What is Scleroderma (Crest Syndrome)?

Scleroderma Orlando, FL

What is scleroderma (crest syndrome)?

Scleroderma (Crest Syndrome) is a rare and chronic disease that causes a hardening of the body’s connective tissues, which means it will never go away once someone is diagnosed. While it is a severe disease, it will vary from one person to another. This means one person may only experience minor health issues when living with this chronic disease, while others may experience extreme and ongoing health issues. The earliest signs for most people include fingers that change color when it is cold, which is due to a narrowing of the blood vessels.

Why it happens

It is currently not understood what causes scleroderma (crest syndrome). Anyone can receive a diagnosis, though it is typically those between the ages of 35 and 50. While it does not appear that scleroderma (crest syndrome) is hereditary, those diagnosed tend to have family members who have been diagnosed with other types of autoimmune diseases, e.g., thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

The fact that scleroderma (crest syndrome) is an autoimmune disease means that the immune system of those who are diagnosed with this rheumatic disorder will work inside and against their body instead of protecting the body from outside invaders. What happens is that the body’s cells will start to make collagen, which is necessary to heal the body when it has received some type of injury, even though the body is not injured. This means that the body is making unnecessary collagen, which is eventually going to get in the way of the body’s ability to function properly.

Treatment options

While scleroderma (crest syndrome) will never go away, as there is currently no cure, it can be treated and therefore managed. The treatment options currently available are, for the most part, only able to treat certain parts of the disease, which makes it essential for medical professionals and those diagnosed to work together in order to come up with an optimal treatment plan for managing the disease.

Treatment options currently available for scleroderma (crest syndrome) include:

  • Topical skin treatments can be used to improve blood flow and relax muscles, allowing for better healing abilities
  • Prescribed medications can aid digestion
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs can be prescribed to a patient, which are used to treat any muscle pain or weakness experienced
  • ACE inhibitors can be prescribed to minimize any damage to the kidneys
  • Chemotherapy can be used to improve lung functioning in patients who are experiencing scarring in their lung tissue

Are you currently in need of scleroderma (crest syndrome) treatment?

Scleroderma (crest syndrome) is a chronic disease that needs to be managed by a medical professional. If you are currently looking for treatment so you can once again live a healthy and happy life, making an appointment with a medical professional for a complete evaluation is going to be your next step. While there is no cure for scleroderma (crest syndrome), with the right treatment plan, you can manage it in a way that allows you to still participate in your lifestyle without having to be in discomfort and/or pain.

At Anika Alar MD, we can help you relieve scleroderma (crest syndrome) symptoms/pain. Visit us at our Orlando office today.

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