Systemic Sclerosis / Scleroderma (ss)

Scleroderma is one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases affecting the skin and other organs of the body, meaning that the body's immune system is acting abnormally. The main finding in scleroderma is thickening and tightening of the skin, and inflammation and scarring of many body parts leading to problems in the lungs, kidneys, heart, intestinal system and other areas. There is still no cure for scleroderma but effective treatments for some forms of the disease are available.

Systemic scleroderma, or sclerosis. May affect large areas of skin and organs such as the heart, lungs, or kidneys. There are two main types limited disease (CREST syndrome) and diffuse disease.

  • Skin symptoms of scleroderma may include:

  • Raynaud's phenomenon: Fingers or toes that turn blue or white in response to cold temperatures

  • Hair loss

  • Skin that is darker or lighter than normal

  • Stiffness, and tightness of skin of fingers, hands, forearm, and face

  • Small white lumps beneath the skin that sometimes ooze a white substance that looks like toothpaste

  • Sores (ulcers) on the fingertips or toes

  • Tight and mask-like skin on the face

  • Bone and muscle symptoms may include:

  • Joint pain

  • Numbness and pain in the feet

  • Pain, stiffness, and swelling of fingers and joints

  • Wrist pain

  • Breathing problems may result from scarring in the lungs and can include:

  • Dry cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Wheezing

  • Digestive tract problems may include:

  • Bloating after meals

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Esophageal reflux or heartburn

  • Problems controlling stools

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CREST syndrome or limited scleroderma, is one subtype of scleroderma - a condition that literally means "hardened skin."

The skin changes associated with limited scleroderma typically occur only in the lower arms and legs and sometimes the face and throat. Limited scleroderma can also affect your digestive tract.

The problems caused by limited scleroderma may be minor. Sometimes, however, the disease affects the lungs or heart, with potentially serious results. Limited scleroderma has no known cure, and treatments focus on managing symptoms and preventing serious complications.


  • Tight, hardened skin

  • Raynaud's phenomenon

  • Red spots or lines on skin (telangiectasias)

  • Bumps under the skin.(calcinosis)

  • Swallowing difficulties

Scientific research Systemic Sclerosis >>