Dermatology Community
53.9k Members
Avatar universal

Sticky Skin Has Worsened To Something Unimaginable!

I have had a condition for a year when my skin becomes sticky when it is wet, then becomes normal when it completely drys.  All my doctors keeps sending me to other doctors who just basically tell me they think i'm crazy.  even my whole family,when i explain my symptoms think it's all in my head.  What is so upsetting about it is that I wear plastic gloves to keep whatever it is I've got from them.  and I remove the gloves, my fingers actually stick together when I remove them until the skin dries.  Now  all my fingers, face, lips arms legs everything on my body feels as if there is a thin, film or something that noone else can see, visually but me.  I know how my own skin feels normally.  sometime it feels like I am actually wearing a mask something. There is some redness but mostly noone, including my doctors can observe anything.  My dermotologist says hes never heard of such a thing, and when I told my family this,  they think I'm making it all up!  Yet I know I've got something i can't even explain to anyone anymore.  So i just quit talkig to them about it.   I have watched this thing spread from my underarms to my whole body then into my mouth and lips.  My eyes also now have the same stickyness around them and now even inside the eye causing vision problems and ocassionally an inability to clear the film from my eyes.  There is a severe burning sensation on my face now and believe it or not, I get strange flavors in my mouth, like an extreme salty taste, a bitter peppery taste and  now even, if I had to discribe it to anyone , i'd have to call it a bitter, salty mud taste.  There is a film in my mouth and teeth too.  I can't stand this anymore, I feel like I am a complete freak.  I've have strange chest pain and shortness of breath issues, which i think are completely related to my skin issue somehow, because the film I can feel this film down the back of my throat and my breathing worsens like a bad cold that will just not go away.  but the doctors just  say lose weight, and exercise.   Which i'm doing, but Like thats going to help my skin problem.  I cant find any answers.  I now am on arsinal of vitamins and suppliments trying to  find something, ANYTHING that might by chance correct whatever this is..  And I just keep watching it worsen..  It is so disheartening.   i met a guy online who said hes had similar symptoms and that he spread it to his whole family through showing inn the same shower.. it seems the only way to make people understand what I've got, is if they had it too.  Sure would like to find someone who an relate  it ***** out here alone!
69 Responses
Avatar universal
Phantosmia-smelling smells not there.Cocaine- cutaneous hallucinations.If you dont have substance abuse problem,must get a psychological evaluation.
Avatar universal
There is actually a syndrome called aquired cutaneous adherence, or sticky skin syndrome.
I´ts a known side effects to some medicines used to treat cancer and acne.
Google it to find out for yourselves.
I´ve had it to and i´ts not psychological.
Weird, frighening and hard to deal with though, since this is something new for you and for doctors..
Hard to find help.
sec6565, i´ve sent you a message with some relevant information.

