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Thread: MSM worsening of redness and pain

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    Default MSM worsening of redness and pain

    I've been adding MSM into my routine (750mg a day) for the last week. It seemed to be helping the flushing initially and even the redness. However I woke up the other day with a really painful patch of redness on my cheek which has spread to an area which I don't normally flush. Looks like new broken blood vessels there. The pain is also a lot worse in that area. Feels very tight and sore.

    Is MSM a blood thinner? I was trying to search for information online but couldn't find any medical references.

    Did anyone experience anything similar, a worsening of redness and pain while on MSM?

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    Quote Originally Posted by owldog View Post
    I've been adding MSM into my routine (750mg a day) for the last week. It seemed to be helping the flushing initially and even the redness. However I woke up the other day with a really painful patch of redness on my cheek which has spread to an area which I don't normally flush. Looks like new broken blood vessels there. The pain is also a lot worse in that area. Feels very tight and sore.

    Is MSM a blood thinner? I was trying to search for information online but couldn't find any medical references.

    Did anyone experience anything similar, a worsening of redness and pain while on MSM?
    MSM can thin the blood. It made my flushing/burning worse, consistently.

    If I take high dose aspirin, i get red dots all over my legs, I think blood leaking from capillaries, but they clear up if I stop. MSM didn't do that to me, but hopefully your stuff will clear if you stop

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    Quote Originally Posted by laser_cat View Post
    MSM can thin the blood. It made my flushing/burning worse, consistently.

    If I take high dose aspirin, i get red dots all over my legs, I think blood leaking from capillaries, but they clear up if I stop. MSM didn't do that to me, but hopefully your stuff will clear if you stop
    That's exactly the same as me. I get blood spots from aspirin all over my arms and face so I avoid taking it. MSM has done the same along with some broken capillaries.

    Annoyingly it has also woken up a lot of pain in my left cheek which I thought was improving. I've stopped taking it so hopefully it will resolve.

    I'm sorry it didn't work for you either. Did you go back to baseline after stopping MSM?

    I'm finding it very stressful trialling drugs and supplements as there's always the possibility of getting worse. And sometimes I'm not sure whether I should just stop or push through an initial bad reaction as it may actually be more beneficial for me in the long run. I wish there was a more clear cut way of treating this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by owldog View Post
    That's exactly the same as me. I get blood spots from aspirin all over my arms and face so I avoid taking it. MSM has done the same along with some broken capillaries.

    Annoyingly it has also woken up a lot of pain in my left cheek which I thought was improving. I've stopped taking it so hopefully it will resolve.

    I'm sorry it didn't work for you either. Did you go back to baseline after stopping MSM?

    I'm finding it very stressful trialling drugs and supplements as there's always the possibility of getting worse. And sometimes I'm not sure whether I should just stop or push through an initial bad reaction as it may actually be more beneficial for me in the long run. I wish there was a more clear cut way of treating this.
    Yeah, with the MSM i went back to baseline. The big things that I did not go back to baseline were: clonidine and laser. Thank goodness I never used Mirvaso (thanks to things like this forum, I was aware of that badness..)

    I think many supps are: vasodilators (b12, MSM,..), OR modulate the immune system in a way that will worsen your flushing/burning (vit D, lion's mane). I only take a "vasodilating" supp when I know I am "too cold". But Mistica I know though has found supps that work for her.

    I say trust your instinct on whether to continue or not.

    fwiw I think the biggest trends I see are: antidepressants for this (not sure if you tried, and it could make you worse..), GABA-modulating drugs (eg clonazepam), and narcotics (might depend on the type..). I have a derm though who likes lyrica/gabapentin/cymbalta/propranolol. But gabapentin/lyrica made me worse, and it never got better even though I pushed through ... sucks how much of this is individual! hoping you'll find something!

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    Quote Originally Posted by laser_cat View Post
    Yeah, with the MSM i went back to baseline. The big things that I did not go back to baseline were: clonidine and laser. Thank goodness I never used Mirvaso (thanks to things like this forum, I was aware of that badness..)

