People with fibromyalgia also deal with a lesser-known symptom, rash or itchy skin. At first, not many will relate itchy skin to chronic pain disorder. However, rash and itching can indicate several medical conditions related to fibromyalgia.
Several groups of researchers have conducted several separate studies to discover the relationship between fibromyalgia and itchy skin. Here are some theories behind the rash and itching of fibromyalgia.
An immunological reaction under the skin
Skin itching or rash may arise due to an immune reaction just below the surface of the skin. According to the first investigations conducted by Dr. X Caro of the Fibromyalgia Treatment Center of Southern California, in Northbridge, California, the immunoreactive proteins that are found beneath the surface of the skin in patients with fibromyalgia are responsible for the sensitivity of the skin. It is believed that these proteins escaped through the generally larger pores in the blood vessels and are seen as foreign substances in skin tissues. The body’s immunity reacts to attack these proteins just under the skin and cause the appearance of a rash or itching.
Abnormalities of skin microcirculation
Irritation and skin irritation can also be the result of the deformation of the microcirculation under the skin. The research conducted by Dr. Sprott H, found evidence of distorted structure and function of the microcirculation, comprising capillaries and blood vessels, under the skin in patients with fibromyalgia especially near the tender points. These abnormalities disturb the blood flow to the skin and may be responsible for skin irritation, skin rashes and queer skin sensations.
Increase of mast cells and neurological reaction in the skin
A Swedish study found that patients with fibromyalgia had significantly higher mast cells on their skin compared to controls. Mast cells are components of the immune system and contain chemicals such as histamines and cytokines. When they are released, these chemicals cause irritation in the surrounding skin tissues. This usually occurs during a neurological response.
A misinterpretation of pain by the central nervous system
Sometimes the itching and rash may be due to misinterpretation of the pain signals. Fibromyalgia has been linked to a defective central nervous system that may appear to process pain accurately as normal people do. Receptors under the skin send sensory messages to the brain that are misinterpreted as itching.
How to treat the rash and itching of fibromyalgia
For the treatment of skin rash, itching or burning sensation, over-the-counter skin cream, lotions and moisturizers can help soothe the skin. Doctors may also prescribe creams and lotions for the skin for the most severe rash.
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