Avatar universal
I did have a look at this syndrome,your features are different.Unfortunately we tend to compartmentalize diseases.Having a dermal hallucination to the person is real.And surely before designating anything as psychological must rule out organic disease,but then mind related problems may manifest like real disease.You must make up our mind to get such an evaluation too.If there is a solution elsewhere, there you are wasting time too.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your post.  i've looked into this to sticky skin syndrome,  will these symptoms seem simliar to mine.  I have not taken any drugs that are known to been connected to the disorder ie ketoconazole and doxorubicin.  My demratoligist prescribed ketoconazole cream and urea cream which seemed to have no effect it.  the most recent plan of attack was Triamcinolone acetone. cream.  to early to tell as to whether this is an effective treatment.  thanks so much for the infomation  
Avatar universal
Thanks for the post.  I understand the fact that the mind can manifest disease, but the progression of my symptoms lead me to believe the the problem is more systemic in nature.  Other syptoms that have seemed to progress right along with the skin condition include swelling of feet,  joint pain & stiffness (primarirly the knees)   temporary shooting pains in the arms & ocassional ringing of the ears.  The most bizarre thing about all this is that my doctor has never even taken a sample of my skin to test it for the possiblity of organic disease.  
Avatar universal
Hi my name is Mike and I know EXACTLEY what you are going through. I suffer from the exact symptoms, and my Dr. ran me around for the past 6 years with zero results.  My Dr. told me that he had seen the same symptoms in people who were using illegal drugs, or had psych problems.  I knew he was wrong and I kept digging to find the answer 2 months ago. I went to see an acupuncturist and within 30 minutes she had diagnosed and was treating me.  Keep in mind I had all of your symptoms and what it boiled town to was a was an allergic reaction to fungus/mold. The way I understand it in Chinese medicine it the sticky feeling came from heat in the blood (not a fever) and the heat is trying to escape and it causes the sticky feeling.  The severe burning sensation on my face was a result of a fungal infection that my Dr. never caught.  I felt much better in less than a week.  I hope this helps or points you in the right direction.
Avatar universal
I also have developed sticky skin espcialy the palms of my hands. It has spread to the clothing I wear. If I take off my shirt and don't wash it for a couple days, it then becomes sticky and gummy on it's own. I agree with the theory that it is all related to mold.
Avatar universal
Yep, it's *definitely* a reaction to mold in my case. I just finished watching the tv program series "The Doctors" and they discussed black mold and there were 30 symptoms and I have most of them. I have had a roof leak and this warm humid weather is feeding the mold. My mystery is solved. Now I have to get rid of the stuff because it's putting spores in the air and getting in my lungs and on my skin. No matter how often I wash my skin it quickly gets sticky again, and my nose runs and I cough along with constant fatigue.
Avatar universal

I have a friend who probably have sticky skin syndrome. It´s almost impossible to find a doctor who knows about this, and I´m asking you for help because it´s really serious. We´re living in Sweden.

Please write to me if you know a doctor for me to contact.
Avatar universal
i have also had sticky skin about 3yrs ago i moved to a house that still had lead pipes,a galvanised steel cold water tank/feed ,the water tank in the loft was uncovered & there was a hole in the roof sounds great i know,throughout the 2yrs & 8mths i lived there my palms,shoulders ect were sticky to touch when wet,& after washing my hair in baby shampoo it was like a birds nest & lots & lots fell out, when normally its very straight & fine,my gp gave me ketoconizole & other potions ect,i had also been to a dermatologist for facial acne (seperate issue) & he prescirbed spironlactone bp they didnt work either,my sticky dry eyes also started around 3yrs ago,I moved again 1yr ago skin felt a little better but eyes are getting worse,instead of sticky skin i now have sore white bumps randomly on skin scalp ect,ive given up hope for myself,i think the only way will be if i died in unexplained circumstances ie post mortom,or if i win the lotto,if you do get answers please let me know & good luck
Avatar universal
I have the same condition - it just started.  From what I read here it sounds like it will probably get progressively worse.  I wonder if it's a side effect of a medication I'm taking, but it's not listed as a side effect in anything available to read.  But I know they don't always list all the side effects.  It's very scary because no one seems to know what it is.  I'm sure it's not psychological - they say that when they don't know.
Avatar universal
The Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) published a report on High Dose Ketoconazole Plus Hydrocortisone (HDK+HC) which lists Sticky Skin Syndrome or Acquired cutaneous adherence as a potential side effect of HDK.
Avatar universal
Along with sticky skin and chronic eye swelling I now have a problem with my eyelashes folding back up under my eyelids.It of coarse is ugly and very painful.I also have a build up on top of my skin which looks like aging .I  can peel this off.A substance seems to come from my scalp that hardens and looks like skin but is pale when it is wet.This is on my entire body but is  particularly disturbing on my face and eye area.I had noticed also that it  turns dark every few days.If this fungus is causing build-upon top of my skin I can imagine it is the reason for my shortness of breath.It is also building up inside.I am going to Mayo diagnostic clinic next month.I am confident that they will find what so many others have been to complacent to diagnose.I will of coarse come back here with an answer,Meanwhile cut down on suger, fat ,wheat,nuts and so on and stick to fresh vegetables .Fungus feeds on these things.Dr Bonners Pepperment soap and hot baths or showers.Vicks Vapor rub,baby powder will make it easier to manage.Try mold sprays and clean air ducks with good filters.
Did anything ever help?
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Hi All,

I have been having sticky skin for a month now. I have abolutely no idea how or why it started. It freaked me out a bit initially but now I have forced myself to accept it and try not to let it psyche me out.