    I think many supps are: vasodilators (b12, MSM,..), OR modulate the immune system in a way that will worsen your flushing/burning (vit D, lion's mane). I only take a "vasodilating" supp when I know I am "too cold". But Mistica I know though has found supps that work for her.

    I say trust your instinct on whether to continue or not.

    fwiw I think the biggest trends I see are: antidepressants for this (not sure if you tried, and it could make you worse..), GABA-modulating drugs (eg clonazepam), and narcotics (might depend on the type..). I have a derm though who likes lyrica/gabapentin/cymbalta/propranolol. But gabapentin/lyrica made me worse, and it never got better even though I pushed through ... sucks how much of this is individual! hoping you'll find something!
    Thanks for your reply! It's such a minefield trying to find a treatment that will work without progressing this beast and making things worse. And if I didn't risk anything and tried nothing I'll just be stuck as I am which is not an option at all.

    I was actually considering laser as I'm developing quite a few broken blood vessels on my face from all the flushing but after doing some reading around and your post here then I think it's probably too much of a risk especially if there are already damaged or sensitised nerve endings.

    I'm seeing a neurologist in March so hopefully he'll come up with some options. I'm on mirtazapine 15mg at night which really helps the night flushing, I used to not be able to lie down at all. I haven't tried other antidepressants so I'll definitely consider that.

    Just out of interest how did the clonidine worsen your condition? I've started lowering my dose of clonidine as I'm worried that it's possibly making me worse especially the pain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by owldog View Post
    Thanks for your reply! It's such a minefield trying to find a treatment that will work without progressing this beast and making things worse. And if I didn't risk anything and tried nothing I'll just be stuck as I am which is not an option at all.

    I was actually considering laser as I'm developing quite a few broken blood vessels on my face from all the flushing but after doing some reading around and your post here then I think it's probably too much of a risk especially if there are already damaged or sensitised nerve endings.

    I'm seeing a neurologist in March so hopefully he'll come up with some options. I'm on mirtazapine 15mg at night which really helps the night flushing, I used to not be able to lie down at all. I haven't tried other antidepressants so I'll definitely consider that.

    Just out of interest how did the clonidine worsen your condition? I've started lowering my dose of clonidine as I'm worried that it's possibly making me worse especially the pain.
    i think with severe cases, laser might ... create new blood vessels. That's just how it made mine worse - creating new blood vessels. I don't think a doc will ever say "no" to a rosacea patient, (they see red and they think it's reasonable to laser..) but I do know several other "severe" cases where laser didn't do anything or worsened things. I think it can sensitize nerve endings too, although i don't think that's what happened to me personally

    Clonidine made my nose like ice, like it's perpetually rebounding. It got better off the clonidine, but it never went back to baseline. Actually, I'm really interested the mechanism to this. Maybe the cold accelerated the nerve damage? changed the connective tissue somehow? Perhaps it would have happened anyway since nose flushing is so common. If I take a high dose of mexiletine and medium dose of zonisamide, it's gone. If I'm on a narcotic, it's gone. Taking indomethacin 50 mg x3, it's gone. The nasalcrom that worked for someone else did not work for me.

    I agree -mirtaz. has been a miracle for helping me w/ lying down at night and getting sleep.
    Last edited by laser_cat; 3rd February 2020 at 11:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laser_cat View Post
    i think with severe cases, laser might ... create new blood vessels. That's just how it made mine worse - creating new blood vessels. I don't think a doc will ever say "no" to a rosacea patient, (they see red and they think it's reasonable to laser..) but I do know several other "severe" cases where laser didn't do anything or worsened things. I think it can sensitize nerve endings too, although i don't think that's what happened to me personally

    Clonidine made my nose like ice, like it's perpetually rebounding. It got better off the clonidine, but it never went back to baseline. Actually, I'm really interested the mechanism to this. Maybe the cold accelerated the nerve damage? changed the connective tissue somehow? Perhaps it would have happened anyway since nose flushing is so common. If I take a high dose of mexiletine and medium dose of zonisamide, it's gone. If I'm on a narcotic, it's gone. Taking indomethacin 50 mg x3, it's gone. The nasalcrom that worked for someone else did not work for me.

