Early Indications of Scleroderma

Sclerodactyly is thick and tight skin on the fingers resulting from deposits of excess collagen within skin layers. This condition makes it harder to bend or straighten the fingers, and may also cause the skin to appear shiny and darkened, with hair loss.
Telangiectasias are small red spots on the hands and face that are caused by the swelling of tiny blood vessels. While these red spots are not painful, they can create cosmetic problems.

Early Symptoms of Scleroderma by Type

Systemic sclerosis is typically broken down into the following types, each of which can have different symptoms:
  • Limited
  • Diffuse
  • Sine.
Early Symptoms of Limited Scleroderma
Early symptoms of limited scleroderma typically come on gradually and affect the skin only in certain areas, which include:
  • Fingers
  • Hands
  • Face
  • Lower arms
  • Legs.
Many people with limited scleroderma have Raynaud's phenomenon for years before skin thickening starts. Other people start out with skin problems over much of the body, which improve over time, leaving only the face and hands with tight, thickened skin. Telangiectasias and calcinosis often follow. Raynaud's phenomenon, telangiectasias, and calcinosis are the predominant CREST symptoms in limited scleroderma.

(Click CREST Syndrome for more information about this disease.)

Scleroderma Disease

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