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When my fingers swell, my skin gets tight and shiney.  It worries me because I know scleroderma is characterized by this.  I've just recently been diagnosed with RA.  It's really just one hand that's affected.  Do any of you have just one hand with RA?  I can't straighten my fingers and can't make a fist.  Too scary for words, and too sad for all of us.   I can't even imagine how some of you who have it way worse than me are suffering.     


Hi Lulu, Welcome! , Oh my yes we all have those stiff fingers tht either stick out and don't want to bend back or we can't make a fist. I am slowly getting my dexterity back in my fingers (take the following medications below, for 3 months). I had an unusually bad case (for me), and it has resisted a lot of medication. What meds do you take?YOu can post it in your profile at the bottom unders signature. (under settings above) and it saves repeating it in your posts. I hope your meds help this. Lynda

Thanks for responding so quickly, Lynda.  It means a lot to me. 

But you didn't answer about whether you ever had shiney fingers.  I'm really worried about it.  And does RA sometimes affect just one hand at the beginning?  And do the tendons hurt, too, when trying to use the fingers?  By the way, all this began for me about 4 months ago.  



My fingers do get shiny and swell terribly.  My right hand more so but it is noticeable in both.  I have learned to use my left hand almost as well as my right. I can not straighten my fingers or make a fist either.  Typing is very difficult, I find that a smaller, light touch keyboard is easier to use than the regular sized ones.  Driving is hard, a plush steering wheel cover helps that a bit.  I had to cut my hair because I couldn't blow it dry any longer.  Its hard to tell whats making it hurt, the bones or the tendons. I think its mostly from the synovial fluid building up.  My fingers are always shiney, and before they called it RA I was worried about scleroderma too.  I was actually happy to find out it was "just" RA.Most RA is bilateral but I have one foot that swells way more than the other, not everything in RA is bilateral although a lot is too. Why? Don't know. Just mention it next when you go to your Rheumy. And as for the shiny. My feet get shiny, my hands get shiny. It is the swelling.

These things can be so frightening when you are new to this disease...you body is doing such weird stuff on one but as time goes by you will learn more and find that most of it is 'normal', lol.

Welcome and please, ask as many questions as you need, vent, share your fears. This is our purpose.

If it's just the swelling, why are mine always shiney?

You guys are an answer to prayer!  So kind and caring.  Thank you all so much.  Just one more question for now.  The meds I started four days ago haven't even begun to work.  I guess it takes time, huh?  If you do have Scleroderma you need to learn more about AP. As far as I
know it's the only known therapy that can help Scleroderma. There'a a
book "Scleroderma: the Proven Therapy That Can Save Your Life" by Henry
Scammell. However, hopefully it's not Scleroderma.I don't know Linda, I just assumed because mine were always swollen and always shiny that they were pretty much connected and that the shininess came from the skin being stretched with the swelling. Same goes on with my feet.  Definitely ask your doctor about it, but I've known several people over the years with shiny fingers and it was due only to the RA and nothing else.  Why they stayed shiney, I don't know, but I doubt it indicates anything more serious.  Your doctor will be able to give you a better answer, but try not to worry about it in the meantime.

Hi Linda

I'm new too, this site is fab, some really interesting views, lots of people reading lots of research and keeping us all filled in. As with most who've replied my fingers are shiny when they are at their most sausage like. Sometimes they look scaley though.... anyone else's resemble a fish?

Had lots of really bad headaches this week is this normal. I'd like to blame it on the sun but for those of you who dont watch the news, the UK has had a very wet year, I dont know where this global warming has got to but Edinburgh it still waiting for it!

Jesse...Thanks!!  I have been sort of panicing here.  Last time I saw my RD he asked to see my hands, I had a flare in my wrist the week before so I thought it was because of that.  Then a few minutes later he wanted to look again.  Didn't say anything about the shine, but I wonder now if that's what he was looking at.  I'll tell you, everyhting is reletive I guess, because all of the sudden, RA doesn't seem so bad!!  Did I say thanks?  If not, thanks thanks thanks.

Wills...welcome.  I think I'm going to start saying "fab", I like it!!  This is a great site, many of the very coolest RA victims are here.  I am happy to say that nothing on me resembles a fish, although my brother did call me fish lips when we were kids.  I don't know if that counts though.

Wills, I now see that you are not wills, but Sarah.  Welcome Sarah

My dad always used to say if you cant think of anything nice to say dont bother. It takes a lot to get me down (although it doesnt take much for me to get on my high horse) so I love using good, happy words.... fab is definitely one of them.

If you are wondering why I put wills08, I thought you had to sign onto this site like you do with ebay/paypal etc etc it was only when I had filled in the registration form that I realised you all go by your names... still.... I know who I am most of the time!

Doesn't everyones's parent's say that?   I know mine did.  I say it to my kids too.  It's a fab bit of wisdom, don't you think?

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