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Doctor insights on: Scleroderma

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Dr. Pierre Moeser
145 doctors shared insights

Scleroderma (Definition)

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease characterized by tightening of the skin on the face and hands.

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If it is scleroderma, is it a lifelong dilemma?

If it is scleroderma, is it a lifelong dilemma?

Usually: As no effective treatments exist, this disease is often chronic and progressive. In rare instances, remissions have occurred. ...Read more

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Dr. Tracy Lovell
Board Certified, Rheumatology
15 years in practice
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How does scleroderma progress over time?

How does scleroderma  progress over time?

Depends on type: Some forms of localized scleroderma which affect only the skin do not progress and can even improve. Other forms such as progressive systemic sclerosis can (slowly or quickly) progress to involve the blood vessels and internal organs. It is important to be diagnosed early to anticipate and treat any progressive involvement, especially involvement of the kidneys. ...Read more

Dr. Tracy Lovell
Board Certified, Rheumatology
15 years in practice
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What are common symptoms of scleroderma?

What are common symptoms of scleroderma?

Skin changes: The first sign is usually patchy areas on the skin that often make a linear pattern. Early on, they are slightly pink and thickened, but can be flat and shiny. As time passes, the skin spots enlarge and often become thick and lavender/purple-colored, sometimes with pale flat centers. Scleroderma can also affect the heart, lung, kidney, joints, digestive tract. Please see your doctor if you're worried. ...Read more

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What are signs, symptoms of scleroderma?

What are signs, symptoms of scleroderma?

Hard Skin: In Scleroderma, autoimmune inflammation leads to fibrosis, thickening and tightening of the skin. In some cases, only the hands are affected, making fingers appear claw-like. In other cases, the arms, legs, upper back and face can also be affected. Other symptoms include Raynaud's, acid reflux from esophageal dysmotility; shortness of breath from lung fibrosis and increased pressure on the heart. ...Read more

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Positive diagnosis (scleroderma, polymyositis) with negative blood tests? Is that common?

Positive diagnosis (scleroderma, polymyositis) with negative blood tests?  Is that common?

PM/Scl: The paradox of rheumatologic diseases is that there are more lab tests in this area than any other, and they of relatively less value compared to the history and physical findings than in other fields. If your rheumatologist is comfortable with the diagnosis of "scleromyositis", which usually features anti-pm/scl, i'd accept it even with a single negative result, and proceed. ...Read more

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Is a ANA + with mixed patterns 1:80 homogeneous n 1:160 centromere sufficient enough to diagnose 4 crest/scleroderma or additional tests needed?

Auto Immune disease: You need additional testing to diagonals crest/scleroderma. You should also see the rheumatologist to confirm the disease before you worry that you have scleroderma or not. ...Read more

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I test positive for scleroderma. I have reflux asthma and reynaldo's. Does this mean I have scleroderma?

See below: This is a determination best made by your rheumatologist who knows your history best. Reflux can be seen in scleroderma and reflux can cause asthma symptoms regardless of whether you have scleroderma or not. Raynaud's is associated with scleroderma, but it can also be seen in other conditions independent of scleroderma. ...Read more

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What are the tests for scleroderma?

Scleroderma tests: The diagnosis of scleroderma is based mostly on signs and symptoms. Lab tests may help confirm the diagnosis and even offer some predictions as to risks of certain types of complications. Anti rna-polymerase iii antibody, increases risk of renal crisis and sudden increase in blood pressure, antitopoisomerase ab, increases risk for scaring of the lung, anticentromere ab, pulmonary hypertension. ...Read more

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Dr. Frederick Buechel
117 doctors shared insights

Dermatosclerosis (Definition)

Dermatosclerosis (also known as scleroderma), is a disease of the connective tissue, causing tightening and ...Read more

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Dr. Tracy Lovell
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15 years in practice
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