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Scleroderma and Skin

Skin itchiness in scleroderma…..

Why does my skin itch?

  1. First the extra layer of collagen in the inner layer of skin destroys normal sweat and oil glands.
  2. Second, the outer layer of the skin usually has fatty substances that moisten the skin. In scleroderma, this outer layer often gets thinner so there is less oil.
  3. Finally, in the early phase of scleroderma inflammation in the skin releases histamine and other chemicals that cause the skin to itch.

What can I do to prevent the itching?

Avoid the following:

  1. Scratchy fabrics such as wool
  2. Rubbing alcohol or other products containing alcohol (perfume)
  3. Harsh soaps, detergents and household cleaners such as: Wisk, Lestoil, Arm and Hammer, Woolite, Cheer, Tide, Liquid soaps, detergents with extra power or brighteners, store brand soaps.
  4. All fabric softeners’
  5. Hot baths
  6. Excess cold exposure
  7. Vigorous exercise
  8. Active or passive cigarette smoke
  9. Fatigue and anxiety

What can I do to relieve the itching?

  1. Turn down the heat.
  2. Use mild, unscented or moisturizing soaps such as: Alpha Kerry Dove, Aveeno Bar (dry skin formula), Lever 2000, Neutrogena (dry skin formula).

Source: John Hopkins Scleroderma Center

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