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Statins and resultant skin problems

(39 Posts)
giulia Sun 26-Aug-18 07:45:25

I have been on statins for about a year. Since I started, I have developed various skin problems and am now wondering if the medicine could be the cause.
I started with excema on my hands and put the blame on rubber gloves. I then started seborrhic dermatitis on my head but it has now progressed to my ears and - just now - to my eyebrows, despite the medication I have been prescribed for both.
I have had eruptions of acne rosacea on my chest and blamed that on the heat and resultant sweating.
Worst of all, a granuloma erupted over a bunion scar on my foot early January and has still not closed despite my (over 20) visits to a dermatological hospital. Even they seem perplexed.
This morning, it came to me that the root of all this could be the statin I take each day.
Naturally, I will consult my doctor but first thought I would check it on on Gransnet to see if any of you have had similar problems.

travelsafar Sun 26-Aug-18 09:21:54

Wow you poor thing I really hope they find a solution to your problems. flowers

Iam64 Sun 26-Aug-18 09:36:29

guilia, there are a couple of threads on statins, it's worth you finding them if you haven't already.
I stopped taking statins a few months ago after developing muscle pain and feeling generally well under par. I feel much better now. The vivid dreams that accompany statins were affecting the quality of my sleep, I now realise, so that's one positive effect of stopping them. The muscle pain gradually diminished.
It hadn't occurred to me till I read your post that the excema/other skin problems that I experienced were down to statins. I'd never had itchy skin but was itching for England. I developed excess on my eye lids, brows along with swollen droopy eye lids. Anti biotic cream sorted that but it recurred until a couple of months ago. since stopping the statins I have no skin problems.
Incidentally, a cardiologist told me there is no evidence to support giving statins to women of our generation because of atrial fibrillation/high cholesterol. He said he'd only prescribe them if there were other significant factors, such as the individual had already suffered a stroke or heart attack.
I suspect we're going to hear much more about the costs and benefits despite the Nice guidelines basically saying most of us should be taking them.
I hope you can resolve your health issues.

Willow10 Sun 26-Aug-18 11:24:30

I was given statins when my cholesterol was slightly raised. I stopped when I developed an itchy skin rash and it cleared up straight away. I started to use the cholestrrol lowering spreads and drinks instead, which worked really well. I think statins are helpful in certain circumstances but are prescribed too routinely, when moderate diet changes could be advised first.

giulia Mon 27-Aug-18 04:12:51

Iam64 and Willow10 - thank you for the interesting information you passed on. Yes, I looked up the previous threads but found nothing about skin problems.

Am off to my doctor tomorrow but stopped the statin last night. I didn't realise that this could also have been the cause of my bad dreams!

An American doctor Duane Graveline had started investigating this (see Skin rashes and Statins) and I was thinking of contacting him. Unfortunately he died two years ago!

I am beginning to think now that it was the statin that actually caused the granuloma over my bunion scar: Gravely writes about "diminished skin wall integrity or reduction in skin cell energy".

..."scratching for England..." Ha Ha Ha! I like that!

MrsJamJam Mon 27-Aug-18 08:28:37

Ten years ago I had the same skin problems that came on slowly over a year on stations. GP absolutely adamant that it could not be the station but I still stopped taking them and the skin problems cleared up. QED.

I did then take a lot of care with diet to try anything that might lower cholesterol. Now just hope for the best as I feel fit and healthy.

giulia Mon 27-Aug-18 08:36:26

MrsJamJam - thank you for this info. (What does QED mean?)

MrsJamJam Mon 27-Aug-18 19:24:24

It stands for a Latin phrase which basically means 'so that proves it'. Sorry if it makes me sound a bit over-educated, I probably amblush

Soup75 Sat 11-May-19 10:37:43

I have recently joined Gransnet and found this thread which interests me. For almost a year I have been suffering with eczema/dermatitis on my hands, around my nails, it then moved onto my back in two places and about 5 months ago to my face. Numerous visits to GP's (not just one) all insisted keep using steroid cream intermittently and emollient. By February it was really bad so I was referred to a dermatologist...4 weeks ago so fed up waiting for an appointment on NHS we paid for a Private Dermatogists. By now I suspected Statins. I paid for biopsies, one on finger, one on my back. Its now come back suggesting, only suggesting its Dermatomyostis. The dermatologist painted a very bleak picture of the likely outcome saying it was not a nice disease. Two questions, anyone had any dealing with this disease? I took myself off statins (simvastatin) 10 days ago and the recovery of my skin is amazing. I still have patches but so much better. Now my GP has to put me through goodness knows how many tests for cancer and other related complications of Dermatomyostis as this skin complaint is usually the marker for other problems. I am concerned as it is a very rare disease, apparently my GP has never seen a case in 31 years of practice. My GP is not ruling out that its an allergic reaction to Simvastatin, and has written on my medical notes that I never am prescribed Statins again.

Buffybee Sat 11-May-19 10:54:22

After a general checkup, I was referred to my Doctor as according to Nice guidelines my cholesterol was too high.
Thank goodness my Doctor advised me that taking Statins was not advisable or indeed any use, in his opinion, unless you had previously had a heart attack or stroke.
He told me that, of course the choice was mine and if I still wanted them, I could have them but I prefer to listen to my Doctor so chose not to do.

