Our hands are the most important aspect to our daily lives. We often take them for granted when everything is well and normal.
Unfortunately, Humankind is subject to a wide array of diseases. These have the capacity to deform and debilitate, many of which are rare but common enough to be a concern. Dupuytren’s Contracture is one such disease.
This disease is particular to the hands. Some people report developing lumps, bumps pits or nodes under the skin's surface.
These bumps are noticeable in the palm of the hand with almost all of it happening just under the base of the fingers. You can often find this usually located under the ring and pinky fingers.
Although this isn’t very painful, it can be itchy and cumbersome. The problem with Dupuytren’s Contracture is that it can deform the fingers, in some cases with the utmost inconvenient severity. The tissue in these bumps build up, which inhibits the vertical muscles that keep fingers straight.
This is occurs in two stages. Cells with a negative build up of calcium pull from the inside. Then, once the cells relax from this first temporary stage, the cells responsible for the pulling action then trim the collagen strands. This last stage is where permanent damage can happen to the fingers, strand by strand.
Only about five percent of Americans will develop some degree of Dupuytren’s Contracture. It can happen to anyone at any age. It’s most common occurrence is in those people between the ages of 40 and 60 years old.
The way the disease progresses will affect each person in different and various ways. Men are more likely than women to contract this unfortunate and unsightly ailment. It comes with a hefty genetic factor and affects those who haveNorthern European ancestry.
Some may get the bumps without any issues at all. But some people may experience a complete and rapid deformation of the fingers and hand, thereby making it difficult to do normal, everyday things like cooking and typing. In some severe cases, you may not be able to clasp a soda can or insert your hand into a coat pocket.
Guillaume Dupuytren, French anatomist and military surgeon, discovered this condition in 1834. Since then, surgery was the only known option in dealing with Dupuytren’s Contracture.
What's more is that surgery was only allocated to those with advanced and severe forms of it. So, not everyone who had it was able to find relief.
Nowadays, you can get medicine jabbed into the affected finger(s), called a Collagenase Injection. The medicine bursts the bumps and breaks up the fibers. This, in turn, allows for a normal straightening of the fingers. But surgery could still be necessary for people with more severe cases.
There are two types of surgeries available. The first is just a simple needle inserted into the affected area to break up all the abnormal tissue causing the bending of the fingers. The second is by lifting the skin on the palm of your hand where the bumps are forming and removing all the tissue in question.
Although very effective, there is a healing time required afterwards that includes therapy and a splint. This may end up being more of an inconvenience than you bargain for. It can be more painful than the disease itself.
Even upon successful surgery, you may have to go back for surgery at some point down the road. It's unfortunate, but it can and has the capacity to appear again.
This is why doctors recommend observing the activity of the disease before going the route of surgery. Actually, most doctors will try to avoid surgery because slicing into the hand can have adverse affects that are irreversible.
No one really knows what starts Dupuytren’s Contracture or how it originates as there is much debate in the scientific community.Several studies contradict or cancel each other out, which isn't very reassuring. But we do know it has to do with a negative build up of calcium in the affected area because the pulling action requires it.
The point and goal to any treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture is to maintain proper functioning of the fingers and hand. The earlier it’s detected, the better off the fingers and LIFE will be.
But are there any other methods for treating Dupuytren’s Contracture? Is there anything else besides injections and surgery to relieve the symptoms? Isn’t there a cure for this disease?
There is no fix-all “cure” for Dupuytren’s Contracture. But there are some methods less invasive and risky than surgery or plunging a needle into the skin.
Here’s a small list of things you can do outside of the doctor’s office if you or someone you love is developing the symptoms. But if none of these work, it’s imperative to see a hand and wrist specialist as soon as possible.
Some doctors may recommend stretching the affected fingers on a regular and even daily basis. But, results are not guaranteed and if an advanced the condition is prevalent, may have no effect at all.
You could also use a splint on the bent fingers by using some sort of straightening apparatus or stiff support, like an unused Popsicle stick with bandage tape. Once again, though, the worse the condition is, the less effective splinting may be.
This method will all come down to a wait-and-see approach, which may not be a good idea depending on how quick the disease developed to begin with.
Not only does this wonder liquid have the capacity to reduce the symptoms associated with Dupuytren’s Contracture, it will leave your skin feeling silky, soft and smooth. Vitamin E works to relax the muscles and helps develop collagen.
There are no warnings associated with Vitamin E, but it may take up to a year of use before you see results. If nothing happens after prolonged use, you will have try something stronger.
Either ingesting a supplement or topical application the oil of magnesium could be the answer. Taking a daily dose by mouth or rubbing the oil on the affected area may glean results within six months of use.
This is available over-the-counter. But you should always check with your doctor or healthcare provider before taking this particular supplement.
There is a warning label coming with magnesium though. It isn’t for everybody and may have adverse effects with any other medications you are taking. You can and should only take this in small amounts because too much magnesium can cause other kinds of undesirable issues, like diarrhea.
DMSO, or Dimethylsulfoxide, is a chemical solvent which is a byproduct of wood from the production of paper. Many doctors have confidence in it’s ability as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent.
There arepromising but inconclusive results and more experimentation is necessary. But, applying this three times a day for a month has revealed significant relief for some people. Please check with your doctor first before trying this method.
Some companies boast developing a cream that helps to ease the symptoms associated with Dupuytren’s Contracture. They contain a plethora of ingredients like arnica, sunflower oil, vitamin E and aloe. These well-known anti-inflammatory agents may prove to be the perfect relief from the inconvenience this disease offers.
Applying this three times per day may show noticeable results within a month. This will all depend on the severity of the disease and how advanced or rapid it developed. Even if this doesn’t work to treat a case of Dupuytren’s Contracture, it can't hurt to have hands hydrated, soft, moisturized and free of any other kind of inflammatory pain.
Often, doing only one thing won’t do the trick. You may have to play around with several of these at once to get any treatment that’s tangible and visible.
You could use a splint with consistent applications of Vitamin E and magnesium. You may get the collagenase injection from the doctor followed up with a cream specific in its design to treat Dupuytren’s Contracture three times per day.
The most important take-away here is to see a doctor or other professional about the various dupuytren's treatment options available. If the disease is severe with rapid advancement, surgery may be the only thing you can do to get relief. But if it’s mild, you may not have to do anything at all except observe how it changes and progresses.
One thing is certain though, do not ignore this issue and think it will go away on its own, regardless of severity.
Comments will be approved before showing up.