Scleroderma is a chronic and rare disease that lasts for a long time. It induces skin thickening, hardening and tightness and may also involve the internal organs of the body and in turn, lead to intestinal, heart, kidney and lung problems. Localized Scleroderma is involved only in the skin while generalized Scleroderma or systemic sclerosis allergic reactions involve internal organ involvement.
The most common skin Scleroderma allergic reactions are swelling of hands and toes, generalized itching, thickening, hardening and tightness of skin, change of the color of the hands and feet with cold exposure and sores over fingertips. The other Scleroderma allergic reactions include fatigue, heartburn, shortness of breath, arthritis, dryness of the eyes and mouth, cough and high blood pressure.
Scleroderma is basically a rare disease that occurs in 10 – 20 people amongst a million people in a year. Though people of all races can get Scleroderma, about 75% of the victims are women. Scleroderma can occur at any age but is most common in people between the ages of 30 and 60 years old.
The exact causes of Scleroderma are not known; however it is known to be an autoimmune disease. This is where the body’s natural immune system does not actually behave normally; instead of fighting off infections from bacteria and virus, the immune system of a victim of Scleroderma attacks its own body.
With this, there is usually some damage to the blood vessels of the body. And in response to this blood vessel damage, specific proteins called collagen are produced to repair the damage to blood vessels through fibrosis or the formation of diffuse scars. There is usually an excess deposit of collagen in the skin that induces the skin changes associated with Scleroderma. The fibrosis of the blood vessels usually leads to the derangement of internal organs.
The diagnosis of Scleroderma allergic reactions is rather difficult, and can be done by specialists in autoimmune diseases. This diagnosis is based on a thorough history and physical examination of the victim along with some laboratory studies. Not only are blood and urine tests conducted, specialized lung and heart evaluations are needed to evaluate the involvement of internal organs in Scleroderma.
With the diagnosis of Scleroderma, treatment can be started. There is basically no cure for Scleroderma as it is a chronic disease that needs medical therapy for many years. Usually organ specific treatments are used of treating Scleroderma with combinations of anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant medicine. Sometimes other medication is used to control skin and internal organ problems and at times, chemotherapy may be used to control lung problems.