Calcinosis results from abnormal deposition of calcium phosphate in the soft tissues of the body. It can be seen in various parts of the body, like the fingers, elbows, face and shoulders and it may be in the form of a cluster of white lumps of different sizes. In the initial stage, these deposits are soft and do not cause any trouble. But with the passage of time, they grow bigger, become hard, and cause pain and inflammation. It has been found that women in the age group of 35 to 65 are at a higher risk of getting this problem.
Basically, there are four different categories of calcinosis and each of them is caused due to different reasons.
Dystrophic Calcinosis: This is the most common form of calcinosis which is found in areas surrounding damaged skin tissue. The tissues could be damaged because of health disorders like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, tumor growth or injury. Calcium deposits on face may occur when the skin tissue is damaged due to eruption of acne.
Metastatic Calcinosis: It results from excess amount of calcium in the blood. It often leads to calcium buildup in the eye area. Rise in calcium levels in the blood is triggered by kidney failure. As the kidneys are not functioning properly, the body is unable to excrete the calcium phosphate and is deposited in various parts of the body. Other factors like hyperthyroidism (excessive production of parathyroid hormone raises the levels of calcium in blood), excess intake of vitamin D, bone cancer, etc. can also be responsible for this.
Idiopathic Calcinosis: This mostly affects children who are born with congenital defects of soft tissues. These children mostly get calcium deposits on face.
Iatrogenic Calcinosis: The condition of iatrogenic calcinosis arises after a surgical procedure. In this case, calcium deposits are formed in those sites where the tissues get damaged due the surgery.
When the deposits become extremely painful, application of ice pack helps a lot to bring down the pain. Pain relieving medicines and cortisone injections are also used for the same purpose. However, these measures are not going to remove the deposits that have already formed under the skin. There are both non-surgical as well as surgical methods of treatment that can be used for reducing the calcium deposits.
- Non-surgical treatments include use of different types of medicines, synthetic hormones, anti-coagulant therapy, etc.
- If calcium deposits under the skin are caused due to some underlying health problem, then it has to be treated to get rid of those hardened lumps from the skin.
- When there is a large deposit of calcium in the skin that gives severe pain, doctors avail the surgical option for a quick relief from the problem. During the surgery, clusters are removed through small incisions made on the skin surface.
- In some cases, laser therapy is also used where the light energy penetrates through the skin and eliminates the damaged tissue along with the calcium deposits.
As you can see, it is very difficult to get rid of the deposits under skin. Therefore, when you have developed this problem, efforts should be made so that the condition does not worsen further. It is recommended that the intake of calcium rich foods is reduced. Eliminate dairy products and foods that are rich in vitamins A and D from your diet. You should also stay away from fruit juices that contain fortified calcium.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.