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Symptoms of Scleroderma
Systemic sclerosis and localized scleroderma both present with skin changes.
- They usually appear on the chest, stomach, and back, but occasionally on the face, arms, and legs.
- Findings may include:
- Waxy patches on the skin of varying sizes, shapes and color
- Tight skin over face that makes it hard to change expression
- Thick and tight skin on the fingers
- Skin creases diminish or disappear
- Changes in the skin as areas of affected skin lose hair and become stiff, hard, thick, and shiny
- Whitish bumps of calcium deposits develop under the skin, known as calcinosis
- Tiny purplish-red blood vessels appear under the skin—telangiectasias
- Sores or ulcers on the fingers
Systemic sclerosis may also involve a wide variety of symptoms.
- In most cases the first symptoms are associated with
- Changes in skin color of the fingertips, toes, and nose in response to cold or emotional stress
- Skin usually turns very white when first exposed to cold, then blue, then very red
- May be accompanied by pain, tingling, numbness
- Systemic sclerosis may also cause
- Muscle pain and weakness
- Dry eyes and mouth—Sjögren’s syndrome
- Digestive problems, such as:
- Lung, heart, and kidney problems, such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Abnormal heart rhythms—arrhythmias
- Reduced kidney function
Localized scleroderma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114314/Localized-scleroderma. Updated June 4, 2013. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Scleroderma. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Scleroderma/default.asp. Updated August 2016. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Systemic sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116347/Systemic-sclerosis. Updated June 9, 2016. Accessed November 29, 2016.
What is scleroderma? Scleroderma Foundation website. Available at: http://www.scleroderma.org/site/PageServer?pagename=patients%5Fwhatis#.WEhnf02QzIV. Accessed November 29, 2016.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 11/2016
- Update Date: 05/20/2015