Scleroderma

Scleroderma is a set of diseases that result in the atypical growth of the tissues. The tissues or connective tissues are a substance in the body that aids shape tissues whilst providing them strength. Scleroderma makes the skin thick and hard which can cause bloat the muscle and joints resulting in pain.

Causes

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder. This autoimmune disorder affects the immune system and commands it to attack and destroy the healthy tissues of the body. The causes of this disease are unknown but scientists claim this disease to be an increase of the collagen substance in the skin and other body parts.

Symptoms

The symptoms of scleroderma include;

  • Skin symptoms
  • Fingers turning blue
  • Loss of hair
  • Thickening and hardness of skin
  • Skin turning darker or lighter in shade
  • Stiffness of finger skin, hands and forearms
  • A bump beneath the skin
  • Ulcers on fingertips
  • Tightening of facial skin
  • Joint pain
  • Lack of feeling in the feet
  • Wrist pain
  • Dry cough
  • Falling short of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Acidity

Tests

The tests to determine this disease includes;

  • Blood pressure test
  • Antinuclear antibody
  • Antibody test
  • ESR
  • Rheumatoid factor
  • Chest X-ray
  • CT scan of lungs
  • Echocardiogram
  • Urine analysis
  • Skin biopsy

Treatment

Scleroderma can be treated by prescribing medicines to control the above mentioned symptoms and to prevent further complications. Medications such as Corticosteriods, Methotrexate and Cytoxan to restrain immune system; and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be given to reduce heartburn, control the blood pressure, and recover breathing problems.

Prognosis

The first few years of treating scleroderma can prove beneficial but can worsen as time passes by. People who suffer only from skin scleroderma can have a better life as the treatment progresses but systematic scleroderma can ultimately lead to cancer, heart attack, pulmonary fibrosis, hypertension, kidney failure and a decrease in absorbing nutrition from food.

Prevention

Since the cause of Scleroderma is not yet known, ways to prevent this disease also remain veiled.

Treatment cost

The average annual cost of treating Scleroderma over the long run costs upto $4,731.