Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks itself, inflaming the joint’s protective membrane. Symptoms might range from moderate to severe as a result of this.
Symptoms are mostly related to joint problems. You may, however, have flare-ups in some cases. Inflammation can cause rashes all over the body. Rheumatoid vasculitis is the name for these rashes (RV). RV is a rare complication that affects just one percent of patients with RA. Rheumatoid arthritis-related rashes can usually be treated with medication.
What Are The Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Rashes?
The severity of RA symptoms varies depending on the severity of the condition. RV is a lesser-known RA symptom. It happens when the blood vessels in your body become inflamed. This might cause other symptoms such as a red, itchy rash or a skin ulcer due to a lack of blood flow.
RV can also cause the following symptoms:
- malaise or a lack of energy
- loss of appetite, and weight loss
Other Skin Conditions That May Occur:
Another rash associated with rheumatoid arthritis is interstitial granulomatous dermatitis. Rheumatoid papules is another name for this condition. Red skin lesion (plaques or bumps that resemble eczema are among the symptoms associated with the condition. The rash is itchy and painful most of the time. Interstitial granulomatous dermatitis, on the other hand, is exceptionally rare in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Palmar erythema is another rash-like symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. In this skin condition, the hands become red. In most cases both hands are affected, but the rash isn’t painful, does not itch but may cause increased hand warmth.
Complications That Come With RA:
Beyond the rash, RA can cause complications. Vasculitis can affect the flow of blood in arteries and veins. Severe vasculitis episodes can have the following complications:
Numbness and tingling in the nerves, including loss of sensation in the hands and feet; affected blood flow to the extremities, which can lead to gangrene in the fingers or toes; and systemic vasculitis, which can cause a heart attack or stroke by disrupting blood supply to the brain or heart. RV is rare, and the complications listed above are even rarer. A rash, on the other hand, could be a sign of something more serious. If you have any signs or symptoms of RV, see your doctor.
What Is The Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis Related Rash?
The severity and cause of a rheumatoid arthritis-related rash decide the treatment options. A treatment that is effective for one type of rash might not be effective for another. The aim of the treatment is usually to relieve pain and discomfort while also preventing infection. Rashes might be an indication that your rheumatoid arthritis isn’t well-controlled, so it’s important that treatments target the underlying condition.
Common over-the-counter (OTC) medications that may lessen the pain of a rash include acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). There are many types of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, Nutrin), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin, St. Joseph).
If your pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe NSAIDs. Opioid painkillers are normally only prescribed for really severe pain as there remains a high risk of addiction. Your doctor may also prescribe corticosteroids to help lessen the inflammation of your rash, which can help relieve the pain. These medications, however, are not recommended for long-term use. If your doctor thinks your rash might become infected, they’ll probably prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic, or both.
Different types of rheumatoid arthritis rashes require different treatments. For rheumatoid vasculitis, treatment usually starts with corticosteroids, such as prednisone. DMARDs, like methotrexate, may be prescribed to treat the underlying condition.
Palmar edoema cause no other severe symptoms, so doctors rarely prescribe treatment for it. A change in medications, on the other hand, can sometimes cause a rash. If you experience symptoms after changing medications, you should contact your doctor. However, you should not stop taking your medications until your doctor tells you to.
Topical steroids and antibiotics are used to treat interstitial granulomatous dermatitis. Etanercept (Enbrel), a medicine also used to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, may also be prescribed by your doctor.
Rheumatoid arthritis rashes can’t be completely prevented, and there aren’t any permanent solutions. To help you manage your disease, your doctor may prescribe a combination of medications. These treatments may help to reduce inflammation and protect joints. People with RA should make every effort to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible.
- Getting proper rest,
- Eating healthy,
- Exercising when possible.