    I agree -mirtaz. has been a miracle for helping me w/ lying down at night and getting sleep.
    This is what I've been thinking. That possibly clonidine is somehow over constricting the blood vessels and the cold is continuing to damage the nerves by starving them off oxygen and nutrients somehow.

    I've been on clonidine almost a year now however the pain is getting worse slowly and spreading to other areas such as the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet. Like you said it may be getting worse anyway regardless but I have been noticing recently that my skin just looks unhealthy even when it is at its palest and very mottled with a weird texture. I have mottled skin now on my legs and arms which sometimes goes a weird blue purple colour. The texture is worse in the areas where I have the most pain.

    I feel that maybe minuscule amounts of vasodilators may actually help me. Unfortunately though every time I take magnesium I flare up badly, like bright red cheeks but I have noticed that the pain goes away.

    I wish there was a happy medium where it was possible to halt flushing and redness and somehow be rid of the pain too. For me at the moment the pain sometimes is at its ultimate worse when I'm actually very pale. It's a different type of pain to the flushing, more like aching and spasming similar to the feeling of muscles that have gone tense from the cold.

    I'm guessing nasalcrom is a mast cell stabiliser. Allergy drugs never worked for me. I would love to try mexiletine I think its recently been licensed in the UK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by owldog View Post
    This is what I've been thinking. That possibly clonidine is somehow over constricting the blood vessels and the cold is continuing to damage the nerves by starving them off oxygen and nutrients somehow.

    I've been on clonidine almost a year now however the pain is getting worse slowly and spreading to other areas such as the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet. Like you said it may be getting worse anyway regardless but I have been noticing recently that my skin just looks unhealthy even when it is at its palest and very mottled with a weird texture. I have mottled skin now on my legs and arms which sometimes goes a weird blue purple colour. The texture is worse in the areas where I have the most pain.

    I feel that maybe minuscule amounts of vasodilators may actually help me. Unfortunately though every time I take magnesium I flare up badly, like bright red cheeks but I have noticed that the pain goes away.

    I wish there was a happy medium where it was possible to halt flushing and redness and somehow be rid of the pain too. For me at the moment the pain sometimes is at its ultimate worse when I'm actually very pale. It's a different type of pain to the flushing, more like aching and spasming similar to the feeling of muscles that have gone tense from the cold.

    I'm guessing nasalcrom is a mast cell stabiliser. Allergy drugs never worked for me. I would love to try mexiletine I think its recently been licensed in the UK.
    Hey owldog- yes clonidine made my skin like leather. Very dry, everywhere. I remember a wound took 8 mo or so to heal, when i thought it would take ~2 weeks! I tried to add a vasodilator to the clonidine - in my case amlodipine 0.625 mg - this is like a crumb of a pill, similar mechanism to magnesium. Anyway, any vasodilator will likely make you a bit worse in the beginning (soooo hard to know whether to stick with something!) as it opens up blood vessels, esp. the blood vessels that the clonidine constricted. I found personally adding a vasodilator to clonidine to be a disaster - sort of like a roller coaster. But, you might have diff. results. Right now I'm on a small dose of propranolol which (unlike clonidine) does help with emotional flaring. And it's not nearly as "harsh" as clonidine. I have added amlodipine to this in the past, and I find that it does help with that "pale pain" BUT there is no getting around nerve support for me. Eg, my blood vessels could be very steady on propranolol and amlodipine at 5:55pm, and then at 6 pm the night flare comes like lightening anyway. (I don't know if mirtaz. shuts it all down for you..)

