CRPS Side Effect: Skin Abnormalities

Dr. Michael J. Cooney, Clinical Director

When complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is discussed, the primary focus is the extreme and widespread nerve pain caused by the disease. The severity of the neuropathy can quickly impede mobility, the ability to work or attend school, socialize and ultimately decrease the overall quality of life, as far too many sufferers know.

In cases where the person’s CRPS symptoms have gradually increased/spread over a long period of time, some people develop skin abnormalities that can take on varying presentations and cause a great deal of discomfort. For some people, skin issues result in blisters or lesions that do not heal.

CRPS Skin Abnormalities

Approximately 71 percent of patients with CRPS for at least five years

will experience varying severity skin manifestations.

These skin changes usually present in the combination of a rash, mottling, cyanosis or erythema, resulting in circular lesions generally up to one inch in diameter. Some patients’ lesions appear as spontaneous recurring bruises, which may or may not be near the pain site/s.

The skin can also become shiny and extremely sensitive to touch–even the wind. Fingernails can be ridged, thin, and break easily.

In addition to CRPS-specific changes, patients may also experience:

  • Venous stasis (slow blood flow in the veins, usually the legs)
  • Cellulitis (a bacterial infection under the skin surface characterized by redness, warmth, swelling and soreness)
  • Skin ulcers
  • Brittle or detached fingernails and toenails
  • Extremely dry skin that is not responsive to creams/oils/lotions
The Good News: Calmare’s Role in Healing Skin Lesions
I have performed Calmare Therapy since 2011. More than 50 percent  of our RSD / CRPS patients present with some kind of skin abnormality. The cause of these skin blisters/lesions or malformations is unclear, but my opinion is that they may be attributed to the ongoing result of brain misinterpretation or chronic  blood flow issues.

While we are unsure of the specific etiology, we have seen a significant decrease (healing) of these skin issues in CRPS patients who experience a marked pain reduction after the first week of therapy.

As you can see from the patients we treated below, the results are visible and distinct

after completion of the full 10-treatment protocol during a two-week period.

Meet Bridget 

Bridget Overcomes Full Body CRPS Physical Side Effects with Calmare Pain Therapy

Bridget before scrambler therapy

Bridget after 10 scrambler therapy treatments

Meet Austin 

This 18-year-old male patient had open sores on his affected areas for so long, he could not recall when they first presented.

Before Austin’s scrambler therapy

Austin after 10 Calmare Therapy treatments

Overall, about 75% of the CPRS/RSD warriors we treat have a significant response to scrambler therapy, meaning they experience a marked reduction in pain or achieve a prolonged pain-free state. Those who also battle physical symptoms, in addition to the neuropathy, will typically experience a decrease in physical symptoms, including allodynia and the skin abnormalities we have cited here.

Have CRPS Treatment Efforts Failed You?

The majority of our patients have already tried all the medications, painful treatments, Ketamine, spinal cord stimulators (SCS), etc., without success. But even with all these disappointments, they have not given up hope.

If you are battling CRPS, feel free to contact us to schedule a no-fee consultation with me by phone, video chat or in-person about your case.  Thereafter, we will come to a mutual determination if Calmare may be a viable pain management therapy for you.

calmare, pain management, chronic pain, scrambler therapyShould you wish to speak with one of our CRPS patient volunteers who has already had Calmare Therapy, we will be happy to make a referral for you via our exclusive Patient-2-Patient program.

Feel free to contact me directly by calling (201) – 933-4440 or privately email us at

We will reply to your message within 48 hours. Until then, wishing you a low pain day, and many more on the road ahead.

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Neuropathic Pain

Pediatric Chronic Pain

Sciatica & Chronic Back Pain

Shingles Nerve Pain (PHN)

Dr. Cooney at Calmare personally consults with every potential scrambler therapy patient.

Reach out for a no-fee phone or video consultation with our clinical director this week!

Learn more about Calmare scrambler therapy on these pages and then discuss your case directly with Dr. Michael Cooney.