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Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience:  36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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I have had flare-ups of tenderness in my skin. From above my

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I have had flare-ups of tenderness in my skin. From above my knees and up to my neck and even face, the skin will feel like it's bruised (very tender to the touch) but there is no bruise or rash or anything like that. I just become very tender, and even a light touch from someone is painful. At first, I thought it was an MSG allergy or intolerance because it only happened after eating Chinese or processed meats on some chain pizza. But then I got it one day very badly after only having eaten a salad, and after asking the restaurant if there was a possibility of MSG being in the dressing, they said no. Now I have been avoiding MSG as best as I know how, but I am still having minor flare-ups. What else might this be?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  CamilleRN replied 7 years ago.
Hi and thank you for your question. Have you had lab work done recently, if so, were there any concerns ?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have not had lab work done. I don't have health insurance and can't afford to go in and have a bunch of tests done.
Expert:  CamilleRN replied 7 years ago.

There is a condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, or RSD,which is a chronic neurological disorder where the autonomic nervous system malfunctions and causes misfiring of the nerves. RSD may developdue to trauma from an injury, surgery or a repetitive motion injury. The age of onset is usually the mid 30 and It affects women more often than men. The most common symptom of RSD is chronic pain, and extreme skin sensitivity, and in some cases clothing is unbearable. Patients may also experience muscle spasms, tremors, weakness, fatigue, skin rashes, frequent infections, fever, headaches and insomnia. More common causes of skin sensitivity include a virus, rheumatic disease, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

Here is some interesting information:

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I looked into RSD, and the symptoms they describe don't sound similar. What I found as symptoms for RSD are:
  • Acute: (three to six months) burning, flushing, blanching, sweating, swelling, pain, and tenderness. This stage can show early x- ray changes of patchy bone thinning.

  • Dystrophic: (three to six months) early skin changes of shiny, thickened skin and contracture with persistent pain, but diminished swelling and flushing.

  • Atrophic: (may be long-standing) loss of motion and function of the involved hand or foot with contracture (flexed scarring process), thinning of the fatty layers under the skin. X-ray can show significant osteoporosis.
But I'm not experiencing any of those symptoms other than tenderness. It literally just feels like a bruise and is tender to the touch. There is no burning, itching, tingling or any change in the skin's appearance. Just pain like a bruise when touched or pinched lightly.
Expert:  CamilleRN replied 7 years ago.
This is most likely due to a viral infection or an allergic reaction. I have seen cases of this very complaint that were inexplainable ( four that I can recall over the years), and they resolved within weeks to a few months with no residual.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have had the symptoms now, though for close to five months with flare-ups at intermittent periods. At first, it was once every few weeks. But it has gotten more frequent as time goes on. I don't see how it could be viral, as I haven't had so much as a stuffy nose for months. No coughs or fever or anything of that nature either. Also, I'm not sure that it's necessarily an allergy either. I have tried taking allergy medication during an attack and it has no effect on the symptoms, and neither do painkillers. Also, no aspects of my breathing is effected in any way when I have an attack, and my digestive system feels like normal. So this doesn't point toward an allergy either.
Expert:  Valarie replied 7 years ago.


Until you can see a physician to try to determine the cause of your problem (and hopefully, you will be able to do this especially if your symptoms become worse or more extensive)---I would advise that you go with your first inclination and avoid foods containing MSG. Reactions to MSG are becoming more common, probably because people are considering the fact that MSG may be the cause. It used to be known as "chinese food syndrome". Here is a link to an article on the website about Monosodium Glutamate.

Your problem will be avoiding the additive, because labeling does not always say MSG or monosodium glutamate (though this is changing gradually). It may be listed as "flavor enhancers", or "natural flavoring", and a couple of other terms. So, for now, try avoiding anything that comes in a can, bottle, or package. You can make your own gravies, sauces and salad dressings. And at restaurants, ask for no dressing or oil and vinegar that you put on yourself. The restaurant employee may have told you that there was no MSG in the dressing, but chances are s/he did not read the label, or did not recognize the terms used on the label.

It would also help you to do an internet search for monosodium glutamate to familiarize yourself with other terms used on labeling. Then be diligent in reading labels of anything you are going to eat.

If your symptoms continue on a diet of only unflavored plain food items, then you can start thinking about seeing a doctor to get your problem diagnosed.

Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience: 36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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