If it wasn’t bad enough, Complex Region Pain Syndrome also brings another complication into the mix: skin issues. They again range from mild to very severe. Mild conditions simply cause discoloration, itchiness or rashes, while the more severe ones can actually become infected and life threatening.
Skin disorders are also considered as symptoms of Complex Region Pain Syndrome. At the very least, they are aggravating. However, another life threatening complication is the ulcers, which can become very dangerous if they become more severe. Many sufferers of CRPS experience these daily, but with a little care and a little maintenance, some of them are manageable.
Common Problems of the Skin
Skin is a very good indicator of color and temperature. If they color and/or temperature of the body changes, the skin can be a reliable way to tell what is really happening in the body. If the core temperature of the body suddenly drops, and this can even reach freezing temperatures, the color of the skin can be blue, pink, purple, or a combination of all of them, which is called mottled. It can even feel cold when touched. When the temperature soars, however, the skin feels hot, and the color is red or orange or shades of the same. All these are caused by blood vessel constriction.
When a person has CRPS, the skin often becomes brittle, thin and easily bruised. This is caused by tissue atrophy. The thinning of the skin causes cuts to appear more often in your skin, even by object that are not sharp at all such as rims of glasses and edges of boxes.
CRPS sufferers may also have dark discolored spots on their skin, and this is a patch of thick skin that may peel. This is a common result of a limb being unused for a long time, due to the pain that accompanies using it. Improper skin care can be the result of ultra-sensitive skin. Due to CRPS, even the lightest touch of the breeze can be agony on the skin of those who are sick.
Where the skin breaks down, ulcers can form. They will require further treatment should they become infected. There are a lot of treatments available such as creams for the mildest cases, up to amputation for the most drastic ones. If one has enough cash, one can opt for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, or HBOT, as it can help ulcers of several sizes and degrees heal.
Another common problem is dry, flaky skin, and this can be either localized or on the whole body. You can opt to hydrate your skin by drinking a lot of fluids and using moisturizers and creams.
If you have CRPS and start to get sports, you should definitely closely monitor them. Benign spots can become sores, and even the smallest sore will take a long time to heal. Worst-case scenario, the sore will develop into an ulcer. Once a sore does not heal or become smaller, you should consult your doctor immediately.
For some people with CRPS, even if the temperature is warm, they can get goose bumps. This is due to small muscles called erector pili muscles pulling the hairs on your skin, making them stand straight. This is called the pilomotor reflex.
CRPS even affects your sweat glands. Some people can sweat very profusely, and this can become an embarrassing situation. Once this occurs, you can take drugs such as Lyrica to help your condition. On the other hand, if you do not sweat at all, you should see your doctor immediately.
Itching, another symptom, can also be localized or affecting the whole body. Be careful when you scratch, as this can leave a lingering, burning pain on your hypersensitive skin. Also, a very light scratch can already result in tearing your skin.
Epsom salt soaks can help in this situation as it not only helps in making the swelling go down, but also promotes the growth of new, healthy skin.
There are a lot more mix-matched symptoms of Complex Region Pain Syndrome, many of which are a lot more complicated. If you exercise a lot of care, most of the skin problems can be handled. It would be a good idea to monitor your skin daily, and report to your doctor immediately should any change occur. Remember that your immune system is severely compromised, and any small wound or sore that is delayed in healing can easily result into something much more serious.