When my skin is wet, it gets a rubbrish texture. Once dry then it feels normal. If I rest my hands on a table, then due to sweat the skin texture again changes and starts sticking to the surfaces. My feet stick to any slippers I wear, my palms stick to most things I hold. I am now trying to find a solution to stop it from deteoriating further and hopefully improve.

Now, after reading through the experiences of a lot of people on the internet, one thing has become apparent, allopathic doctors dont seem to know much about this condition. Also, my assessment is that this is not something 'on' the skin, this is rather something generated 'by' the skin (body). My analysis is that this is something that is the result of some sort of imbalance (maybe a chemical or whatever else) in the body. So our bodies are then excreting some form of chemical through the skin (something like sweat) , then then dries up and feels normal. That is the only explanation which I can think of which explans how it can spread so fast and all over the body. If it were a mold or infection, it would take a bit of time to spread all over.

continuation in the next post...

Avatar universal
The other thing is that, at least this is what I believe, that our body can set itself right if we help it. So the next thing to do is to figure out how to boost our immunity and help our body correct its own imbalance.

With this thought process I started to research alternative medicines. For those of you who dont understand yoga, you might not know about a yoga called pranayaam. I am not a yoga practicioner myself, but am just begining to go down this road.

Pranayaam is a simple deep breathing exercise which boosts up the amount of oxygen in the blood. With an hour of deep breathing (check you tube for pranayaam, kapalbhati/Anulom/Vilom, the blood is ..... re-electrified, re-charged ... and this boosts its ability to fight off imbalance/disease and repair the body.

I have researched a yoga guru called Baba Ramdev and seen some of his videos. Wikipedia also has his achievements. He seems to have cured lots of skin issues with this technique. Things like Psorasis , Ezecma (not sure if these are the right spellings) , which people have been struggling with for many years, without any medical science treatement, the body has reparied itself by simply bolstering its own immunity. Read up about it to satisfy yourself that there is a scientific explanation about it all.

I dont want to promote anyone or anything like that, All I am saying is that since we dont have any obvious medicine to sort out this issue, lets take a look at alternative approaches to resolve this issue.

Also, I read in one of the posts that a guy tried accupuncture coz the chinese diagnosis was that it was being caused due to excessive heat within the body. If I remember correctly his post also mentioned that he felt much better soon. So that is also one line of attack we can consider.

Lastly, I usually dont involve in posts like this,but when I hit this issue I realised that people who share this kind of information are really helping others. So I would request you all to please update this (or somewher searchable on the net, ifyou find any improvment with yoga,accupuncture.. any other technique.

All the best, I will update my experience with Pranaayaam after a few days.
Avatar universal
Omg! Finally I have had this same thing. I am 47 and about two weeks ago it started and now its like plastic wrap all over my face and most of my body.. it feels so weird and I hate it so bad' as soon as I get wet or sweat or anything like that it gets stick... I am scared about this but on the other hand kind relieved to have found ya'll.... I have been searching on the web for ever and finally I don't feel alone' plz keep your post coming so we all can learn from this and support each other...Thanks
Avatar universal



