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What is Scleroderma?

Scleroderma is a severe health condition however; it is a rare autoimmune disease that involves the regular replacement of the tissues that are dense and thick fibrous. The condition is also known as systemic sclerosis and is a collection of rare diseases comprising skin hardening and tightening.

A timely diagnosis is important as it causes issues in the internal organs, digestive system, and blood vessels. Scleroderma is frequently categorised as “restricted” or “diffuse”, referring only to the skin involvement degree.

There is no cure for scleroderma however treatment can help ease the symptoms and gradual development, and augment life quality. The condition can be life-threatening so it is important to get in touch with the doctor as soon as possible.

Types of Scleroderma

Two types of scleroderma are there which includes systemic and localized:

  1. Localized scleroderma: Localised scleroderma is the most common form and involves affecting an individual’s skin. There are other places affected by the condition as well. The condition makes its appearance in the waxy patches. An individual can also observe skin streaks however, the condition goes away on its own and prevents developing without treatment.
  2. Diffused or systemic scleroderma: This type of scleroderma affects different parts of the body. It not only involves affecting the skin but also other organs internally. Systemic scleroderma disrupts the different functionalities such as respiratory and digestive which leads to kidney failure. The type is not common like localised and can be serious or deadly.

Scleroderma symptoms

Scleroderma symptoms can be noticed other than that skin thickening:

  • Fingertips and toes ulcerations
  • Joints pain and stiffness
  • Heartburn, breath shortness, constant cough, and difficulty swallowing
  • Issues with gastrointestinal and digestive
  • Hair loss, fatigue, and weight loss
  • Hand and feet swelling
  • Too much calcium deposits in the skin
  • Joint contractures

Scleroderma causes

The human body can fight against germs or bacteria infecting the body. Although, this doesn’t happen with all health conditions.

Hence, when it comes to health conditions like Scleroderma then it is an outcome of overproduction and collagen collection in the body tissues. Collagen is the fibrous protein form accountable for making up the body’s connective tissues comprising skin.

It is still not known what exactly the cause or reason is behind the scleroderma health condition. However, it is perceived that the primary scleroderma causes are genetics, environmental triggers, and immune system issues.

Scleroderma diagnosis

The scleroderma diagnosis is a little more complicated than other health diseases or conditions. Scleroderma affects several parts of the body that includes joints and sometimes it is mistaken for other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

The doctor will conduct a comprehensive physical assessment. During the process, the doctor will try to find out the scleroderma symptoms. If the doctor doubts scleroderma, then he/she will order the tests for confirmation. The doctor will also order the tests to understand the disease severity. Here are the tests that might be ordered for the scleroderma diagnosis:

  • One of the tests is blood tests so that the doctors can identify the increased immune factors levels. Antinuclear antibodies are discovered in patients experiencing scleroderma. It helps the doctor to assist with an appropriate diagnosis.
  • Pulmonary function tests are also recommended by the doctor for evaluating the lung's functionality. Once the scleroderma condition is confirmed, the doctor will confirm that it hasn’t spread to the lungs. The lung damage will be checked through CT or a computer tomography scan.
  • The doctor will also order an electrocardiogram test to identify if scleroderma has affected the heart. With this tissue, an individual can experience heart tissue scarring that causes heart failure.
  • The doctor also recommends getting the echocardiogram test done for evaluating pulmonary hypertension and congestive heart failure complications.
  • Gastrointestinal tests are recommended by the doctor to have a look at the oesophagus and the intestines. Gastrointestinal can affect oesophagus muscles and the intestine walls.
  • A kidney functionality test is also one of the doctor’s recommendations as it will help in identifying the severity caused by the scleroderma disease. The condition not only can augment the blood pressure but also increases the protein leakage into the urine.

Scleroderma treatment

There is no treatment or cure available to date for scleroderma treatment. However, one can prevent or reduce the severity of symptoms caused by the condition. Various scleroderma symptoms are there which can be noticed and the doctor recommends certain treatment options for them. Here are they:

  • Medications are one of the treatment options that helps in enhancing circulation and reducing the symptoms of scleroderma condition.
  • The doctor might also recommend steroids as it benefits to reduce problems linked to joints and muscles.
  • Patients with scleroderma are recommended to take medications that will help in reducing the immune system activity and slowing the condition's development.
  • The use of moisturisers is given to ensure that skin remains supple and reduces itchiness.
  • Other medicines are also given to control early scleroderma symptoms like heartburn, high blood pressure, and pain.

Additionally, there are other steps like checking the blood pressure regularly and tests for assessing the issues with organs. If the doctor evaluates that the condition is serious, then surgery is required. For instance, it is essential to remove the hard lumps under the skin and tighten muscles that require loosening.

There are new treatments like photodynamic therapy and laser therapy that benefit in the better improvements of the condition for patients.

Why should you choose Rukmani Birla Hospital for scleroderma treatment?

Rukmani Birla Hospital is among the most evolved multi-special hospitals in Jaipur. We as a hospital efficiently managed to achieve an identifiable name within and beyond the vicinity. Our team of experts has ensured catering to the patient’s requirements in an exceptional way from the very inception of the hospital.

The primary emphasis of our healthcare service is to offer a comprehensive range of consistently high quality and latest clinical services consenting us to enhance the health structure. We aspire to become the hospital of everyone’s choice and known for our amazing satisfied patient services. If you are seeking scleroderma treatment, ensure to get in touch with us for professional assistance.


How much time does scleroderma disease take to progress?

Scleroderma is known as one of the life-threatening conditions affecting the internal organs of the human body. It takes around the first 2 to 5 years of the initial stage of this disease to progress.

What is a serious complication of the scleroderma condition?

The most serious complication of scleroderma is a renal crisis. It involves a fast increase in blood pressure which results in kidney failure. The kidney functionality is evaluated with blood tests.

Is it possible to stop scleroderma from progression?

No, scleroderma is among the diseases with no cure and all you can do is initiate certain steps to control the symptoms, or you can make some efforts to reduce the probability of complications.

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