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  • Writer's pictureSami

What's Black and White, and Red All Over? : Skin and EDS


Anti-aging. Wrinkle eliminating. Fine line removing.

Those are all words that are used to describe how collagen is marketed in skincare... we know it's a sought-after ingredient, but what even is collagen??


If you've read my Where to Start? post, you'll know that EDS is a disorder involving mutations in collagen genes.


Collagen is a protein found all over your body; not just your skin! It plays important roles in your skin, bones, tendons, blood vessels, cartilage, and connective tissues.


For your viewing pleasure (🤓), I've included pictures of some of the most common skin characteristics of Hypermobile and Classical Ehlers Danlos.


Disclaimer: all of the symptoms below are possible to experience without an EDS diagnosis.

 

Velvety Skin

This is a subjective symptom, but since I was little I've always been told that I have baby butt skin🍑


Stretchy Skin

I don't have the most stretchiest skin, but it's definitely there!


Fragile skin

This year a piece of glass sliced my finger. The doctor at Urgent Care decided to put a stitch in because my skin was having a really difficult time staying together.


For me, cuts typically take longer to heal, and are much more likely to reopen.



Sensitive Skin

A common comorbidity with EDS is Mast Cell Activation Disorder. There's not a specific test for MCAD, but rather a myriad of lengthy testing that may or may not be conclusive. Factors that trigger my skin are heat (like being in the sun, baths, or showers) and friction (dermatographia).

Mast cells (MCs) are cells that play an important role in your immune system, telling your body when to respond to things that shouldn’t be there. Ehlers Danlos Society

We love a good rash.


Dermatographia (skin writing) is my party trick. With pressure, my skin quite literally welts. In college we would play tic-tac-toe on my leg😂


Easily Bruised Skin

When I was a kid, one of my best friends called me "bruise-y"


Papules


Little baby hernias for your feet!


These don't hurt my feet, they are just a cute little accessory.


 

The only real issues I've run into with my skin are not being able to tape my joints without having a rash afterwards, getting bruises easily, and having itchy-rashy skin most (okay every) day.


What has helped?

  • Switching between bracing and taping for when I am teaching - both cause irritation, just in different ways!

  • Using clean, few ingredient skin products - I'm definitely more likely to get rashes if there are a bunch of chemicals and fragrances

  • Trying not to itch! - seriously the hardest, but I have gotten better with it over time. If I itch, I welt, and if I welt, I itch even more!


Did you figure out the joke in the title? What's black and white, and red all over? It's me!! A zebra with very sensitive skin🦓❤️‍




Be Brave. Stay Kind. Much Love.


Sami




1 Comment


samanthagallagher
Jun 29, 2022

Love it Sami! Thanks for being a big inspiration!

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