Scleroderma Awareness Month
As we enter yet another month the team at WorldCare would like to take this opportunity to raise awareness about Scleroderma, a chronic skin disease linked to an autoimmune condition. So what exactly is Scleroderma? Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that results in your body over producing the protein collagen. According to WebMD the side effects of this condition include, but are not limited to, the following:
- thickening and tight skin
- scar damage to the lungs and kidneys
- thickening of blood vessels, resulting in tissue damage and high blood pressure
In order to break this condition down further, you must first recognize the two forms of this disease, which are:
- Localized scleroderma
- Systematic scleroderma
The first form, Localized scleroderma, is further broken into the following two subgroups:
Morphea: this form is recognizable by its hard, oval shaped patches found on the skin that start out with a red or pink pigment and slowly develop a more whitish center. Few patients with this form of the condition may encounter internal organ or blood vessel complications.
Linear: this form results in streaks of thickened skin across the arms, legs and/or face.
The second form, Systemic scleroderma can also be broken into two subgroups:
Limited Scleroderma: this form comes on slower and include skin damage to the face, hands and feet, which can be linked to lung, intestine and esophagus damage as well. The damage to the esophagus is referred to as CREST syndrome. Fortunately patients with this form have a good outlook with treatment.
Diffuse Scleroderma: unlike Limited scleroderma, this forms comes on much faster and impacts areas of this skin in the middle part of your body, thighs, upper arms, hands and feet resulting in other forms of thickened skin. Unlike the previous forms, diffuse scleroderma affects more essential organs such as the heart, lungs and kidneys.
Currently there is no cure for this autoimmune disease, however there are numerous treatment options. Treatment methods include:
- Occupational therapy
If you believe you may have this condition, but have been misdiagnosed or looking for a better treatment plan contact us today. As a WorldCare member we provide you with access to the top-ranked specialists and sub-specialists in the U.S. to confirm your diagnosis and suggest optimal treatments.