Skin Deep: Dermatological Symptoms of IBD

Skin Deep: Dermatological Symptoms of IBD
In terms of physical disabilities, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) falls into the "invisible" category. Most of the time, you can’t tell someone has IBD just by looking at them because a majority of the symptoms occur inside the body. Specifically, they occur in the intestines and other parts of the digestive tract. However, a few symptoms occur in and on other parts of the body. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation reports that 5 percent of people with IBD suffer from skin disorders caused either from the disease itself or the medications used to treat it. I’m included in that group. For most of my life, even before my Crohn’s diagnosis, I suffered off and on from atopic dermatitis and other skin rashes. At times, they became so bad that I risked getting a bacterial infection and had to take antibiotics along with topical and oral steroids to clear my skin. As if these persistent skin irritations weren’t bad enough, I started developing ulcers and open sores when my Crohn’s was at its most severe. The ulcers in my mouth appeared first. I’m always biting my tongue or cheek when I eat, so I didn’t think much about them at first. But then I noticed that I was getting them more frequently, or even getting multiple ulcers at once. My gut pain was already taking a toll on my appetite, but the ulcers made eating downright excruciating. If the sores were on my cheeks, I could always chew my food on the other side of my mouth to avo
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