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Old 09-01-2008, 08:35 PM   #1
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Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

Hello everyone,

I am wondering if any of you have darker patches of skin on some areas of your body?
I do - on my right forearm. It is quite recent. It has gradually grown to involve a larger area, all the way to my wrist. I'd describe it as a series of interlocking lines with a few solid spots here and there.

Hyperpigmentation is normally caused by melanin, a pigment. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes, located in the skin.
I just read that sometimes the darkening of the skin may be due to an iron pigment left behind when the red blood cells die. How interesting !
Does anybody here have the same problem? Have you had it treated (is there a treatment???)

thank you,
flowergirl

 
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:48 PM   #2
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

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Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
Hello everyone,

I am wondering if any of you have darker patches of skin on some areas of your body?
I do - on my right forearm. It is quite recent. It has gradually grown to involve a larger area, all the way to my wrist. I'd describe it as a series of interlocking lines with a few solid spots here and there.

Hyperpigmentation is normally caused by melanin, a pigment. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes, located in the skin.
I just read that sometimes the darkening of the skin may be due to an iron pigment left behind when the red blood cells die. How interesting !
Does anybody here have the same problem? Have you had it treated (is there a treatment???)

thank you,
flowergirl
I have it on my forehead. I just got it within the last few years (when my iron was low), but not sure if it has anything to do with it. I thought it was more my adrenal issues....

~BOS~

 
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:10 PM   #3
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

beauty,

I don't know what to think. No one seems to be paying any attention to it whatsoever. It is quite unsightly, especially under bright lights (as in an emergency department). I guess it is not a big deal compared to some other issues I am dealing with.

The discoloration had come so suddenly, it appeared practically overnight. When I first noticed it, I thought I had gotten dirty somehow while I slept. I tried scrubbing it with a handbrush. Boy, was I in for a surprise!!!!

I tend to think it is from some type of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. I also explored the possibility of an adrenal disorder (Addison's). Just had some labs done. My cortisol (adrenals) and thyroid levels seem fine. The iron pigment cause of skin discoloration I mentioned previously has piqued my interest. I've never heard of it. If I learn more about this phenomenon, I'll post it here. Have you ever asked your doctor what might have caused your darker skin patches?

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 09-02-2008 at 08:13 PM.

 
Old 09-03-2008, 06:36 PM   #4
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

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Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
beauty,

I don't know what to think. No one seems to be paying any attention to it whatsoever. It is quite unsightly, especially under bright lights (as in an emergency department). I guess it is not a big deal compared to some other issues I am dealing with.

The discoloration had come so suddenly, it appeared practically overnight. When I first noticed it, I thought I had gotten dirty somehow while I slept. I tried scrubbing it with a handbrush. Boy, was I in for a surprise!!!!

I tend to think it is from some type of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. I also explored the possibility of an adrenal disorder (Addison's). Just had some labs done. My cortisol (adrenals) and thyroid levels seem fine. The iron pigment cause of skin discoloration I mentioned previously has piqued my interest. I've never heard of it. If I learn more about this phenomenon, I'll post it here. Have you ever asked your doctor what might have caused your darker skin patches?

flowergirl
Yeah, and what a joke THAT was! Nobody "knew" anything. I have these strange white hypopigmentation spots and then hyperpigment ripples all over my body. No one really notices until I point it out to them. The first dermatologist said "oh, maybe it's this rare thing called macular amyloidosis. there's nothing we can do so you just have to live with it. bye!"

then i went to a private dermatologist and she actually did a skin biopsy and it came out as "post inflammatory hyperpigmentation". she also didn't really care.

I developed it on my forehead at the same time and have just been recently reading about adrenal issues and pigment. Seeing as I have adrenal issues, I thought MAYBE it was related to that.

who knows. maybe it's a combination of both. have you ever tried rubbing it with alcohol? there is a skin condition (can't remember what it's called) that presents itself like you are saying, but if you rub with alcohol it kind of goes away.....let me know!