How did you figure this out? I’ve had it for years and desperately looking for remedy! I found mold in our home and we’ve since moved, but doctors just think I’m crazy. Any information you can share with me is greatly appreciated!
I’ve be suffering for 10 years! Been told I’m crazy, and I need to talk to someone! Paid thousands of dollars to see a naturopath dr five hours from home to be tested. I bought a brand new house and right from the beginning I started to smell mold. Fast forward 5 years and we found the entire master shower was full of black mold! Shower was installed improperly! I’ve been sick for years! My symptoms are everything mentioned in this blog! I was even coughing up mold, sputum test ran and came back positive for Candida albicans hyphae observed. Went to pulmonologist back in 2017 and did four rounds of fluconazole an anti fungal and I stopped coughing up mold however I still have all the same symptoms. We moved, no mold in my home now, but I’m still so sick.  Went to my primary care doctor for now a fungal rash and I don’t dare tell her my symptoms for fear she’s going to say I’m crazy. I left the last dr for that same reason only I stayed with him for several years. How do I get this out of my body? The swelling is so painful and it’s everywhere from head to toe. I also have fibromyalgia so tack that on as an extra bonus! Help! Any advice?
143746 tn?1301274822
I have the sticky skin as well. I have had psoriasis and eczema for 25 years. The sticky skin started in Jan 2011 though. To me, it seems like it could be due to a mold allergy or from excess stress hormones. I have a lot of other symptoms that seem like dysfunctions of the autonomic nervous system. I still haven't found anyone who has been able to help.
Avatar universal
I have the same problem,could be mold it all started about March 1st, 2011 with loss of smell which changed within weeks to a rancid smell and taste. I have moldy animal droppings underneath my mobile home, every time my furnace came on I had to go outside because the air was strangling me. I have been blaming this on a contaminated well,just had it treated but I have not drank the water for 1 month with no signs of improvement. I also left home for 2 days and did not feel better. I don't know where any of you live but mold certainly is looking like it could be the culprit. Please keep posting I am so happy not to be alone! The way I got my family to believe was to show them and let them stick to me , I hope this is not contagious.
Avatar universal
The sticky skin thing just started happening to me, mainly on my fingers. I've also been having a lot of severe stomach pain off and on for over a year. I've been taking Zoloft (Sertraline) 50 mg daily for 2 weeks. I may also have a problem with mold. I had some pipes leaking in the wall for a while and there was water damage that reached to the apartment below mine.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your input I have experienced  sticky skin in various parts of my body Last year I had radiation treatment for prostate cancer  The sticky skin started about six months later Have not consulted any one yet with regard to the issue.
Avatar universal
I have lived with this horrid condition for 2yrs + now. I have been though chemo and proton radiation and it started after the radiation i have been seen by some of the best drs in sloan kettering. I saw a throat specialist at sloan tell me learn to deal with it and mass general hospital in boston and every one of them passed it off as a sinus infection or just didnt know what it is. i even had a ear nose & throat dr out if holy name hospital teaneck nj tell me he didnt see anything wrong ..
It started out just in my nose then it went to my nose & throat then to ears and the bottoms of my feet now its all over my face everywhere even my rectal and vaginal area .. i have struggled so hard cause it causes my legs to go numb and my go the constant burning where ever it goes ..today was the first day i felt like i wasnt crazy THANK GOD FOR THIS FOURM BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN ON THE BRINK OF SUICUDE .. i have trouble swallowing and chest pains and throwing up ..I dont have a colon anymore and i get intestinal blockages because what is draining down my throat builds up and turns to a molases substance and then i can go ..i found another link that says that doxil a chemo drug i was on is linked to this plus we have had seveal floods so i had been exposed to mold but all i want now is help can someone please tell me how to treat this because it is killing me ..i have trouble urinating too ..it does tend lighten up from time to time but never goes away completely. When it comes back each time its more sever than before ..i get a high fwver out of the blue a day or so before it hits then it seems to come out of my pores and eyes nose ears everywhere ..please help!
Avatar universal
hey , i have the same as you.i become sick as my roomate three years ago. No i don't really know if i ve sticky skin but all my clothes are broken after one week . it's like  if there was soemthing that make them stick to my skin . i also have exactely the same problem as you have with your eyes but especially in the morning. i can say my eyes as my mouth are dry all the time. i also develloped some kind of rosacea on my feet, hands and ears. thos parts of the body are red plus it's also really hot. i feel bad all the time becasue all my clothes destroy so fast now even if i don't wash them. With my family it's ok  now because we tested thos facts. when a jumper took three days to be broken with me it took two months for the others menbers of the family . it's the ame with bedsheets. it's like there is a sticky film on the clothes , especially when i sweat and than everything stuck in it. if my skin is still a bit wet and i wear something all the fibers stick to the skin . the biggest problemn for the clothes is the money it cost. but for the rest , sticky eyes , dry mouth , redness of the fingers , it's just a serious handicapt in my life. i really also have problems with the regulation of temperature of my body now. it's horrible...i m always cold...it become so hard. if someone have the same experience please share.
Have an Answer?
Top Dermatology Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions