Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue. This disease refers to a group of rheumatic diseases of the connective tissue. Connective tissue is compressed, affects the blood vessels whose walls become thicker. The skin of affected areas of the body becomes smooth, taut, shiny, soldered with the underlying tissues, inelastic, which leads to restriction of movement. As a result, the skin becomes ivory. There are two main forms of scleroderma: localized (ring-shaped) and systemic (diffuse).
Symptoms of localized scleroderma appear only in certain places, such as the forehead, on the upper and lower extremities. Atrophy of one half of the face (atrophy) is possible, a characteristic symptom of scleroderma – the presence of the scar on face, like a saber blow.
It is a chronic systemic disease of the connective tissue and small vessels with fibro-sclerotic skin changes of internal organs. New areas of the skin, mucous membranes, and then, the heart, lungs, and kidneys are injured. Ulcers, scarring and narrowing are formed. These lesions are often the cause of death of the patient.
- Violation of the circulation in the upper and lower extremities.
- Oozing sores on fingertips.
- The face resembles a mask.
It is assumed that systemic sclerosis is stimulated by viruses, poisoning, chronic disease, congenital predisposition.
In localized scleroderma medicines containing glucocorticoids are introduced into the affected areas, physiotherapy treatments and ultrasound are used. Thus, it is possible to suspend further development of the disease. Treatment of systemic scleroderma is much more complicated. Doctors try to treat this disease with glucocorticoid and other hormones, and drugs penicillamine, improves blood circulation, in addition, physiotherapy treatments are widely used. Further development of the disease can be stopped very rarely.
Protection from scleroderma is impossible. Self-medication is not recommended.
If you have symptoms of the disease, you need to seek emergency medical attention.
The doctor will examine the affected skin, prescribe blood, wanting to ensure the availability of autoantibodies in the blood. It is also necessary to determine the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).
Course of the disease
Most often, people aged 30 to 60 years suffer from this disease, children – rarely. Scleroderma may be mild form or pose a threat to the patient’s life. Fingers and toes, hands and feet are affected. The affected feet become pale or bluish color, the skin is stretched, there are swells, pains. Fingertips become swollen, oozing sores appear on them, skin becomes tight, firm, patient motion is constrained. Progressive scleroderma can affect any organ. When there is systemic scleroderma, seal skin starts from the forehead, the features are still, motionless, face resembles a mask. The oral cavity is reduced, the patient can barely move his tongue. Later, with the seal of the esophagus swallowing and digestive disturbances appear. The disease progresses rapidly, there is a kidney and heart failure. The cause of death is the seal fabric of heart and lungs.
When the lesions are in the shape of rounded large dense ivory plaques without inner sclerosis, it is scleroderma annulare. These plaques may eventually disappear spontaneously.