Multiple sclerosis is a complex, autoimmune disease in which the nerve fibers of the brain and spinal cord lose their protective fatty covering (called myelin) over time. This short circuit of the fibers causes a range of problems, including motor problems, shaking, and inflammation of the skin, to name a few. Multiple sclerosis can also cause swelling and lack of oxygen to the tissues which cause bring about many other symptoms. Multiple sclerosis skin rash is a fairly common symptom as the skin is the largest organ in the body and one of the first noticeable outward signs of MS. As MS is a degenerative disease, the patient gradually loses muscle strength, resulting in disability.
Multiple sclerosis affects both men and women but women have a greater incidence of MS as they are more likely to be anemic. Also, MS affects more Caucasians of Northern European descent than any other racial group. Nearly all autoimmune diseases target the skin and multiple sclerosis skin rash is common, with irritation, and other inflammatory signs noticeable as well as reduced collagen production prevalent in most patients. The itching may spread to the entire body or it may be localized to a particular section of the body. Blotchy or red skin because of scratching is also common, however, most skin disorders can be diagnosed and treated with topical ointments.
MS as a progressive disease is exacerbated by stress brought on through hormonal levels, the consumption of alcohol, and the byproducts of infection. MS patients also have to consider where they reside, as environmental toxins are also a partial cause in some cases. Hereditary factors may also contribute to multiple sclerosis. The ultimate cause may be an inherited inability to absorb iron which results in anemia. Once the body begins attacking its own defense system, flare-ups are common and the skin is one the first ailments to strike a MS sufferer.
Although rashes as a symptom of multiple sclerosis are not common, some of the medications used to suppress other symptoms of MS can cause the skin to break out and rashes develop. Certain drugs prescribed for multiple sclerosis such as amantadine, an antiviral drug used to alleviate fatigue, can cause a common side effect of blotchy rashes. Patients are advised to check the websites of all drugs prescribed to note any possible side effects of the drugs they are prescribed.
There are several other symptoms of multiple sclerosis that correlate to skin rash. There have been cases reported of bluish nail beds, severe to abdominal distress during flares, constipation, and unexplained weight loss. The constipation is often as a result of the medications which leave many patients unable to eat while abdominal stress can be caused by the toxicity levels in the medications prescribed that the body has not acclimated itself to. For women suffering from MS, in addition to skin rash, there have been reports of flare-ups during the last trimester of pregnancy. Both men and women are advised to pay close to their stool on medications as dark, reddish urine during flares is a sign of something more progressive and a possible change in treatment may be advisable. Additionally, MS sufferers are likely to encounter skin induced rashes as well, as the skin is highly sensitive to light when under the medications used to treat the disease. Those that suffer from MS and diabetes may notice a craving for salt and should adhere to a carefully monitored diet. There is also a tendency to low blood pressure and medications are given to treat incidents of this. There are several prescription products available to the public to treat multiple sclerosis skin rash and MS in general. For treating chronic progressive multiple sclerosis there are several medications, known as secondary progressive multiple sclerosis that can be prescribed upon consultation with your primary care physician.