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Scleroderma involves a wide variety of symptoms. In most cases, people first have symptoms that are associated with Raynaud’s phenomenon .

Raynaud's phenomenon causes:

  • Changes in skin color of the fingertips, toes, and nose in response to cold or emotional stress
  • Skin usually turns very white when first exposed to cold, then blue, then very red
  • May be accompanied by pain, tingling, numbness

Scleroderma may cause:

  • Sores or ulcers on the fingers
  • Changes in the skin as areas of affected skin lose hair and become stiff, hard, thick, and shiny
  • Tight skin over face that makes it hard to change expression
  • Skin creases diminish or disappear
  • Whitish bumps of calcium deposits develop under the skin, known as calcinosis
  • Tiny purplish-red blood vessels appear under the skin, known as telangiectasias
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Dry eyes and mouth, called Sjögren’s syndrome

Scleroderma may cause digestive problems, such as:

Scleroderma may cause lung, heart, and kidney problems, such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Abnormal heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias
  • Fainting, known as syncope

References:

Systemic sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 5, 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.

Scleroderma. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Scleroderma/default.asp . Updated August 2012. Accessed August 8, 2013.

What is scleroderma? Scleroderma Foundation website. Available at: http://www.scleroderma.org/site/PageServer?pagename=patients_whatis . Accessed August 8, 2013.



Last reviewed May 2014 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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