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Symptoms of Scleroderma
Symptoms are not the same in each person. They also depend on the type of scleroderma that a person has.
Localized scleroderma affects the skin and the structures under it. Problems may be:
- One or more skin patches on the face, scalp, trunk, or limbs that may be:
- Patches or streaks
- Red or purple
- Waxy looking and surrounded by darkened skin
- Muscle or joint pain or tightening
Systemic scleroderma also causes problems with the skin, such as tightness, thickening, and shiny skin. The skin may also itch.
Other added problems may be:
- Raynaud phenomenon—A problem with blood vessels that leads to poor blood flow to the fingers, toes, nose, cheeks, or ears
- Muscle pain, tightening, inflammation, or swelling
- Digestive problems, such as diarrhea or constipation
- Problems swallowing
- Problems breathing
- Problems sleeping
- Pain during sex
- Erection problems in men
Kowal-Bielecka O, Fransen J, et al. Update of EULAR recommendations for the treatment of systemic sclerosis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Aug;76(8):1327-1339.
Localized scleroderma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/localized-scleroderma. Accessed August 12, 2020.
Scleroderma. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Scleroderma/default.asp. Accessed August 12, 2020.
Systemic sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/systemic-sclerosis. Accessed August 12, 2020.
What is scleroderma? Scleroderma Foundation website. Available at: http://www.scleroderma.org/site/PageServer?pagename=patients%5Fwhatis#.WEhnf02QzIV. Accessed August 12, 2020.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
- Review Date: 03/2020
- Update Date: 08/13/2020