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Fibromyalgia & Skin Problems

Karen finds the bruising on her legs and ankles makes her feel embarrassed and self conscious. "Bruises appear on me quite easily from just a simple knock. I find it very embarrassing as the marks on my legs and ankles are quite ugly and take ages to heal," she relates. She finds herself choosing clothing that will hide her legs, sticking to jeans or opaque tights. "I find now that with everything I buy I am thinking about my bruising. It definitely affects my body image and makes me feel unattractive," she adds. "I am sure that people are noticing my bruises and wondering about them. I find myself doing all kinds of contortions trying to hide my legs, which probably ends up drawing more attention to them!"

"Easy bruising all over the body occurs often in women with fibromyalgia and sometimes these bruises can be quite extensive and shocking," explains Claudia Marek, a specialised nurse and medical assistant working with FM patients in Los Angeles. "Other times they are faint, like a dusky ink stain, and you might try to scrub them off, thinking they are a smudge of some kind. Minor scratching, especially in sensitive areas around the breasts can cause capillaries to break and tiny red dots to appear, or very faint spotting bruising under the skin."

At first, neither Karen nor Antonia linked their skin problems to fibromyalgia. "I had so much wrong with me and when you think of pain in your joints and muscles, well you don't really associate it with skin do you?" says Antonia. "But I guess we are so sensitive in every other area of our body that I suppose we can't expect our skin not to be affected too!"

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