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- Localized scleroderma (can be morphea or linea)—Usually affects only the skin in isolated parts of the body. This form is less serious.
- Systemic scleroderma—Affects widespread areas of skin and/or internal organs, most often the lungs. Certain categories of this form of scleroderma are more serious and can be fatal.
- Overlap syndrome—May involve features of scleroderma and features of other autoimmune syndromes.
- Family members with autoimmune disorders
- Occupational chemical exposure, such as silica, ketones, or welding fumes
- Hard patches on the skin, most often on the face or trunk (morphea)
- Lines of thickened skin that can extend to underlying muscles and bones (linear scleroderma or linear morphea)
|Raynaud's Phenomenon Symptom|
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- Diffuse thickening and hardening of the skin
- Joint and muscular pain, stiffness, and swelling
- Problems with breathing, swallowing, and digesting food due to thickening and hardening of lung, esophagus, bowel tissues
- Inflammation and thickening of large and small blood vessels
- Blood tests
- Esophagus motility study
- Biopsies of skin and other tissues
Joints and Muscles
- Aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Esophagus and Digestive Tract
- Medications to limit acid production in the stomach
- Small, frequent meals
- Sleeping with your head elevated to avoid acid reflux
Skin and Internal Organs
Kidney Problems and/or High Blood Pressure
- ACE inhibitors, or other antihypertensive drugs
- Antineoplastic agents
- Calcium channel blockers
- Proper shelter and clothing to avoid cold
- Not smoking
Scleroderma Foundation http://www.scleroderma.org
Scleroderma Research Foundation http://www.srfcure.org
Arthritis Society http://www.arthritis.ca
Scleroderma Society of Canada http://www.scleroderma.ca
Kreuter A, Hyun J, et al. A randomized controlled study of low-dose UVA1, medium-dose UVA1, and narrowband UVB phototherapy in the treatment of localized scleroderma. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006;54:440-447.
Mathai SC, Girgis RE, et al. Addition of sildenafil to bosentan monotherapy in pulmonary arterial hypertension. Eur Respir J. 2007;29:469-475.
Rodriguez-Reyna TS, Alarcon-Segovia D. Overlap syndromes in the context of shared autoimmunity. Autoimmunity. 2005;38:219-223.
Scleroderma. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Scleroderma/default.asp . Updated August 2012. Accessed August 21, 2013.
Systemic sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 5, 2013. Accessed August 21, 2013.
What is scleroderma? Scleroderma Foundation website. Available at: http://www.scleroderma.org/site/PageNavigator/patients%5Fwhatis.html . Accessed August 21, 2013.
- Reviewer: Fahran Tahir, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013
- Update Date: 06/07/2013