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Author Topic: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?  (Read 7040 times)

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Offline Denvaux

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I was diagnosed positive 27 months ago and my cd4 count has been pretty stable at or around the 400 copies mark per drop of blood each time I`ve done bloods - every 3 months  - they don`t test for VL for those not on meds.

I`ve had a lot of stress in the last few months, work, then unemployment issues, a close friend being found to have cancer and now on his death bed in a hospice. All of this together with the usual money worries that we all of us - mostly - have. My body has been behaving very strangely of late, and I am often quite dizzy and tired; I put this down to stress but I am concerned about another aspect. My skin is so very dry; my face, my neck, and my shoulders - the skin actually just flakes off and I`m wondering is this HIV related. My general practitioner (not a hiv specialist) has said that it`s to do with stress but I`m not sure. I`ve been stressed before and all this shit is very new to me and my head now -  is pounding. I have an appointment with my HIV clinic on Thursday and that just can`t come soon enough. My most recent cd4 count was 340 - it has never been that low and although the next count that I will know on Thursday may just as well rise as it may drop, I am very concerned due to all this stress and now this extreamly dry flaking skin.

Offline Ann

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Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2008, 07:46:48 AM »
Hi Den,

Skin complaints are very common with hiv - and it could be that stress is a contributing factor. I've always had dry skin and it's worse since being positive.

For me, it helps to use a good moisturiser every time I shower. I also have a pair of those exfoliating gloves - I use them every time I shower and that cuts the flaking down to a bare minimum. I also use a very mild, moisturising shower gell. Currently though, I have some soap from a place called "Lush" - their products are all handmade and I find them to be very good. You can find them online and many shopping malls have their shops.

Good luck with your appointment on thursday... and with your skin too!

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline David_CA

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Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2008, 08:49:37 AM »
I had problems with dry skin and seborrheic dermatitis before I was on meds.  I used  coal tar shampoo, and that helped with scalp flaking.  All that cleared up almost immediately after starting meds.  Like Ann said, skin complaints are common among us HIV'ers.  (As an aside, I'm starting to get a bit of that again, and I've never become undetectable.  My labs in a week should tell if my viral load is up and t-cells are down, which would explain it.)  I use a facial 'scrub' once a week and moisturize after each shower, which helps a lot.  Also, drinking lots of water to stay hydrated is supposed to help with skin issues.  Good luck with it.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline BT65

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Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2008, 10:23:48 AM »
Denvaux, I second what Ann said about exfoliating.  After doing that, using a good moisturizer should help with the dry skin.  I'm sure stress plays a part in it.  If it gets too bad, ask for a referral to a dermatologist.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline rondrond

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Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2008, 11:11:34 AM »
I started having extreme dandruff and flaking that went around my hairline, in my sideburns, eyebrows, in the mddle of my hairy chest and my shoulders before meds. I used and still use Head and Shoulders. I got immeditate relief from the first shampoo. You would have thought that I was doing that shampoo commercial for some other brand where they get in the shower and...."aahhh...ooohhhhyes".....though it has cleared up I decided to continue with Head and Shoulders as prevention.
"I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I sure as Hell am not where I was"
Wynnona Judd

Diagnosed/HIV
1993
AZT
Norvir
1994-2001
Crixivan/Epivir/Zerit
No Meds for 7 Years

04jul07/DVT-right leg/Bi Lateral PE's     
16oct08/DVT-left leg
Sept '09  6 blood clots in left arm
Coumadin 5mgs
                                     
Atenolol/50mg/2x
Hydrochlorth 25mg/1x
Gemfibrozil/300mgs/2X
Symbicort
Proventil Inhaler
Potassium
Rhinocort


*APR 08~Viramune/Truvada
March08  CD4 330 23% VL 452.000 
*Jan09 Med change~Epzicom/Viramune

Aug09   CD4 523 23%  VL<48
Diagnosed: COPD
Dec 2013: CD4 645 45% VL 49
Med Change: Viramune/Epivir/Ziagen/Isentress

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008, 11:48:49 AM »
Go to any HIV support group and over half the attendees will have a flushed reddish skin tone, though many are in denial as to how prevalent this condition is.

I've found that a higher cd4 count is more helpful with dermatitis than an undetectable VL.  Also any facial product containing glycolic acid will effectively remove the top layer of dead skin cells which allows this condition to fester.  And this is something that you must stay on top of daily.

If the condition is REALLY bad a dermatologist will dole out stuff like Fougera alclometasone dipropionate topical cream, Noritate metronidazole or the old standby Metrogel -- take care to sleep on a towel so as not to ruin your pillow covers.  These creams can be oily.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 11:53:41 AM by philly267 »
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Okealyshire

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Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008, 01:28:21 PM »
Denvaux-- are you taking any antihistamines? I'm on Xyzal (levoceterizine) to control hives. It dried my skin somewhat; after starting HAART, my skin got even drier. Protease inhibitors can increase blood concentrations of some antihistamines.

