Scleroderma (sklair-oh-DUR-muh) is a group of rare diseases that involve the hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues. Scleroderma affects women more often than men and most commonly occurs between the ages of 30 and 50.
What are the first signs of scleroderma?
- Hardened or thickened skin that looks shiny and smooth. It’s most common on your hands and face.
- Raynaud’s phenomenon.
- Ulcers or sores on your fingertips.
- Small red spots on your face and chest.
- Firm, oval-shaped patches on your skin.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Painful or swollen joints.
- Muscle weakness.
What is the life expectancy of a person with scleroderma?
People who have localized scleroderma may live an uninterrupted life with only minor symptom experiences and management. On the other hand, those diagnosed with an advanced and systemic version of the disease have a prognosis of anywhere from three to 15 years.
What causes skin thickening?
Scleroderma is an uncommon condition that results in hard, thickened areas of skin and sometimes problems with internal organs and blood vessels. Scleroderma is caused by the immune system attacking the connective tissue under the skin and around internal organs and blood vessels.
Is scleroderma always fatal?
It is the most fatal of all the rheumatologic diseases. Systemic scleroderma is very unpredictable although most cases can be classified into one of four different general patterns of disease (see Classification).
What does scleroderma rash look like?
Nearly everyone who has scleroderma experiences a hardening and tightening of patches of skin. These patches may be shaped like ovals or straight lines, or cover wide areas of the trunk and limbs. The number, location and size of the patches vary by type of scleroderma.
Where does scleroderma usually start?
Another early sign of systemic scleroderma is puffy or swollen hands before thickening and hardening of the skin due to fibrosis. Skin thickening usually occurs first in the fingers (called sclerodactyly) and may also involve the hands and face.
What happens if scleroderma is left untreated?
Left untreated, the low blood flow leads to tissue damage and kidney failure. This reversible problem was the leading cause of death in scleroderma before new treatment was discovered. Rarely, renal failure secondary to scleroderma vascular disease occurs in the absence of hypertension.
What foods should be avoided with scleroderma?
Avoid eating two to three hours before bed- time. Avoid foods that may aggra- vate symptoms such as citrus fruits, tomato products, greasy fried foods, coffee, garlic, onions, peppermint, gas-producing foods (such as raw peppers, beans, broccoli or raw onions), spicy foods, carbonated beverages and alcohol.
How do they diagnose scleroderma?
To diagnose scleroderma, a doctor usually begins by asking you about your symptoms, health, and medical history. The doctor will also examine your skin for signs of hardening and thickening. If you have hard, thickened skin, a dermatologist may perform a skin biopsy to help diagnose you.
What is Morphea disease?
Morphea is a rare skin condition characterized by small red or purple patches that develop firm white or ivory centers. The affected skin becomes tight and less flexible. Morphea (mor-FEE-uh) is a rare condition that causes painless, discolored patches on your skin.
How can I stop my skin from thickening?
Lichenification is when your skin becomes thick and leathery.
- Try wearing gloves while you sleep. …
- Cover affected patches of skin. …
- Keep your nails extra short. …
- Apply cool, wet compresses. …
- Use gentle, fragrance-free products. …
- Take warm oatmeal baths. …
- Avoid anything that triggers itchiness, including stress.
What is Morphea scleroderma?
Morphea is a skin condition that causes patches of reddish skin that thicken into firm, oval-shaped areas. It is a form of scleroderma. Patches most often occur on the abdomen, stomach, and back, and sometimes on the face, arms and legs.
Does scleroderma go away?
An Illness That Does Not Go Away
Scleroderma is chronic. This means that it lasts for your lifetime. However, like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and psoriasis, scleroderma can be treated and the symptoms managed.
What does scleroderma pain feel like?
Symptoms can include: Tight skin or swollen joints. Joint pain or tenderness. Muscle fatigue and weakness or aching.
Does scleroderma cause weight gain?
Acute localized scleroderma (morphea) can present as severe generalized oedema with rapid weight gain and oliguria.