Did you know that about 300,000 Americans have some form of Scleroderma? Many are not aware of the signs or know what the chronic condition does to the human body. The Healtheo360 family has put together an informative article in honor of June being Scleroderma Awareness Month.
What is Scleroderma?
Scleroderma is a visible and invisible chronic tissue disease, which is classified as an autoimmune rheumatic disease. Scleroderma is not genetic, contagious, or cancerous. The main cause of this chronic condition is the excessive production of collagen in body tissue.
Types of Scleroderma - There are two major classifications for Scleroderma, which are localized and systemic.
•Localized Scleroderma is the most common form of this disease and is mainly focused on the inflammation of skin, which is cause, by the accumulation of collagen deposition.
Examples of localized scleroderma are, morphea (oval-shaped patches) and linear (streaks or lines by hardened skin).
•Systemic Scleroderma is the most serious form of the disease, which affects the skin, muscles, joints, blood vessels, lungs, kidneys, heart and other organs within the human body.
Examples of systemic scleroderma are, limited (hard skin on areas below not above the elbows and knees) and diffuse (thick or tight skin that is above and below, frequently on the legs and moves more rapidly).
Symptoms of Scleroderma
•Hardening of thickened skin that looks shiny and smooth, most commonly found on the hands and the face.
•Ulcers or sores on fingertips
•Painful or swollen joints
•Cold fingers or toes that turn red, white, or blue also known as (Raynaud’s Phenomenon)
•Some many experience acid reflux, in addition to not being able to absorb nutrients from foods that are being digested.
•Skin biopsy ( a small sample of the patient’s skin)
•Checking patient’s medical history
•Using ibuprofen or aspirin can help to relieve swelling and pain
•Medications to help improve the blood flow to the individual’s fingers.
•Skin treatment, including light and laser therapy.
•Occupational and Physical therapy