Soft Skin Syndrome

Question

Hello Dr

The reference on the Hopkins site was apparently a practical joke by Dr. Gallant on one of the worried well. He later posted a follow up after the poor guy sent another message about expecting + result on his tests.

However I think the original question from this guy came after an HIV+ patient referred to having very soft skin with

"textured surfaces easily imprinting on my skin, and lasting for an unusual time" in the context of describing his/her problems.

The thing is I am experiencing the same problem. Very soft skin, any textured surface(from clothes,rough surface,etc..) imprints easily and last for minutes (e.g.if

I put my hand in my pocket for seconds and take it out after 20 seconds, the pocket line will imprint and last for

a minute. (Never happened before). Have you seen this before in positive people? Under what circumstances will it arise if there is such an HIV related condition? I am currently not taking medications.

Thank you for your support.

Answer

Thanks for cluing me in to the joke-- I got a message from Joel Gallant doing the same. I'm glad I was honest about not knowing what it was, or I'd be pretty embarrassed now by having made something up....

That said, I have not seen anything like what you're describing as being associated with HIV in particular. Pressure from objects "imprinting" on the skin often is a sign that there's too much water in the skin, which makes it soft (mushy) and indentable (if I can invent such a word). The medical word for this is "edema". It has many possible causes, and can be sorted out by a physician that examines you and does appropriate blood and urine tests as a start.