The skin on my hands is pulling away from my fingernails and no matter how much lotion I put on them, they look and feel so dry that when I straighten my fingers, I can feel the skin pulling on my index finger. It occurred to me yesterday that with the obvious swellings on my finger joints, the skin probably IS too tight! I'm 56, in good shape, athletic, but do have chronic Hepatitis C, which is where I usually post. Lab tests showed I don't have rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, nor the type of arthritis caused/exacerbated by Hep C, but everything I'm finding on-line points rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma? But my skin isn't hard, it's too tight! I can't get in to see a rheumatologist until August and am afraid by then I won't have any fingernails left. Help!
It isn't at ALL uncommon to have what's called sero-negative RA, which means you have symptoms but negative blood tests. A good rheumatologist will take into account a broad range of evidence, not just bloodwork.
I don't have scleroderma, but I do have RA and skin issues can be part of the, er, "fun." :/ Not to sound like a commercial, but I've found a few products that help:
- Vaseline Healthy Hand & Nail formula; comes in a smaller, pinkish tube
- AmLactin lotion
- Zim's Crack Creme (I know, weird name, but I love this stuff)
- Any of Burt's Bees products for hands & feet. Esp. the lemon oil cuticle ointment, and the almond milk hand cream. I use my grandmother's old trick and apply the hand cream then a pair of cotton gloves when I go to bed. I know, sexy, but it works. :)
Keep in contact with the rheumatologist's office and ask if there's a list you can get on for if there's a cancellation. Call every day, if you must, to ask if there's an opening. Be polite, but don't give up. :)
Thank you so much! Yes, I did ask to get on their cancellation list. This really *****. I had heard that Hepatitis C could cause a certain type of arthritis, and I was so happy when the tests came back negative. Well, my hands are turning into treeknob claws right before my very eyes. I swear it seems like it gets visibly worse every day. I hate this!! I still feel like I'm 18, but my body doesn't seem to agree. Sigh ...
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