A Answers (3)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredThe symptoms of scleroderma vary depending on the severity and location of the condition. Localized Scleroderma affects the skin and is characterized by thick, white ovals on the skin. These can appear most anywhere and in any number.
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
This disease has more symptoms than jelly beans have flavors and they vary depending on which part of the body is affected. The most common symptoms include:
• Raynaud’s phenomenon. Your fingers and extremities change color and can become numb or painful in response to cold temperatures or emotional distress, like anxiety.
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). You experience acid reflux as well as issues with nutrition since your body has problems absorbing nutrients. If the connective tissue of the heart, lungs, or kidneys is involved, abnormal heartbeats, breathing problems, or kidney dysfunction can occur.
• Skin changes. Typically these include swollen fingers and hands, thickened patches of skin (particularly on your fingers), and tight skin around the hands, face, or mouth. (This tight skin can appear shiny sometimes.)
• With localized scleroderma, you typically also see morphea (oval-shaped thickened patches of skin that are white in the middle and have a purple border) and bands or streaks of hardened skin on your arms, legs, or forehead.
It is important to note that symptoms can and do change over time.
Morphea scleroderma: Morphea scleroderma causes reddish patches of skin to thicken into oval-shaped areas on the body. These patches become white in the middle with a purple border. Patients may develop one or several patches of thickened skin, which range in size from one-half inch to 12 inches wide. The patches typically occur on the chest, stomach, and back, but they may also develop on the legs, arms, and forehead. In general, skin patches caused by morphea scleroderma start to fade in about three to five years. However, individuals are typically left with darkened patches of skin, and in rare cases, muscle weakness.
Linear scleroderma: Linear scleroderma causes streaks of hardened skin to develop on the arms, legs, and/or forehead. In some cases, linear scleroderma may occur in combination with morphea scleroderma.
Diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis: Diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis usually develops suddenly. The skin on the fingers, hands, arms, legs, face, neck, and torso are most likely to become thick and hard. The skin may also be shiny and itchy. This form of scleroderma generally occurs in a symmetrical pattern. This means if one side of the body is affected, the other side will be affected in the same way. Other symptoms may include fatigue, decreased appetite, weight loss, and joint pain or swelling. Diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis may also affect internal organs, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and digestive system. Symptoms of internal organ damage vary depending on the specific organ affected. For instance, if the lungs are affected, it may lead to difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness.
Limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis: Limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis usually develops gradually. It involves limited areas of the skin, including the fingers, hands, face, lower arms, and legs. In addition, patients often have all or some of the symptoms that some doctors call CREST, which stands for calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, esophageal dysfunction, sclerodactyly, and telangiectasia.
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