Scleroderma is a kind of disorder in the autoimmune system. In this condition, the immune system unknowingly damages and kills the body tissues, which are healthy. The word scleroderma is derived from Greek words sclera, which refers to hand and derma, which means skin.
The primary characteristic of this condition is hardening of the skin. Systematic sclerosis is another term used for scleroderma and is a disorder of the connective tissue, which is chronic and is also known as an autoimmune rheumatic disorder. A few symptoms of scleroderma are discussed below.
Symptoms Of Scleroderma
Morphea is a type of localized scleroderma with symptoms which include different sizes of waxy patches on the skin. The waxy patches can be of various colors and sizes too. The skin found below the patches tends to become thick. The patches may become bigger or smaller or sometimes they tend to vanish suddenly. This particular symptom normally develops in people between the age group of twenty to fifty, but it is common in young kids too.
Another type of scleroderma is the liner scleroderma in which the symptoms initially starts as a line or a streak of thick and hard wax like skin texture, mainly on the leg, arm or forehead. En coup de sabre is a term used to refer to the lengthy crease it creates in the neck or head because its appearance is similar to that of a wound caused by a sword or saber.
Deep layers as well as the superficial layers of the skin are involved in linear scleroderma. This condition often affects the movements of the joints, which are found within. Linear scleroderma occurs in childhood and affects the involved limb growth.
Apart from just affecting the skin, scleroderma also affects the connective tissues in many other parts of the body, which is referred to as systematic scleroderma or systematic sclerosis. In this condition, the skin, stomach, bowels, esophagus, kidneys, heart lungs and many other organs are affected. It also affects the joints, muscles and blood vessels.
In this condition, the tissues tend to harden and become fibrous leading to lower performance. Sclerosis, which means hardening, is noticed in the internal organs of the body. Diffuse scleroderma occurs with symptoms like thickened skin primarily seen more on the skin regions and it is a common occurrence. Additionally, in individuals suffering from diffuse scleroderma the tissues become hard and fibrous and they are prone to developing sclerosis, which is a condition where the internal organs become fibrous and hard.
Telangiectasis is a symptom of scleroderma, which occurs when the blood vessels dilate and become visible through the skin.
You may observe tiny red spots on the palms, tongue, lips and fingers. These spots are not dangerous though they can be easily camouflaged using cosmetics.
Calcinosis is another symptom of scleroderma and it is not a calcium deficiency. This symptom is characterized by tiny lumps, which are white in color and appear on or beneath the skin. Sometimes, these lumps break out through the skin and ooze out as white chalky liquid. You may develop an infection when an injury is caused to these lumps.