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Dry Skin - Anxiety

Feb 26, 2012

October 2011 I started with a dry cough that lasted one week, the same weekend I started experiencing problems breathing, drove to the hospital and was told my oxygen levels were dangerous and I should be admitted ASAP. I stayed 6 days, and was informed I had Pneumonia (PCP). I had no prior HIV symptoms hence I was devasted. I was informed my T cells were 28, and VL was 123K. I could not start meds until the PCP was treated. I started a two month regimen of Bactrim (high dose) and Prednisone (high dose). I was invited to join the Giliead treatment trial which I recently started, just completed by first 30 days. My VL before started rose to 440K, and t-cells rose to 48. After 30 days my VL dropped to 400 and my t-cells rose to 150. My treatment regimen is as follows:Cobicistat one daily, Duranavir 2 tablets daily, and FTC/TDF (blue tablet) which is combination pill of meds, once daily, also due to my low T-Cell count I take daily dosage of Dapsone. Recently my skin started drying up, my torso, back arms, from what I have read this is not uncommon for someone with AIDS and a low t-cell count. Is there anything over the counter for this. I am using 100% Shea Butter, but its not curing the issue. I also experience anxiety, very nervous regarding the future with no one to talk to.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

You are correct, in that people with advanced HIV infection can have a multitude of skin problems, including very dry, itchy, scaly skin. In general, this will get better as your CD4 count improves. Usually over the counter skin moisturizers will do the trick, but may take some trial and error. Stay away from stuff the scents and lots of stuff in them, which can make the situation worse and only use hypoallergenic products. Sometimes it is worth seeing a dermatologist and also to make sure that something else is not going on.

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