~BOS~

 
Old 09-03-2008, 09:15 PM   #5
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

Beautyofspeed,

I'd rather drink the alcohol than rub it on!!! Just kidding!!! I don't drink much at all, because I take so many meds. I haven't thought of rubbing the discolored skin with alcohol. Thank you for your advice. I'll try it. I am sorry to hear the dermatologists haven't helped. Seems like I can save myself a trip to one. If this skin discoloration persists and increases in size/locations, I might opt for seeing a dermatologist down the road. I won't hold my breath...
I think that perhaps even some medication could be causing this skin problem. I have no idea which one of my meds it could be. I will have to look into it. I will post any "discoveries", especially if they relate to iron issues.

flowergirl

 
Old 09-07-2008, 11:43 PM   #6
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

I have recently been told by an endocrinologist (sp) that I have a "blown" adrenal w/o any explanation as to why/what to do. He also said that I have a very low cortisol level. I was never given any test results... just a take this (syntroid/hydrocortisone). They didn't do anything so I stopped.. cold turkey. I was browsing over the internet and saw this post about skin discoloration and adrenal issues. I have had melasma that has got considerably worse since having my first child 15 years ago. It started as a small patch on both cheeks when I got pregnant with my first and spread all over my cheeks towards my chin. It's a perfect "mask". I have very fair "Irish" skin and these patches stand out like eyesores. I have tried everything.. dermotologists (laser), $100 skin creams, etc. & nothing works. Like I said I have recently been told I have a blown adrenal/cortisol and since reading this thread I am wondering if this has some connection. I had never had a problem with sleeping, temperment, stress, nor a blemish or weight problems before I had kids. Since having them I break out all of the time, I'm always tired, lots of belly fat, I stress about everything, and have not had a good nights sleep in I can't remember how long. I survive off of coffee in the a.m. (2 cups) and crave sugary food and starches. I really don't know where to proceed from here since I feel like no one takes me seriously. The doctor that did advise me of my issue would have me waiting 3 hours to talk to me for 5 minutes (here's a prescription, take this and walk out). Anything that you can offer or what you find out would be greatly appreciated. This really takes a toll on your self esteem and I am tired of wearing so much makeup.

 
Old 09-08-2008, 05:32 PM   #7
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

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Since having them I break out all of the time, I'm always tired, lots of belly fat, I stress about everything, and have not had a good nights sleep in I can't remember how long. I survive off of coffee in the a.m. (2 cups) and crave sugary food and starches.
Yes, welcome to my world (except the breaking out, don't have that).

What I would suggest to you is to go to a naturopath that is interested in dealing with adrenal fatigue. When my naturopath first gave me the supplements I felt AMAZING, almost like a new person! but then the effects faded away after 2 months and I haven't kept up with her since then. The first supplements I took actually had certain hormones in them (can't remember ones but I will find out). and then the latest supplement I have been taking is called Adrenasense by Lorna Vanderhaeghe. It contains Rhodiola. I think I need more than that though...

The skin discoloration actually I have never asked my naturopath about because i didn't know it was related until recently. I will ask her though, and let you know.

~BOS~

 
Old 09-08-2008, 10:15 PM   #8
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

tired,

you sound exactly like me. The funny thing is, I have just had my cortisol level tested and it came back OK. I wonder if there are any other tests we might be able to run to figure out if it is the adrenal gland gone haywire. Are there any other tests you've had? I am going to have to do plenty of reading and hope to get some info that way. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
Something I am trying now: my friend's dermatologist suggested using Selsun blue on her skin blotches, which she has on her neck. One of its active ingredients matches that in an expensive cream (which you've tried). I hear it must be used five nights in a row on the affected area & left overnight. I've done two so far and the color seems a bit lighter and faded. I hope it's not just wishful thinking on my part! I know it is like grasping for straws...but hey, what have I got to lose? Sorry I can't help much.Thanks for sharing.

FG

 
Old 09-08-2008, 10:23 PM   #9
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

Beauty of speed,

If you manage to get any information, please share! Looks like we are all on the same boat. I still wonder if it can be iron-related. It would be so interesting to learn how and WHY it happens. And, most importantly, to find out how to GET RID of it!!!!

