My skin was never sensitive until a few years ago, a few years following my dx. Since then, I have to be very careful what I use on my face as it can react in a similar way to what you're describing.
Don't know how it could be directly due to MS, maybe indirectly as in a side effect of medications perhaps. I think also perhaps it's hormonal as I'm in my mid-40s; this also seems to be the reason why in the past year or so my face has started flushing, when too warm or too cold or drinking red wine or eating Thai or Indian food or just spontaneously.
You could mention it to your neuro; perhaps if a side effect you could try alternative medications. I plan to mention it to my neuro next month.
As far as treating it, the best thing I've found for it is Paula's Choice Skin Recovery line, which you can only buy online. It's very gentle, formulated for sensitive skin, redness, rosacea and eczema. Most products in this line are under $20. You can get a sample kit of the whole line ie: cleanser, toner, moisturizer, serum, etc for $6, so you could see if it works for your skin without a big investment. She often offers free shipping or product discounts. Not tested on animals, no fragrance or other ingredients that tend to irritate the skin. I sound like an infomercial, lol, but honestly these products are great, and have reduced the sensitivity in my skin. Dept store brands are overpriced and tend towards exaggerated claims, just a big waste of money.
I've also become prone to contact dermatitis on my hands. If I'm using housecleaners without gloves, I will for sure get an itchy red rash.
Oh, AND, I've become extremely sensitive to the sun, whereas in the past, with my naturally olive complexion, I used to never burn or get a rash like now. Pharmacist figures this one at least IS due to meds. I have to use sunblock with a lot of zinc oxide in it, this helps a lot. In general I avoid the sun, which is just as well since it causes wrinkles!
So yes, I can relate. :)
I really doubt this is an MS symptom. With MS, skin can *feel* irritated, burnt, itchy or otherwise odd, but it doesn't actually get red or rashy. It's because the sensory nerves are sending wrong info about the state of the skin, which is actually fine.
Unless, of course, you have something else going on. As Deebs says, it could be a side effect of a med but I've never read or heard of MS causing something like this directly.
If I were in the process of getting a diagnosis I wouldn't mention this to a neuro. It could be wrongly construed as pushing things too much, if you know what I mean. I advise just sticking to major symptoms that are clearly of the neurological type.
Once diagnosed, though, it doesn't hurt to run any and all new oddities by the doctor during visits. Meanwhile, try to see a dermatologist.
I don't know about MS but it could be an inflammatory autoimmune response. I've had a variety of skin problems in the last year or two that are far more intense than I've ever encountered before. I saw a dermatologist recently. He describes my skin problems as a psoriasiform dermatitis without committing to a more specific diagnosis. My immune system is overactive enough to cause several inflammatory autoimmune diseases. I apparently can’t stop finding new ways to torture my own self.
Thank you! I'm going to check out the products you mentioned. I haven't been diagnosed with MS and am not on any medications other than amitryptaline (sp?) and I wasn't on anything at all when it started.
Thanks, ess. That's what I'm worried about - there are so many little things that I have just completely ignored or tried my best to live with over the years that now that I've had these neurological symptoms, I'm beginning to question everything lol. I don't want to give the neuro the wrong impression.
Thanks twopack. I'm thinking more and more that my symptoms are from some sort of inflammatory disorder rather than MS. I have inflammatory problems in my colon, my skin, my eyes, and now maybe that's what's going on with my brain?
Before anyone ever mentioned MS to me, any time I came up with a new symptom I would comment to my husband about my system "attacking" itself in a new location, and it seemed like it was always on my left side; now it's both sides, but still worse on the left.