Diagnosis quiz

By | April 28, 2023

Scleroderma, also known as systemic sclerosis, is a rare autoimmune disorder that causes the skin and connective tissues to harden and thicken. It can also affect the internal organs, such as the lungs, heart, kidneys, and digestive system. The exact cause of scleroderma is not known, but it is thought to be related to an overactive immune system.

There are two main types of scleroderma:

  1. Limited cutaneous scleroderma: This type of scleroderma affects only the skin on the face, neck, and limbs, and does not usually affect the internal organs.

  2. Diffuse cutaneous scleroderma: This type of scleroderma affects the skin on the face, neck, and limbs, as well as the internal organs, and can progress more rapidly than limited cutaneous scleroderma.

Symptoms of scleroderma can vary depending on the type and severity of the condition, but may include:

  • Hardening and thickening of the skin
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon (discoloration of the fingers or toes in response to cold or stress)
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as acid reflux and difficulty swallowing
  • Shortness of breath and coughing
  • Fatigue and weakness

Treatment for scleroderma is aimed at managing the symptoms and preventing complications. This may include:

  • Medications to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, or suppress the immune system
  • Physical therapy to help maintain flexibility and strength
  • Occupational therapy to help with daily activities
  • Surgery to remove damaged tissue or repair damaged organs
  • Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, avoiding exposure to cold and stress, and maintaining a healthy diet

While there is no cure for scleroderma, early diagnosis and treatment can help manage the symptoms and prevent complications. If you suspect you may have scleroderma or are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s important to see a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.