Antibiotics and hair/nails/skin

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease Archives' started by smhaws, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. smhaws

    smhaws New Member

    I was wondering if anyone else has experienced a change in your hair, skin, or nails while on antibiotic treatment. I've been on azithromycin since August, and more recently started Bactrim. (And will be adding Ceftin in a week or so.)

    Since getting sick, my appearance has suffered, but everything is much worse on the abx. My hair is getting dry and brittle, my skin is breaking out, and my fingernails are really weak--to the point of tearing quite painfully. I've been trying to eat well, take my nutrition supplements, etc.

    Has this happened to anyone else, and does anyone have tips on how to improve the problem?
  2. pepper

    pepper New Member

    since I haven't even started Lyme treatment yet but I was on IV antibiotics for a week in the summer. When I went to my hairdresser she knew right away that I had been on mega-drugs. I couldn't do anything with my hair and had no idea it was from the drugs!

    I have been conditioning it twice a week with a heavy conditioner. Once I go on the abx long term, I don't know what I will do. I hope someone else has some ideas.

  3. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    Borrelia typically messes up the thryoid. You need to have the following tests:

    TSH (Pointless but for some reason the docs insist on running it);
    Free T3;
    Free T4;
    2 tests for thryoid antibodies and
    Reverse T3.

    Also have your adrenals checked:

  4. smhaws

    smhaws New Member

    I'm on levothyroxine for thyroid issues. My coritsol was always "within normal," but based on symptoms, my LLMD has me on ashwaghanda for adrenal fatigue.

    In other news, cutting three inches off my hair made it look *a lot* better. I've also been massaging my scalp in the shower, hoping that whatever chemical sludge is making my hair gross will be counterbalanced by natural oils and good blood flow.

    My skin is a little better since adding a new moisturizer to my facial care routine.

    The biggest problem is still my fingernails. They are so fragile...they tear horizontally right through the quick with the slightest effort. Anyone got advice for fingernail strength?
  5. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    My nails have always split and were weak as paper. I always had a lot of hair, though, even having to thin the front of my hair so I wouldn't look like a sheepdog.

    After a year of ABX treatment, I suddenly noticed I'd lost about half the hair on my head! I was so out of it, I can't even remember when it started, but it looked like new hair was not being replaced because I wasn't losing hair in the shower for quite a while.

    I started on a program of Vioxin (including shampoo, conditioner, and a leave in product), and thought it was just helping by making the existing hair stronger, and maybe looking thicker. I only saw a little bit of new hair coming out right at the hairline.

    I've been off ABX for a couple of months, and I thought maybe my hair was starting to grow back in, but the last few weeks I've been struggling with intestinal problems. I don't know if it's viral or gluten caused, but I feel like I'm back at square one with the hair (growing it out has helped a little bit), and my nails are back to being weaker.

    I have 2 appts. this week, and will pose this problem to both doctors, and report back. Another lymie told me her doctor told her to take Pharmax glutathione precursors to help with the hair loss. I went and bought a bottle, but have been taking it for less than a month. Yup--another expensive supplement.

    I keep thinking about all the fun we'll have when our disposable income isn't all going into propping me up with supps, and meds, and appts. It's been a very expensive illness.
  6. smhaws

    smhaws New Member


    I totally hear you. After hearing me complain about my hair/skin/nails, nearly all of my friends have suggested that I treat myself to a spa day. A nice mani/pedicure, facial, etc.

    Great idea...if I had the money.

    My husband has a really good job, so my friends assume that we've got the money to spend on such things. After all, I used to get the occasional mani/pedicure. I don't think any of them realize just how much of our income (I can't work, so it's all my husband) goes towards this disease. My LLMD doesn't accept insurance, and insurance doesn't cover any of the supplements or "alternative" treatments. (I've found that Reiki and shamanic healing has really helped me.)

    But I must remind myself that I'm very lucky to have insurance at all. I live in fear that the insurance company will decide that my chronic Lyme "isn't real" and that they'll stop covering my medications. Still, that hasn't happened, so I know I'm very lucky to have coverage for prescriptions. So I really can't complain. It could be much, much worse.

    Anyway. Rant over! :)

    I look forward to hearing what your docs say about the problem. BTW, is the glutathione precursor N-acetyl-L-cysteine? Or something else? (I've been taking the N-acetyl-L-cysteine for a couple of months.)

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