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What are the symptoms of scleroderma?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

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.

 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The 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.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.