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008, 02:28:27 PM »
Hi Den,

Skin complaints are very common with hiv - and it could be that stress is a contributing factor. I've always had dry skin and it's worse since being positive.

For me, it helps to use a good moisturiser every time I shower. I also have a pair of those exfoliating gloves - I use them every time I shower and that cuts the flaking down to a bare minimum. I also use a very mild, moisturising shower gell. Currently though, I have some soap from a place called "Lush" - their products are all handmade and I find them to be very good. You can find them online and many shopping malls have their shops.

Good luck with your appointment on thursday... and with your skin too!

Ann

LUSH's  "buffy bar"  helped/helps with my dry skin quite nicely.

Offline sacinsc

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  • Posts: 353
Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008, 11:35:59 PM »
Sharky loves lush... :) but I have to admit he is right about the stuff! The bath bomb and the melting bar thing really moisturized my skin.
March 07 - Negative
May 07 - Exposed
June 07 - Seroconversion
September 07 - CD4 402 VL 118000 25%
October 07 -     CD4 294 VL 124000 22%
November 07 - Norvir, Triuvada and Reyataz
December 07 -  CD4 355 VL  550 .... guess the meds are working.
January 08 - CD4 446 VL <48 undetectable!
April 08 - CD4 554 VL <48 undetectable!
July 08 - CD4 666 VL <48 undetectable! Hporay...I have devil CD4's

Offline AndyArrow

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Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2008, 11:40:26 PM »
Denvaux

My scalp & beard (when I have one) can get really bad if I let it go.  T-gel or some other off brand shampoo with coal tar really help.  I find that I have flare-ups with extreme weather changes.  The spring and fall can be really bad but winter and summer I almost never have any.

AA
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline aztecan

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  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2008, 12:34:09 AM »
Well, I don't use shampoo, for obvious reasons. But I also have problems with dry skin.

Since I live in the desert southwest of the U.S., I chalked this up to living in a very dry area. I am sure that plays a part, but so does HIV, at least I think it does.

Anyway, I have stopped using any product that contains sodium laureth sulfate or sodium laurel sulfate.

Since I have dropped those types of soaps, body washes, etc., my itching has substantially decreased.

Exfoliating is really overkill when you shave your head/face daily. Of course, those areas left with hair need a bit of attention too, so a good facial scrub seems to help me.

I also moisturize my body. Not just my face or head, but my entire body. It has helped.

Any or all of these things may help. If things get bad, you may want to ask your doc for a referral to a dermatologist.

Hang in there and let us know how things go.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Denvaux

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Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2008, 07:33:03 AM »
I`ve been using aqueous cream [GPs advice] as soap and it has worked very well on the dryness and flaking - just hope this doesn`t continue.
 I had my afternoon at the clinic much earlier than the doc expected, due to my last count being 340 and this worrying me so much; anyhow the doc is not worried and says he doesn`t want me to do bloods for atleast another four months. He says that though 340 is of concern it is the trend that matters and not just one, one off result. Yesterdays count was 380 - the current CD4 count series thus being 450/340/380. They don`t usually do viral load on non meds patients but mine was done last month and the VL @ 32000 - average he says. So it`s back to the clinic for bloods in September - I hope I can maintain my average cd4 count of @400


I find it so difficult to understand how it is the medical proffession can`t speculate as to how long a patient has had the virus in their blood with any accuracy. I would have thought that VL verses CD4 would give a major clue, but no doctor dare say.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2008, 07:37:02 AM by Denvaux »

Offline StrongGuy

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Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 05:36:12 PM »
I had the same problem and pretty much followed what David above said and it worked really well.

I get occasional small dry patches and I find OTC Cortisone 10 clears up small trouble spots. Sounds like yours is a lot more widespread. I have some friends who use antifungal ketacanozole cream too (Sebborheic Dermatisis I think is caused by a yeast) and it helps them. Just a suggestion to discuss with your doc.

Hope it clears up soon...

:)
"Get your medical advice from Doctors or medical professionals who you trust and know your history."

"Beware of the fortune teller doom and gloomers who seek to bring you down and are only looking for company, purpose and validation - not your best physical/mental interests."

"You know you all are saying that this is incurable. When the real thing you should be saying is it's not curable at the present time' because as we know, the great strides we've made in medicine." - Elizabeth Edwards

Offline mrtallguy

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Re: Very dry - extreamly dry skin - is this typical in HIV infection?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 08:39:17 AM »
Hey Denvaux....
I noticed alot of skin-related changes after becoming poz 5 years ago....recently I have found some moisturizers by Arbonne to be fantastic....all natural and botanically based.  (see www.arbonne.com) Since using their face system for men I look SO much better....and they have a body serum and moisturizer that is amazing.  I am so hooked that I now sell the stuff!  If you want samples or want to know how to save 35% on the stuff send me a PM.

Good Luck!

Craig
I AM DETERMINED TO SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY!
--ACIM

 


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