Skin Problems

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Although skin problems are commonly reported among fibromyalgia sufferers, there is a limited amount of scientific information available on such topics.

A 2009 study by Torresani et al. evaluated the relationship between chronic urticaria (hives) and fibromyalgia. The researchers examined 126 patients with chronic urticaria to determine the presence of fibromyalgia, using the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) diagnostic criteria. After analysis, they discovered that more than 70% of the patients with chronic urticaria also met the criteria for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Out of a control group of 50 individuals without chronic urticaria, only 8 individuals (16%) met the ACR criteria for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

A 2005 study by Thune investigated the prevalence of fibromyalgia among 1,269 patients diagnosed with psoriasis over a three year period. The researchers found that 105 patients (including 93 women and 12 men; 8.3% total) met the ACR criteria for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and an additional 114 had chronic widespread pain but feel short of meeting the ACR criteria.

Several recent laboratory research studies have been conducted in small samples of tissue provided by fibromyalgia patients. These studies have sought to identify specific molecular and cellular properties of in the skin cells of those who have fibromyalgia. While the research in this field is emerging and current findings are based on very small numbers of samples, the information that has been identified may in the future help researchers to better understand what causes fibromyalgia, as well as help researchers to develop new methods to diagnose it (Cordero et al., 2010; Blanco et al., 2010; Kim et al., 2008).

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References

1.        Torresani C, Bellafiore S, De Panfilis G. Chronic urticaria is usually associated with fibromyalgia syndrome. Acta Derm Venereol. 2009;89(4):389-392.

2.        Thune PO. The prevalence of fibromyalgia among patients with psoriasis. Acta Derm Venereol. 2005;85(1):33-37.

3.        Blanco I, Béritze N, Argüelles M, Cárcaba V, Fernández F, Janciauskiene S, Oikonomopoulou K, de Serres FJ, Fernández-Bustillo E, Hollenberg MD. Abnormal overexpression of mastocytes in skin biopsies of fibromyalgia patients. Clin Rheumatol. 2010;29(12):1403-1412.

4.        Cordero MD, Moreno-Fernández AM, Carmona-López MI, Sánchez-Alcázar JA, Rodríguez AF, Navas P, de Miguel M. Mitochondrial dysfunction in skin biopsies and blood mononuclear cells from two cases of fibromyalgia patients. Clin Biochem. 2010;43(13-14):1174-1176.

Kim SH, Kim DH, Oh DH, Clauw DJ. Characteristic electron microscopic findings in the skin of patients with fibromyalgia–preliminary study. Clin Rheumatol. 2008;27(3):407-411.

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