Skin Conditions from Medications
It seemed like the gene for skin problems had passed me by. Other women in my family had them. But not me…. that is until I started medication for a liver disease. All of a sudden, my whole body took on every form of rash possible. It was made clear to me from the beginning that the medications could cause skin problems. I signed on the dotted line because the medication was vital to keep my liver from failing. With my arsenal of skin care products and my doctor’s supervision, I began the treatment.
Doctors try to find alternative medications for a person having an allergic reaction. But when the medication is known to create a rash and is necessary to keep you alive – well, it’s just not an option to quit taking it except under extreme conditions.
Having a medical condition can be physically debilitating. If your immune system is awry, there can be extreme fatigue. Many times it is accompanied with aches and pains. With all of these symptoms, your blood labs can be off. Adding in a side effect involving skin conditions, and infection can be a real threat.
Scaly, dry, or oozing skin typically won’t kill you. It can be very uncomfortable – actually, it can be absolutely miserable. Life-threatening? I would have to say no, except some people on the medications got an infection. Careful observation by my medical team helped to keep me free from infection for the course of medications. If the rash was on a large percentage of my body, it would have required hospitalization and discontinuation of treatment. In my case, the redness was mainly in the folds of my skin. That was also the area where sweating occurred….. moisture creates an environment for infection.
Clean and Dry
The rule of thumb for me was to take short cool showers with a mild soap made of natural ingredients. Sometimes, when showering was too painful, a cup and sponge were used as I stood in the bathtub. Gently patting my skin dry helped the process to be less painful. I rubbed pure Vitamin E oil on the scalier parts.
Sometimes lotions or oil can increase heat, which can also lead to infection. By sleeping with only a top sheet draped over my torso, I was able to keep cool at night. I wore soft cotton gloves to prevent scratching during the night. Ice bags wrapped in a towel would rest under my knees or near my feet. By keeping a fan on, a slight breeze seemed to serve as a coolant also.
This may seem like an extreme situation, and it was. But there are many medications used today that create an environment for the onset of skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, rash, redness, swelling, itching, and infection. In my case, the medication saved my life. The harsh skin conditions from medications and residual occasional rash were worth the trouble that they created.
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