What is Scleroderma?
Scleroderma refers to the disease of connective tissues in which your skin hardens and tightens. Generally, it affects only the skin but in some people it even harms the structures beyond skin (blood vessels, internal organs and GI tract). It is more common in females than males and mostly occurs between ages 30 and 50 years.
What causes Scleroderma?
Scleroderma occurs because a part of the immune system becomes overactive and out of control causing overproduction & accumulation of collagen in the body tissues. As a result of this, scarring and thickening of the tissue takes place. The exact reason for this is not known, but it is believed that certain genes play a role in this and if any of your family member is having this condition, then your chances also increase.
What are the symptoms of Scleroderma?
The signs and symptoms of Scleroderma depend on the body part that is affected, such as:
Skin – There Are Visible Signs Of Inflammation (Redness, Swelling, Pain And Itching). Hard And Thick Patches Of Skin Are Seen That May Be Oval Or Straight In Shape And Cover Trunk Along With Limbs. Skin May Look Shiny And Have Restricted Movement On The Affected Area.
Fingers And Toes – They Respond To Cold Temperatures And Emotional Stress. As A Result Of This, Fingers Or Toes Become Numb, Painful And Experience Change In Colour.
Digestive System –People Experience Acid Reflux And Also Face Problem In Absorbing Nutrients.
Heart, Lungs Or Kidneys – The Function Of Heart, Lungs And Kidneys Is Affected To Great Extent And Can Even Be Life-Threatening If Not Treated At Right Time.
How can Scleroderma be treated?
The skin problems that occur due to Scleroderma fade away over the duration of 3-5 years. But if Scleroderma affects internal organs, then the condition of the patient worsens with time. Your doctor may recommend:
Physical And Occupational Therapy