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16 Photos That Show How Fibromyalgia Can Affect Your Skin

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Fibromyalgia is commonly associated with symptoms such as widespread pain and fatigue, but there are a number of lesser-known symptoms that don’t get brought to light as often. Many fibro warriors experience skin issues such as rashes, redness, or easy bruising, though they may not always realize these symptoms are related to fibromyalgia until they talk to others who have experienced the same thing. (Always check with a doctor to confirm whether your symptoms are due to fibro, or a separate medical issue or comorbid condition such as allergies, mast cell activation syndrome, eczema, or rosacea).

We wanted to bring some awareness to these skin issues that aren’t talked about enough, so we asked our Mighty community to share a photo that shows how fibromyalgia has affected their skin. Perhaps you’ll recognize your own symptoms in some of these photos.

Here’s what our community shared with us:

1. “Big bruises everywhere up and down my legs.” – Allison M.

bruises on a woman's skin

2. “I get ‘rashes’ from clothes, seatbelts and just touching areas. Along with the random bruising.” – Krystina K.F.

rashes on a woman's neck

3. “My face gets red so easily and without warning. I can literally feel the heat radiating off of it from at least three inches away! It shows up when I’m hot, cold, flaring and randomly! It’s mortifying. People always point it out, especially since I live in Arizona and they always think I’m dying from heat stroke or something. Nope, just another normal super embarrassing symptom. I hate it.” – Janessa O.

photo of a woman with flushed, red cheeks

4. “Swollen and sometimes painful ankle. Always red/purplish. Orthopedic doctor said it can be common with those with fibro to have a ‘build up’ from muscle tensions.” – Amanda V.

woman's swollen ankle

5. “These scars are from neurodermatitis, courtesy of fibromyalgia. Horrible itching, bumps, infections and lovely scarring in awkward places on my arms and legs.” – Suzanne M.

neurodermatitis rash and scarring on a woman's arm

6. “I always have red blotchy skin on my chest/cheeks, especially when I’m in a flare. This was just last night as it was starting to rain…” – Katelyn I.

red blotchy rash on a woman's chest

7. “Khloe has to be near me in my flare-ups and I live in leggings and comfy clothes due to skin sensitivities.” – Erin A.

woman lying on her couch in colorful leggings next to her cat and watching tv

8. “Nasty bruises.” – Lorie P.

bruises on a woman's leg

9. “An awkward angle but I get patches of red, dry skin that burns and itches. Plus I get extremely pressure-sensitive skin, so even the slightest pressure (like the fall of water from the shower) feels like needles!” – Nae W.

rash on a woman's arm

10. “I get red spots all over my legs, but mostly around my knee, when I experience big changes in temperature. Especially going from a cold area to a very heated area or when I’m out in the sun. The red parts get radiating hot. So bad you can feel it through denim jeans. It burns, but it’s not itchy. Sometimes I get a bone ache with it.” – Vivian K.

red blotchy rash on a woman's knee

11. “This is my chest. I break out in hives and rashes, sometimes seemingly at random.” – Chauntayna M.

red rash on a woman's chest

12. “Neuropathy and chronic rashes with no explainable cause.” – Jessi E.

neuropathy and red bumps on a woman's legs

13. “When I try to massage some of my horrible muscle knots, this is what happens.” – Miranda S.

woman with bruises on her arm

14. “Local flare-up, sore and painful.” – Angela H.

red inflamed skin on a woman's arm

15. “What you may see is me putting on my goofy face and pretending everything is fine. But the reality is me lying on the floor trying to relieve the pain in my back. It’s the horrible eczema that results from never sleeping properly and always feeling stressed. This is what fibromyalgia looks like.” – Regina L.B.

woman with eczema on her face

16. “Hives from a reaction to something or other.” – Krista I.

red raised welts on a woman's arm

Originally published: April 26, 2018
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