Calcium Deposits Under the Skin

Calcium phosphate deposits that appear under the skin are also known as calcinosis. These deposits tend to appear as a cluster of white lumps of various sizes and they can be found on the fingers, elbows, face and shoulders. When these deposits first appear, they are soft and tend to be flexible, not causing any serious issues. When the deposits are older, they can harden and cause pain and inflammation. Calcium deposits are more common in women than in men and tend to be found in women between 35 and 65.

Risk Factors for Calcium Deposits

The reason that women approaching menopausal age may be more susceptible to calcium deposits could be because the collagen within the skin breaks down with age. As calcium deposits are associated with particular collagens, it could be said that when some collagen begins to break down, there is more room for calcium deposits to form on collagen that is left within the skin and tissue.

Taking corticosteroid injections could cause calcium deposits under the skin, particularly at the site of injection. However, these injections could be very necessary so don’t stop them if you do begin to develop calcium deposits without first speaking to a doctor.

Those who have a lot of cosmetic surgery are particularly at risk of calcium deposits as the skin and tissue repeatedly comes under a huge amount of trauma. Therefore, try to avoid all unnecessary surgery to protect your skin in the future.

What Causes Calcium Deposits?

There are four different types of calcium deposit, and each of these types of deposit are caused by different things. Dystrophic calcium deposits are the most common and they are found mostly in areas surrounding damaged tissue. Tissue under the skin can become damaged due to many things, such as lupus, skin trauma, tumors or scleroderma. Calcium deposits can then form around the damaged tissue.

Metastic calcium deposits result from there being an excessive amount of calcium within the blood. Excessive calcium levels could be triggered by kidney failure, and as the kidney cannot function properly, the body cannot excrete the calcium phosphate properly and so it gets deposited around the body. Thyroid problems and an excess of vitamin D can also cause metastic calcium deposits.

Idiopathic calcium deposits are typically caused by a birth defect, such as a congenital defect of the soft tissue. Iatrogenic calcium deposits are typically caused when the surface of the skin and the underlying tissues get damaged due to surgery.

How Are Calcium Deposits Under the Skin Treated?

Dystrophic calcium deposits can be treated with a low dose of an anti-coagulant drug, which can be either be taken orally or injected. This drug works to prevent particles sticking together, which should prevent calcium deposits from becoming large enough to be noticeable under the skin. This treatment doesn’t work for everyone, however, and is still being tested.

Colchicine is a drug that is supposed to be effective in reducing soft tissue inflammation. Because calcium deposits can be caused by this type of tissue inflammation, reducing the inflammation reduces the chance of you developing further deposits. Non steroid anti-inflammatory drugs are also successful in treating some individuals, but again, this doesn’t work for everyone.

Particularly large masses of calcium deposits can be removed with surgery if they are large or overly painful, although calcium deposits may then occur later on around the site of surgery.

Calcium deposits that are painful or noticeable under the skin can be treated with a number of creams and gels. Some people swear by aloe vera gel for making these deposits look less noticeable, and some swear by plain old olive oil. It seems that any deep moisturizer will make at least a small amount of difference to the appearance of your calcium deposits.