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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Skin: Medical Mystery
Posted by: Julie
Date: November 8, 2000 8:54 AM

I am 23 y/o female diagnosed with Hoshimoto's thyroiditis, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary disease and autoimmunity. My problem, however, has nothing to do with the symptoms caused by these three. My problem is that my skin is progressively loosening and sagging - to the disbelief of every doctor and specialist (even geneticist) I've seen! Now, before you say my body's just maturing, allow me to inform you that this first began to grab my attention in 1996 when I was 18 y/o. It started slow and was centered on my breasts. I thought I would get breast surgery, no big deal - never got around to it. But as of this year alone, in 8 months it has rapidly spread - out of the blue - to the rest of my body. It started with a painful swelling on the left side of my body. I had to buy new shirts and blouses because my left arm wouldn't fit into any sleeve. Then, weeks later, the right side caught up (no change in diet or salt intake). The swelling maintained without depletion for several months, my muscles became weak and sore - water pills did absolutely no good, sometimes worsened it. Now, at last, the swelling is receding but only to reveal loose thin, hanging skin that is ten billion times as softer as I remember it..texture feels almost rubbery. My skin has grown less and less elastic, in it's ability to "snap back.") My breasts and vagina just literally hang and flap when I move now. The skin on my neck now hangs and creases to the back of my neck when I just slightly turn my head even barely. I haven't fluctuated in weight. There are more and more folds in my skin and wrinkles.....even compared - literally - to my 53yr. old mother. Any ideas?

RE: Skin: Medical Mystery
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, MD
Date: November 8, 2000 3:42 PM

As to cause, I am as in the dark as any of your doctors. It seems unlikely, even given a cause, that the condition would reverse itself. If that turns out to be true, then your option for treatment becomes obvious - plastic surgery.



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