Excessive skin cell turnover
river last edited by
Gross topic alert!
A couple of years ago when I had a major deterioration in my condition, I started noticing a massive build up of dead skin cells on my skin. Like I could lightly rub or scratch any part of my body and a thick grey sludge of oils and dead skin would come off. (My skin isn't greasy, it's actually very dry since bathing is what simulates oil production. The greasiness is just a normal amount of healthy skin oils. Also, there's no visible flakiness).
At first I thought it was because I had recently stopped showering every day since it was too exhausting. At this point I was showering every 7-14 days and just using a wash cloth or wet wipes to bathe myself a little in between those times.
Then I got a bath and was able to bathe once or twice a week as long as I wasn't in a crash. It didn't seem to make any difference, but I thought I just wasn't able to scrub hard enough to get all the dead skin off, because it's so exhausting.
Finally, a few weeks ago I got a pumice stone (scratchy exfoliation thing). It makes it so much easier to clean my skin and I can finally scrub enough to make my skin completely smooth and free of dead cells, at least in the more accessible areas.
But I've noticed that within a day of scrubbing e. g. my face or arms smooth, the thick layer of dead skin is back. This definitely wasn't a thing before I got sick. I feel like I'm shedding skin like a cat sheds fur!!
Has anyone else had something like this happen to them? I don't know what to make of it. But it does remind me of something: when I have a localised infection or inflammation, say tonsillitis, a burn, or even a pimple, as it heals the skin around it dies and peels off as part of the healing process (yes, this can happen inside your mouth too).
It's like that is happening TO MY ENTIRE BODY. Which kinda makes sense because ME/CFS is making my entire body inflamed. But I also don't think any doctor would accept that explanation!!
Jeshyr last edited by
That isn't a thing that I've heard others with ME/CFS discuss. I definitely get dead skin cells build up a lot, but I'm at a severity where I can only ever have bed baths, and only 3 times per week, so I never get a chance to get properly washed or immersed in water. I deal with it by making sure there is lots of moisturiser in the washing water (I use Epaderm ointment dissolved in the water, and then use Sorbolene cream instead of soap) which helps a lot.
But since you said you're able to have proper washes now, if it were me I'd be having a chat with my GP about whether I should check in with a dermatologist to make sure there isn't something else going on as well. Sadly ME/CFS doesn't magically give us immunity to other conditions as well [side note: it definitely should!!], and if there's actually something treatable that would be a nice change!
river last edited by
@Jeshyr oh good idea with the sorbolene instead of soap, I was wondering if using a moisturiser might help break down the oils more - I'll give it a try.
And yeah, I would like to ask a doctor about it but unfortunately I don't have a GP currently who has the skill to deal with anything remotely out of the ordinary. I might try asking my CFS specialist instead