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Unfortunately, there are no treatments available to cure scleroderma. Similarly, no treatments have been proven to slow the progression of the disease or modify its course, although a number of medications are often prescribed in the hopes that they will achieve this goal.

Goals of treatment include:

  • Treating existing symptoms, such as Raynaud’s phenomenon , arthritis , high blood pressure , difficulty swallowing, among others.
  • Protecting the skin from further damage
  • Supporting you and your family so that you can learn to live with the effects of scleroderma

Treatment involves the following:

Lifestyle changes
Medications
Other treatments

Surgery is done for complicated cases of scleroderma.

References:

Durand F, Staumont D, Bonnevalle A, Hachulla E, Hatron PY, Thomas P. Ultraviolet A1 phototherapy for treatment of acrosclerosis in systemic sclerosis: controlled study with half-side comparison analysis. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed . 2007;23(6):215-221.

Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease . 8th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 2005.

Ferri F ed. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2011 . 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2010.

Firestein ED et al. Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology . 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2008.

Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Textbook of Internal Medicine . 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2008.

Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology . 5th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 2011.

Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine . 15th ed. McGraw Hill; 2001.

Kreuter A, Hyun J, Stücker M, Sommer A, Altmeyer P, Gambichler T. A randomized controlled study of low-dose UVA1, medium-dose UVA1, and narrowband UVB phototherapy in the treatment of localized scleroderma. J Am Acad Dermatol . 2006;54(3):440-447.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/ .

Noble J. Textbook of Primary Care Medicine . 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 2000.

Rakel R. Textbook of Family Medicine 2007. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011.

Rakel RE, Bope ET. Conn's Current Therapy . 60th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2009.

Scleroderma Foundation website. Available at: http://www.scleroderma.org/ .

Sleisenger M, Feldman M, Friedman L, Brandt L. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease . 9th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 2011.



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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