin, Colloidal Silver (used topically), IV Milk Thistle, probiotics.


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7167
   Posted 5/29/2009 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks a lot for the info. I''ll give it a try!
Denise

Lo
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/21/2009 9:39 AM (GMT -7)   
On Flovent and Skin tears
 
I have had at least 10 skin tears after many years on high doses of Flovent.  Every time I go into the Emergency Room to get steri-stripped someone comments that I am too young for this.  Then I am asked if I have diabetes.  The answer is no.  Almost all of my skin tears are on my legs, especially my shins.  All I have to do is bump into something and my skin splits.  Last night I got a 7 cm tear from bumping into the corner of my wooden bed frame.  This is very frustrating.  They take a long time to heal, too.
 
I just did a quick internet search and found a lot about skin tears in the elderly but I am not elderly. 
 
I have tried prevention -- the bed frame corner I bumped into last night actually had a closed cell foam bumper taped to it!  Now I have taped a mop handle to that corner of the bed to remind myself where it is.  That corner has sent me to the Emergency Room twice!
 
I appreciate the suggestions on supplements to strengthen the skin.  I would love to hear from others on Flovent who are experiencing skin tears.
 
Lo
 
 

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 5/2/2012 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Denise, did you ever try the MSM?! I've just got some as I'm wondering, because I have so many allergies, whether all my problems are just due to high histamine. The theory bouncing around the Internet is that MSM blocks histamine (doesn't reduce production but blocks its action). Sometimes I think my gastritis and oesophagitis are just a reflection of inflammatory illness throughout my body (especially as I had bladder inflammation too) - certainly just targeting my stomach isn't working!

MMM
New stuff: GERD, Recurrent cystitis/Overactive bladder
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies/intolerance, eczema, asthma
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