January/February #141 : Raw Hide - by Laura Whitehorn

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Table of Contents

Growing Pains

A Stirling Example

You’ve Come a Long Way, Babies

My Generation

Can We Talk

Raw Hide

Parent Trap

Homing Devices

The Insure Thing

Birds, Bees and HIV

Pass the Mike

Sugar Rush

Cambodia Manhunt

Girl Talk

Iowa Rocks

Download This!

Angels in Africa

They Clicked

Raven Reviews

Fifteen Candles

Editor's Letter-January/February 2008

Mailbox-January/February 2008


Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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January 2008

Raw Hide

by Laura Whitehorn

Survey says: Dry skin afflicts positive people. We say: Soften up.

It was one of those studies to which positive people respond, “What else is new?” Recent research published in the Journal of AIDS shows that approximately half of HIV-positive people suffer from dry skin—far more than their negative peers (5.7 times more for men, 2.2 for women).

The study didn’t identify causes, though CD4 counts below 200 and use of the protease inhibitor Crixivan (indinavir) were mentioned (other PIs may also tend to dry skin). The researchers didn’t offer skin-soothing strategies, either. So we will:

  1. Discuss dry skin with your doctor. There may be therapies for your particular version of the ailment.
  2. Don’t use just any lotion. Pick one with lactic acid or lactic acid plus urea. Or try a moisturizer-emollient combo, such as the Body Shop’s Shea Body Butter ($10 and $20 sizes, thebodyshop.com).
  3. Apply lotion while you’re still damp from your bath, to capture the moisture.
  4. Invest in a home humidifier to prevent dry air from parching your skin.
  5. For itching, try Eucerin Calming Creme and Calming Itch-Relief with oatmeal and menthol (about $8, EucerinUS.com). And apply a cool compress—never your nails. Mom was right: Scratching only makes it worse.     

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  comments 1 - 7 (of 7 total)    

Michael, London, UK, 2008-02-02 07:38:56
Ever since I have been positive I have suffered with dry skin. My hiv doctor was typically unhelpful, perhaps a characteristic of English doctors ('well, you arent dying so what are you complaining about?') so I have been experimenting with various things over the past few years. By far the best thing I have found is Dove Pro-Age bodywash in combo with omega 3,6,9 pills every day. My dry skin problems were considerably better in one month.

charles, harriesburgms, 2008-02-01 02:13:02
cut your fingernails short this will help you not scratch to deeply oatmael baths yes take reg oats not quick put in a sock tie it up and put in tub much cheaper than buying the package stuff buy some aloe vera juice (DISTILED)to cut down on the chance of infection put it in a spay bottle like you would use to sray plants with and spay it on your skin it is very refreshing buy some of the oatmeal moisturizing cream it is soothing yet not sticky

craig wood, roanoke, 2008-01-29 11:07:09
I am a 26 year patient been on everything, try omega 3 fish oil 2 per day it will help your skin,also L-Lysine 500mg. 2 per day great for skin repair.

Jason, Baltimore, 2008-01-27 22:33:48
use caution when using a humidifier. My Dr. warns against it due to increase in bacteria in moist warm rooms.

Stefan Jacobs, El Paso, 2008-01-24 20:46:01
A more natural approach that avoids toxic petrochemicals would be to ensure that you have enough EFA's in your diet (flax seed oil, fish oil etc..) and also to use either coconut oil or olive oil after baths or showers to help lock moisture in. Coconut oil is odorless and nonstaining, while EVOO is probably a bit more moisturizing in general. Adding pure jojoba oil (pricey, but a little goes a LONG way) will tame even the most dreadful dry skin.

Paul Overstreet, Gulfport, MS, 2008-01-22 22:23:33
sometimes Oatmeal Baths calms Itteness too especially when you are Summer Blistered or winter chaped skin

eddie ramos, new york, 2008-01-22 14:30:22
Wow, this is exiciting news. I thought my dry skin was due to the cold weather (i live in new york city) and not associated with my HIV status. I will now moisturize every time i come out of the shower since this seems like a logical solution to my dry skin. Thanks for the info.

comments 1 - 7 (of 7 total)    

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