Fibromyalgia is a condition with no known origin that presents itself as generalized muscle pain throughout the body, with some areas becoming hypersensitive (very sensitive to external stimulation) and called ‘Tender points’. It presents itself mainly in the neck, shoulders, back, hip, arms, and legs. Doctors believed that patients imagined this pain because it has no physical symptoms, but in recent years it started to be treated as a condition thanks to various studies that proved it to be of neurological origin.
The main known symptoms of Fibromyalgia include:
- Widespread pain: It’s described as a constant, dull ache that has lasted for more than three months. To be considered widespread it must occur on both sides of the body, above and below your waist.
- Fatigue: People with this condition tend to awaken tired, even after sleeping for long periods of time. Pain access due to the fibromyalgia tends to disrupt the patients during their sleep and develop other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
- Cognitive difficulties: Commonly referred to as “fibro fog”, it impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.
Between 50 and 80 percent of individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia develop skin problems, with rashes being the most common. The rashes can make the patient feel uncomfortable just for wearing clothes, sleeping at night, or even make them feel unattractive as they can form in the face, neck or arms.
The exact cause of fibromyalgia rash is unknown, but some specialists suggest that developing fibromyalgia causes a reaction in the immune system that makes the skin more sensitive to practically any external contact. This reaction releases histamine, a chemical associated with skin sensitivity and heparin, a substance with blood thinning qualities that promote bruising.
Rashes associated with fibro are red in color and can be either flat or raised and bumpy. Itches, soreness or a crawling sensation often follow the apparition of the rash. Besides rashes, fibro also tends to produce dry skin that further aggravates the rash, especially in hands and fingers.
Treatment for the rash and other skin problems
Treatments for Fibromyalgia Rash can vary depending on how serious and spread it is. The most common are:
- Antihistaminic: Antihistamines are drugs which treat a wide array of allergies. This can give relief to the patient and it works as an inexpensive, generic, over-the-counter drug with few side effects. In case of other allergic reactions appearing after taking the Antihistaminic, please consult your doctor.
- Drinking water: A well-hydrated body can help you stay healthy, and it works as an efficient and accessible counter option to the rashes. Rather than drinking a certain number of glasses of water daily, consider a house made urine test: if the urine is white or very light yellow, it means you are hydrated. If the urine has a darker yellow, it means you’re not drinking enough water.
- Creams: Anti-itch creams containing 1% hydrocortisone cream can be effective. You may need to apply extra creams on your hands and fingers. More natural creams, free of artificial colors or fragrance, work better.
- Sunscreen: while spending time outdoors, wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Healthy diet: Avoid fast food or pre-made food. Eat plenty fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, nuts, seeds and healthy grains.