FG

 
Old 09-09-2008, 07:07 PM   #10
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

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Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
I wonder if there are any other tests we might be able to run to figure out if it is the adrenal gland gone haywire. Are there any other tests you've had?
Yes, there are a few. But I guess we are not allowed to post links????

There is the 24-hour saliva test.
There is the pupil test.
There is the blood pressure test.
There is the body temperature test.

~BOS~

Last edited by beautyofspeed; 09-09-2008 at 07:09 PM.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 11:39 AM   #11
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

thank you, BOS.

I just read about a guy who had megaloblastic anemia with a low serum vitamin B12 level. He was subsequently diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency. His paresthesia, anemia and hyperpigmentation of skin resolved in response to vitamin B12 injections.

Cutaneous hyperpigmentation of skin is a manifestation of vitamin B12 deficiency. I didn't know that! Many people with B12 deficiency develop anemia.......
I will let you know how well the Selsun blue remedy works. The spotting is still there, though lighter. The shampoo sure dries out the skin!

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 09-11-2008 at 10:24 PM. Reason: adding text

 
Old 09-23-2008, 11:27 PM   #12
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

Hello All,

I just picked up this months issue of First magazine because it had an article of a woman who was having thyroid type issues and how she helped herself. To jump right to the point it turned out that she was actually deficient in Iodine. If you Google it most of the symptoms are what we have been describing (except for the pigmentation but it mentions the low energy, dry skin, chills, etc.). At this point it's worth a shot. We all know that the more energy you have the better you feel and it dominos into everything you do... FYI.

 
Old 09-29-2008, 08:29 PM   #13
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

tired,

thanks for the tip! It sounds very interesting. I'll check it out.
I've just read in a book about diabetes, written by a famous endocrinologist, that the darkened areas of skin on the neck, underarms and elsewhere are associated, among other things, with having high insulin levels and are very often a sign of PCOS. Of course, I have a couple of patches of the very same on my neck (in addition to the forearm pattern). They are new. My insulin level was high when measured recently and I have a large cyst. I wonder what (if anything) will my doctor say when I ask him about the darkened skin patches. At least we know that this skin hyperpigmentation, while harmless, can signal hormonal imbalances among other things.

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 09-29-2008 at 08:37 PM.

 
Old 09-30-2008, 04:26 PM   #14
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredofbtired View Post
... Like I said I have recently been told I have a blown adrenal/cortisol and since reading this thread I am wondering if this has some connection. I had never had a problem with sleeping, temperment, stress, nor a blemish or weight problems before I had kids. Since having them I break out all of the time, I'm always tired, lots of belly fat, I stress about everything, and have not had a good nights sleep in I can't remember how long. I survive off of coffee in the a.m. (2 cups) and crave sugary food and starches. ....
Quite a few people on the lyme's disease boards have low cortisol levels and similar symptoms...if you do an "advanced search" within the lyme boards you may see some similarities.

Take care.

Bethsheba

 
Old 04-24-2009, 05:46 PM   #15
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Re: Hyperpigmentation of skin and anemia

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Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
thank you, BOS.

I just read about a guy who had megaloblastic anemia with a low serum vitamin B12 level. He was subsequently diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency. His paresthesia, anemia and hyperpigmentation of skin resolved in response to vitamin B12 injections.

Cutaneous hyperpigmentation of skin is a manifestation of vitamin B12 deficiency. I didn't know that! Many people with B12 deficiency develop anemia.......
I will let you know how well the Selsun blue remedy works. The spotting is still there, though lighter. The shampoo sure dries out the skin!

flowergirl





Hey flowergirl!

I wanted to ask you how are those patches u have.
I have a 9 yr old boy who as a baby had a severe anemia.... doctor told me it was to low iron levels.... ok he was treated got better but his iron store never got so good.... a year ago he got very constipated.... mineral oil would not work... BIO-K yogurt worked (500 000 000 lactobacillus) ..... now i saw some brownish patches on his neck and on his belly....
So now I'm very worried since God knows wa=hat that is....

So could u please describe the patches u have and if u know the cause

Thanks
Lubia

 
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