EllanVannin Sat 11-May-19 11:00:55

Interesting. I've taken statins for 12/13 years now and over the years have noticed certain " eruptions " cropping up. My scalp appears to be very " pimply " like small sweat glands which fill up. I'm fearful of going to any hairdresser in case they think I have mange.
Then there is the rodent ulcer which was removed not many years ago and which has returned------which calls for another appointment. sad
Also whatever is on my leg has scabbed over but I'm always wary of a long bleed ( warfarin ) should the scab come off.

My stuffing's coming out----hahahaha. Joking apart I've never had spots in my head though and given that statins don't have such a good name it's got me thinking though if they've been proven to prevent heart attacks/strokes ( though I've had a TIA at some point ) then I'll stick with the pimples and eruptions.

KatyK Sat 11-May-19 12:27:19

I stopped taking stations. I had awful rashes, my arm felt numb. I carried on with them but it was the nosebleeds that clinched it for me. I had never had a nosebleed in my life and started having bad ones. The leaflet with my stations had nosebleeds as a main side effect. I was afraid to go out. I was only on a low dose so I'm not sure it was helping my cholesterol much.

KatyK Sat 11-May-19 12:28:15

Statins not stations. Bloomin phone.

BlueSky Sat 11-May-19 12:42:32

These statins are always in the headlines yes no yes no...I was told I had to take them 20 years ago, I tried but like others had side effects, then I was told that I didn't really needed them, so stopped them, recently a new GP suggested I started taking them because of my age ( 70). I haven't started taking them after reading that they don't help at our age.

boheminan Sat 11-May-19 12:54:36

This thread has also got me wondering.
I was put on statins a couple of years ago, and an itchy red rash developed on the palms of hands, back, scalp, even on my nipples, which was diagnosed as eczema - something I've never had previously. I was also prescribed a steroid cream, which worked for a while. I started taking antihistimines as I thought it was an allergy, they do nothing to help. My doctor is a great fan of steroids but I've got to the point I don't want to take them anymore. GN'rs that have taken themselves off steroids, is it okay to just stop them immediately? or should they be gradually weaned off?

annep1 Sat 11-May-19 13:08:15

I would love to stop statins because of all the side effects. I sometimes wonder if that's the problem rather than fibromyalgia. I am in pain every day. But my family history of heart disease is extremely bad.

MadeInYorkshire Sat 11-May-19 13:22:26

Soup75 How interesting ... can I ask you ladies what the skin on your hands actually looked like as mine are absolutely awful! It doesn't matter how many prescribed and non-prescribed emollients, creams or ointments I put on they seem to just get worse! My skin on my hands is tough, rough, thickened and cracking ,,,, I take a statin but had never thought there may be a correlation there at all - I take around 30 different medications anyway for my 26 different ruddy conditions, so never know if something is a side effect or symptom nowadays!

In the past I have looked at things like Dermatomyositis, Scleroderma, Lupus etc but did actually (finally!) got a diagnosis of Sjogrens Syndrome, which also isn't very pleasant .... Does the Dermo show up in bloods or just biopsies please? My GP seems reluctant to refer me on, but I think I am going to insist!

Be very interested in any info from anybody!

NfkDumpling Sat 11-May-19 13:36:29

I tried statins for one week. I felt so bad - aching joints, itchy and tired I stopped. A friend told me diet could do it and so I cut down on animal fats, nibbled nuts instead of crisps and biscuits, changed to Benecol etc and started taking plant sterols. My cholesterol dropped from 5.8 to 3.9 in just under three months - and I lost half a stone!

NfkDumpling Sat 11-May-19 13:38:24

DH has-been taking statins as his level is quite high. He has a scalp skin problem which nothing seems to be helping. I'll pass on all your comments.

boheminan Sat 11-May-19 14:14:43

MadeInYorkshire - the rash I have looks similar, it feels sore and itchy, but is mainly on the palms and inner wrists. Worse at night

KatyK Sat 11-May-19 14:58:23

The rash I had, particularly on my leg, was horrendous. I had never seen anything like it and my GP had no idea. All the potions, lotions, and antibiotics did nothing. It's completely gone now. nfk May I ask what plant sterols you took? I have seen them mentioned before on GN and may give them a try.

annep1 Sat 11-May-19 15:25:50

NfkDumpling that sounds great. Well done.
What plant sterols do you take?
Do you eat any sugary things? ( I find it hard not to have any chocolate. I have two squares every day)

Floradora9 Sat 11-May-19 15:58:59

I am lucky to have been on statins for years with no ill effects at all .

Soup75 Sat 11-May-19 16:26:02

Thank you all for your replies....very interesting how many have skin problems of one type or another.
Floradora9 ..... I had no problems from statins until last July but its only the past month I realised my problem was probably to do with statins. Obviously at the moment I cannot say it definitely is but my gut feeling is statins are the cause.

Caledonai14 Sat 11-May-19 17:10:44

I'm a bit perplexed about GPs' attitude to Statins because there still seem to be some who are quite determined about getting everyone onto them and some who say we don't need them unless there is a history of heart disease etc.

I had to see three different doctors about a bone injury (nothing related to cholesterol) and one was pushing Statins towards the end of the consultation while another said no way would he put someone like me on Statins.

Judging by this, and others, thread, some docs must be widely ignoring the reported side effects even after all these years.

As GPs do try to keep up with latest thinking, I wonder what the unknown force is that stops just some of them ignoring feedback.