    When I play around with the calcium channel blockers - I usually get worse for a week and then things start to stabilize. Again this is very very low dose. If the nerves are stabilized with mexiletine or something, I an actually tolerate high doses of vasodilators (!).

    well, that was sort of jumbled ..

    clonazepam sort of helps with my "pale pain" too. (it's a muscle relaxer too). But we are all different.
    Last edited by laser_cat; 4th February 2020 at 01:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by owldog View Post
    This is what I've been thinking. That possibly clonidine is somehow over constricting the blood vessels and the cold is continuing to damage the nerves by starving them off oxygen and nutrients somehow.

    I've been on clonidine almost a year now however the pain is getting worse slowly and spreading to other areas such as the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet. Like you said it may be getting worse anyway regardless but I have been noticing recently that my skin just looks unhealthy even when it is at its palest and very mottled with a weird texture. I have mottled skin now on my legs and arms which sometimes goes a weird blue purple colour. The texture is worse in the areas where I have the most pain.

    I feel that maybe minuscule amounts of vasodilators may actually help me. Unfortunately though every time I take magnesium I flare up badly, like bright red cheeks but I have noticed that the pain goes away.

    I wish there was a happy medium where it was possible to halt flushing and redness and somehow be rid of the pain too. For me at the moment the pain sometimes is at its ultimate worse when I'm actually very pale. It's a different type of pain to the flushing, more like aching and spasming similar to the feeling of muscles that have gone tense from the cold.

    I'm guessing nasalcrom is a mast cell stabiliser. Allergy drugs never worked for me. I would love to try mexiletine I think its recently been licensed in the UK.
    Hi Owldog

    Clonidine is an old fashioned and not very effective drug. If you're in the UK, I would consider moxonodine (available here), which doesn't constrict the blood vessels in quite the same way and also keeps working over many years, whereas clonidine often becomes ineffective for flushing after a few months. Dr Charakida, who is seeing Prof Chu's patients since he retired, will prescribe it if she thinks it will help I suspect - other doctors may not know about it as it's a much newer drug in its use for flushing. A side effect of clonidine is raynaud's syndrome which is a bit like the opposite problem of rosacea flushing/erythromelalgia.

    By contrast you may find it very difficult to get mexiletine in the UK as it is extremely expensive here currently. Would be interested to hear if you do get prescribed it. A lot of people do have to stop this drug due to side effects although it helps some.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laser_cat View Post
    Hey owldog- yes clonidine made my skin like leather. Very dry, everywhere. I remember a wound took 8 mo or so to heal, when i thought it would take ~2 weeks! I tried to add a vasodilator to the clonidine - in my case amlodipine 0.625 mg - this is like a crumb of a pill, similar mechanism to magnesium. Anyway, any vasodilator will likely make you a bit worse in the beginning (soooo hard to know whether to stick with something!) as it opens up blood vessels, esp. the blood vessels that the clonidine constricted. I found personally adding a vasodilator to clonidine to be a disaster - sort of like a roller coaster. But, you might have diff. results. Right now I'm on a small dose of propranolol which (unlike clonidine) does help with emotional flaring. And it's not nearly as "harsh" as clonidine. I have added amlodipine to this in the past, and I find that it does help with that "pale pain" BUT there is no getting around nerve support for me. Eg, my blood vessels could be very steady on propranolol and amlodipine at 5:55pm, and then at 6 pm the night flare comes like lightening anyway. (I don't know if mirtaz. shuts it all down for you..)

    When I play around with the calcium channel blockers - I usually get worse for a week and then things start to stabilize. Again this is very very low dose. If the nerves are stabilized with mexiletine or something, I an actually tolerate high doses of vasodilators (!).

    well, that was sort of jumbled ..

    clonazepam sort of helps with my "pale pain" too. (it's a muscle relaxer too). But we are all different.
    That makes total sense! My skin is like leather too since I've been on clonidine. It's also got a really weird waxy texture in the areas that I flush. My wound healing is really delayed as well.

