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Skin Issues on Immunosuppressive Therapy

After being on 100mg of 6MP for 15 years, I'm having a lot of skin problems-warts, keratosis, brown spots, premature skin aging. I've read a lot of stories with skin problems/skin cancer on long term Immunosuppressive therapy.

Are there other medications that can treat crohn's successfully that do not reduce your immune system? I tried Pentasa years ago and it did nothing for me.

I have an appointment with a new GI in 2 weeks, just curious on opinions and what others are taking. I'm so afraid to come off of 6MP because i've been fairly healthy for so long. My old Dr recommended Humira but I read the same skin issues.
Humira and Remicade tend to have less side effects than 6MP.

They can cause Psoriasis (ironic since it is used to treat Psoriasis).

I'd get annual skin checks on any of these meds because they put you at risk for skin cancers. That said, the increase in skin cancer chance is much much lower than the decrease in colon cancer risk being in remission.

my little penguin

Staff member
Have an inflammatory disease ( Ibd arthritis etc) puts you at high risk for skin cancer
6-mp /Aza have been found to increase this risk
Mtx increases the risk but not as much as 6-mp
Biologics seem to have lower risk for skin cancer
But realize under treated crohns puts you at risk for cancer in your intestine as well as a whole host of issues

Ds gets regular visits to the dermo
I will add one more thing. I had a lot more problems before I started supplementing and monitoring my Vitamin D levels. I also take Taclonex cream which has a vitamin D suspension with a steroid
People with Crohn's Disease typically have Vitamin D deficiency. It needs to be monitored because each person requires a different amount of supplementation. Too much Vitamin D can be bad too. I take 5000 IU per day. A healthy person may only require 500/day. Some people get Vitamin D in mass once a week.
I have skin issues while on Remicade. I currently have a nasty bacterial infection (kind of like recurrent boils) that I'm trying to rid myself of. I also get a lot of what look like heat rashes all over, even when I'm not in the heat.
I think it's just something we deal with when our immune systems suck. :yfrown:
Did they think it was infectious? Antibiotics could make it worse if it's fungal. If it's not infections, Psoriasis should be considered since it's a side effect of remicade.
wow, I'm sorry to hear that.

I have been told by my GI, derm, and pharmacist to use Culturelle to battle skin infections. I'd recommend looking into it. It helps maintain your natural flora. It has proven to be a strong preventative measure against CDiff which is always a risk for all of us Crohnies.
Instead of immunosuppression, I did antibiotics, but used AMAT (atypical mycobacteral antibiotic therapy) instead of the Cipro/Flagyl combo. Flagyl always worked well for me, so that's what made me think AMAT would work too. I had horrible skin issues, CD expressing on my skin, and AMAT took care of both that and the GI issues. It's in stage 3 FDA trials now. Interestingly, I just did an article on 6MP for the site in my signature, and it's a pretty decent human MAP suppresser. So if you think your Crohn's is driven by a mycobacteria rather than autoimmune or the typical theories, 6MP wouldn't be a bad alternative.

Truly hope you find something that works soon! The skin stuff was like adding insult to injury. Hope the new GI can help!