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OUCH! My Skin Hurts!

OUCH! Why does my skin hurt?

Recently, I found that my skin has become even more sensitive. I’ve always had sensitive skin, especially in my scalp. Having naturally curly hair, my mother yanked and pulled on my hair, not realizing how much it hurt.

Skin problems: a new rheumatoid arthritis symptom?

Within the last several months, I’ve noticed that even my skin shrinks from excessive touch. That typical “slap you on the back” or “punch to the arm” has become excruciating. When I try to explain this to people, I get the standard “you’re too sensitive” comment.

I got so frustrated with a friend of mine that I decided to demonstrate what her punches felt like to me! She immediately yelped and said, “I don’t hit you that hard!” I explained to her that my body feels it that hard. Between the rheumatoid disease and the fibromyalgia, my sensitivity is off the map. I think we have reached an understanding.

Skin sensitivities & bruising with greetings

I struggle with greetings also. Handshakes have become quite difficult. Those “firm” handshakes have always been fine until recently. Now, that squeezing handshake has me trying to stop a grimace. One of my friends suggested fist bumps instead. MISTAKE!! My poor hands bruised.

Side hugs have been helpful

I have always preferred hugging. It feeds my soul and, as a single woman, it is comforting. However, one has to be careful in the current environment. I find that side hugs with men seem to be more appropriate, and they don’t hurt like a handshake (most of the time).

Do you ever just nod at people? Sometimes I find that works well.

Challenges with household responsibilities

Which household responsibilities do you have the most trouble with? Because of my skin hurting, many things are now difficult. Lifting pans for cooking bothers me the most because I enjoy cooking. Cleaning the kitchen counter, the stove, wiping out the refrigerator, sweeping, moping have all been delegated to my sons. I purchased a light-weight vacuum that has made a huge difference. I also have a spray mop with a washable cover. I find that I get excited when I find things that make my life easier!

Skin pain on my feet

Does anyone else have trouble walking barefoot? Being a southerner, I grew up barefoot. I enjoy walking barefoot. I got out of bed 2 months ago to excruciating skin pain when barefoot. My poor little southern heart cried! I have not been able to go barefoot since. I’ve also noticed that I’ve had to loosen my sandal straps because they are hurting the skin on my feet.

What to do?

So what’s a girl (or anyone) to do? Since I already have an appointment with my rheumatologist in 10 days, that’s where I’ll start. It always best to discuss new symptoms with your rheumatologist. I’m curious as to your experiences.

Have you had this problem? Do you have any tips for our readers? Please let us know.


This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • MrsT
    3 days ago

    I know the feeling Mary. I’ve had RA for 48 years and also fibromyalgia for about 25 yrs. My entire body is touchy and painful. My husband has finally learned not to playfully poke or pinch me because even the lightest of touch can bring me to tears. Its just one more thing we have to deal with.

  • mcadwell
    3 days ago

    I’ve had skin issues since I was in high school – peeling, cracking and ultra dry cuticles. My dermatologist said I have allergen induced Icthyosis Vulgaris so I have to exfoliate my body daily and slather on viscous creams to combat cracking and bleeding…and itching! So, any of you that have skin problems, don’t rule out allergies – nasal or food.

  • lilyanne
    3 days ago

    That sounds like ehlers-danlos, or anothing autoimmune disease which impacts skin. I have a student with very bad ehlers danlos symptoms, I am a costume designer and always make sure her costumes are as lightweight and non constrictive as possible.
    Please update after you see your rheumatologist!

  • Mary Sophia Hawks moderator author
    3 days ago

    Thanks Lilyanne!
    I will check that out. The RA PA believes it is related to my fibromyalgia. I will investigate the ehlers danlos.
    Gentle hugs,
    Mary Sophia

  • 2mra
    1 week ago

    That’s a new one, that I have not had or heard of.

    So, it is not from the Fibro or a medication or an undiagnosed condition? I know I had lots of bruising from Methotrexate.

    Sorry to hear this Mary. I sure hope that you find what is causing it and something to relieve your pain.

    The chore I find the worst with RA is cleaning the tub and floors. My hubby bought me a light vacuum but it still feels heavy to me since my arms are weak. Of course, my pup only weighs 5 pounds and I find her heavy. Crazy!

    LOL Daniel!!

  • Mary Sophia Hawks moderator author
    1 week ago

    At this point, I’m not sure. I forgot to mention it at my last visit, so it’s on my list for my next visit. It happened before my recent med change, so I just don’t know.
    Thanks for your comments.
    Gentle hugs,
    Mary Sophia

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    1 week ago

    @c7mv96 It never surprises me anymore what symptoms show up with RA. Seriously, at this point i wouldn’t be shocked if suddenly my elbow grew a foot and it turned purple and also had RA. It’s like, come on already! Good stuff. The article. Not the skin hurting. Obviously. LOL. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

  • Mary Sophia Hawks moderator author
    1 week ago

    I know, right? This was one I didn’t anticipate. Thanks for the comments!
    Gentle Hugs,
    Mary Sophia

  • Lawrence 'rick' Phillips moderator
    1 week ago


    I do not have skin issues as you describe. It sounds terrible. I am sorry you have to deal with this. I am hopeful the Rheumatologist will have some answers, or maybe at least a direction. Please let us know how things are going.

    rick – moderator

  • Mary Sophia Hawks moderator author
    1 week ago

    Thank you. I forgot to tell him at my last appointment. I have an appointment with the PA next week and I’ll tell her. It seems to be stable right now. No worse, no better.

    Mary Sophia Hawks, moderator/author

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