Scleroderma Syndromes

Scleroderma is a group of rare, chronic, possibly autoimmune diseases which are typically characterized by excessive deposits of collagen in the skin or other organs. This causes a thickening or hardening (“sclero-“) of the skin (“derma”) and will, in some cases, also cause connective tissue problems at other places in the body, including the lungs, heart, GI tract and kidneys. It can also cause muscle and joint pain and swelling.

Another form of scleroderma, called the CREST syndrome, causes calcinosis (calcium deposits) in the fingers, Raynaud’s phenomenon (white, cold skin on the hands and feet), esophageal dysfunction (trouble swallowing or reflux), sclerodactyly (thickening of finger/toe skin), and telangiectasias (red spots on the hands, forearms and face).

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