    Did the leathery skin texture resolve after you stopped clonidine? I was honestly considering taking accutane again, even though that was what could've triggered this in the first place, as I hate the texture so much. My skin was so smooth on accutane, I was on it long term very low dose on and off almost 15 years, in that time I never got any allergies, I never got a cold or any viruses, I never got any broken blood vessels, nothing. The flushing started out of nowhere and after one really bad flush after coming in from the cold I got the pain and the ongoing problems I've had since then. For me the damage was done in literally one flush and my skin changed after that. It's very weird.

    I'm titrating down the dose of clonidine at about a quarter of a pill every week so at this rate I should be off the drug in a few months. My only worry is that I think the permanent red that I have started developing from all the flushing, which is in my case only slight pink patches at the moment, will look more red when I'm off of clonidine as it's probably vasoconstricting those vessels all the time. Did your baseline seem slightly more pink/ red once you stopped it?

    To be honest a lot of the reasons I'm still on clonidine even though I know it's not great for me is vanity at liking my face looking so pale at times. I can't even remember how I was a year ago before I started all this flushing so it may be a bit of a shock if I find off clonidine my baseline is actually redder than I thought it was.

    I think you're right though there's no point messing with vasodilators while I'm on clonidine. Seems like too much of a headache trying to balance the constriction with a healthy amount of dilation without flushing from the dilation and burning from the constriction.

    The night flaring is worse for me as well. After 6pm it starts and goes on sometimes all the way through to my sleep. The mirtzapine helped initially shut that mechanism down when I first taking taking it last March but for some reason it started up again when the weather got colder from October onwards. I've tried increasing my dose of mirtz to 22.5mg but it actually made it worse so I've stuck to 15mg.

    I'm think I'm going to push the neurologist for duloxetine before I try gabapentin. I'm hoping it has less side effects.

    I'm a naturally anxious person, I'm very prone to insomnia and migraines. What I'm worried about is that the drugs that would probably help me the most to blunt the flushing and pain are sedative type drugs. Which makes me uneasy as I want my brain to be active and a lot of that anxiety and hyperactivity actually helps me get my work done. But the flip side is the anxiety also makes me flush and worsen the pain. Even now while on the current drugs I'm on if my heart beat speeds up at all, even in excitement at anything I start going red and potentially flush. It's a hard balance in that respect too. I really value thinking clearly and being alert and I've been reluctant to take a lot of medications as I haven't wanted to blunt that.

    Sorry bit of a ramble! And thank you for your time and responses.


    Quote Originally Posted by antwantsclear View Post
    Hi Owldog

    Clonidine is an old fashioned and not very effective drug. If you're in the UK, I would consider moxonodine (available here), which doesn't constrict the blood vessels in quite the same way and also keeps working over many years, whereas clonidine often becomes ineffective for flushing after a few months. Dr Charakida, who is seeing Prof Chu's patients since he retired, will prescribe it if she thinks it will help I suspect - other doctors may not know about it as it's a much newer drug in its use for flushing. A side effect of clonidine is raynaud's syndrome which is a bit like the opposite problem of rosacea flushing/erythromelalgia.

    By contrast you may find it very difficult to get mexiletine in the UK as it is extremely expensive here currently. Would be interested to hear if you do get prescribed it. A lot of people do have to stop this drug due to side effects although it helps some.
    Thanks for the recommendation I will consider moxonidine. However I'm wondering whether alpha blockers are just too constrictive for me.

    When switching from clonidine to moxonidine can you do the switch without titrating down the clonidine? So for instance I take my normal dose of clonidine today and then tomorrow I just replace it with an equivalent dose of moxonidine?

    I've actually developed Raynaud's in my hands and feet as well as chilblains from the cold. Yes this was since I started taking clonidine. I will have to book an appointment with Dr Charakida so she can continue with the medications that Prof Chu has prescribed. Have you seen her yet? Please let me know if she is helpful.

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