Chronic fibromyalgia is a disease that causes severe pain all over the body, particularly in the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Fibromyalgia can also bring about weakness and severe exhaustion. Causes of the disease include genetics, infections, illnesses or trauma. Many sufferers of fibromyalgia also suffer from skin rashes and itchy skin. Talk with your doctor if you feel you may have fibromyalgia or a rash due to the condition.
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According to the Fibromyalgia Network, skin rashes may occur due to an immunological disruption just beneath the surface of the skin. Dr. Xavier Caro conducted research that pointed to a group of highly concentrated proteins that exist under the skin of fibromyalgia patients. He believed that the body would interpret these proteins as foreign invaders, causing the immune system to respond and attack the proteins. This can cause the appearance of a rash below the skin.
Dr. Haiko Sprott, a Swedish researcher, found that capillaries just beneath the skin of fibromyalgia patients were less numerous and also a bit distorted in shape, according to the Fibromyalgia Network. Because of this, the blood flow to the skin and other similar tissues is reduced, which could cause sensitivity or rash in the skin of a fibromyalgia patient.
Another group of researchers, according to the Fibromyalgia Network, discovered that patients with fibromyalgia had extremely increased numbers of mast cells, cells that contain chemicals such as histamines and cytokines. These chemicals, if released from the cells due to a neurological response in the body, can cause irritation and pain in surrounding tissue. This condition, however, may not show up as a rash but rather as a hot spot or burning sensation just below the skin.
The Brain and Nervous System
According to FibromyalgiaSymptoms.org, another cause of a fibromyalgia rash may have to do with the central nervous system. The brain is unable to read pain cues correctly and, therefore, a skin rash or tenderness may occur simply because of a misreading by the brain. This may also cause itchiness and redness due to scratching. A rash may also appear due to an overactive pituitary gland sending too much melanin through the body.
Treatments of skin rashes for patients with fibromyalgia could include skin creams and moisturizers. These could cure itchy or dry skin that cause rashes. Medicated lotions are also available for rashes that simply do not respond to over-the-counter moisturizers. Mottled skin, or skin spots that appear to be a different color or tone, may be treated with bleaching products or ultraviolet lights.