I’m a licensed esthetician and professional skin therapist. No one will hire a cripple in their MediSpa (I’ve tried and failed), so it’s a huge deal to me when someone asks me to give them a peel, do their makeup or just give them a pressure point massage for headaches/sinus issues. I got into this field after studying bioscience in college, because it combined my two loves: beauty and science. Now, if only I could get my skin under control.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome often has skin manifestations. (I’ve dedicated an updatable page to this and will link it here.) Online you’ll must often find photos of super stretchy skin and bad scars. In my case, my skin doesn’t stretch. It is just very soft and fragile. The upside is, it’s likely why I look as young as I do! The downsides are many.
Right now, I have an infected finger where the skin alongside my nail tore and today I suddenly broke out in hives on my arms for no obvious reason. Just the tiny bit if scratching I allowed myself drew blood. I heal poorly, scar badly and constantly peel and blister. The slightest friction can cause a huge blister, pressure ulcer or hard lump on my skin’s surface.
I must say that I’m lucky to have the extensive skin care education, including caring for wounds, because I’m sure things would otherwise get a lot worse. I can care for (or attempt to) most skin problems myself. I use a variety of moisturizers, salves, oils, etc. I also exfoliate my entire body regularly and always wear sunscreen since I can sunburn within 10 minutes of high UV exposure. I also keep a fully stocked first aid kit in my bathroom as well as under my bedside table. I need those alcohol swaps, bandaids, gauze, hydrocortisone cream and antibiotic ointment far too often. I even keep a mini kit of these items for my handbag.
My skin problems have increased with age. I always scarred badly and bruised easily, but now it’s definitely worse and more frequent. I was just looking at my arms and they’re riddled with half-faded dots from the mosquito attacks of last summer, red lines of scratches and wide, raised scars. I wish there was something that I could apply to my skin to protect it, but I don’t suppose that’s a reasonable request!