What is Scleroderma?

scierodermaScleroderma is a chronic skin disease; that means it does not go away over time. Your doctor can help you treat the symptoms so that you can feel better.

This problem is typical of your immune system. In cases where the body generates too much collagen protein, which is an essential part of the skin.

The result of much tow collagen is that the skin becomes tight and thicker. Scars can begin to form in the kidney and lungs. The blood vessels become thicker, preventing proper blood flow. This can lead to tissue damage throughout the body and high blood pressure.

There are two types of scleroderma. Localized Scleroderma and Systemic Scleroderma.

scleroderma-19-638Localized scleroderma – There are two types of localized scleroderma

Morphia – This consist of hard, oval shaped patches on the skin. These patches aorta out being either red or purple, then turn whitish in the center. In some occasion, not often, this type of scleroderma can affect the internal organs as well blood vessels. This type is called generalized morphea.
Linear, This type causes, thickened skin form in line or streaks on the face, arms, and legs.

Systemic scleroderma is also called generalized scleroderma. This can involve many parts of systems. There are two systemic sclerodermas.

scleroderma-Limited Scleroderma – This happens slowly and affects the skin of the face, hands, and feet. Limited Scleroderma can damage the lungs, Intestines or esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. Limited scleroderma can be referred to as CREST syndrome.

For individuals, who have limited scleroderma, the outlook is bright. However, the disease tends to get worse over time. Sometimes, it can affect the heart and raise blood pressure in the lungs, though this can be treated.

Diffuse scleroderma – happens fairly quickly. The skin in the midsection of the body, including the thighs, upper arms, hands, and feet become thicker when the body has diffused scleroderma. This also spreads to the internal organs such as the lungs kidney heart and gastrointestinal tract.

crest syndromeWhat cases Scleroderma?

Researchers do not know what causes the scleroderma. This condition falls under the autoimmune disease. When the immune system turns against the body, rather than protects against germs and bacteria, inflammation of the skin and other organs occur.

What are the symptoms of Scleroderma?

There are several symptoms that can affect many different parts of the body.
The thickened and hardened skin that looks smooth and shiny, It happens most commonly on the face and hands.

  • Cold fingers and toes, that turn colors outside of the normal skin tones, red, white or blue. This is called Raynaud’s phenomenon.
  • Ulcers or sores on fingertips.
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Muscle weakness
  • Small red spots on the chest and face. These opened blood vessels are telangiectasis.
  • Weight Loss
  • Diarrhea
  • shortness of breath
  • Heartburn
  • Swelling, in most of the hands and fingers. This type of swelling is referred to as edema.
  • Dry eyes or mouth (called Sjogren’s syndrome)

Scleroderma Diagnoses

Your physician will give you an exam and ask you about your health history. You may be requested to take an X0ray and do some blood test or take a small sample of skin (called a biopsy). He may check out your heart, lungs, and esophagus.

How to treat Scleroderma Treated?

  • NSAID’s (non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen) this will help with pain or swelling
  • Steroids and other drugs control the immune response. These can help control muscle, joints or internal organ problems.
  • Blood pressure drugs.
  • Medications that increase the blood flow to your fingers
  • Heartburn medication
  • Drugs to reduce blood pressure.
  • Drugs that open blood vessels in the lungs to prevent tissue from scarring.

Other things that may help include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Stress management
  • Exercise for better overall heath
  • if their severe organ damage an organ transaction may need to happen.

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by
Health Life Media Team