What does a scleroderma rash look like?

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asked Aug 7 in Body/Skin by Rogowski (580 points)
What does a scleroderma rash look like?

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answered Aug 7 by SgtOddball (4,330 points)
A scleroderma rash will be a red rash which will generally occur before the muscle weakness occurs and usually appear on the face, knees, shoulders, and hands.

Scleroderma is a disease that is caused by the immune system attacking the connective tissue under the skin and around internal organs and blood vessels.

This then causes scarring and thickening of the tissue in these areas.

There are several different types of scleroderma that can vary in severity.

Scleroderma is a long-lasting disease that affects your skin, connective tissue, and internal organs.

It happens when your immune system causes your body to make too much of the protein collagen, an important part of your skin.

As a result, your skin gets thick and tight, and scars can form on your lungs and kidneys.

Nearly everyone who has scleroderma experiences a hardening and tightening of the skin.

The first parts of the body to be affected are usually the fingers, hands, feet and face.

In some people, the skin thickening can also involve the forearms, upper arms, chest, abdomen, lower legs and thighs.

The ymptoms of scleroderma are.

Thickening and swelling of the fingers.
Pale fingers that may become numb and tingle when exposed to cold or stress, known as Raynaud's phenomenon.
Joint pain.
Taut, shiny, darker skin on large areas, which can cause problems with movement.

Most localized types of scleroderma show up before age 40, and systemic types of scleroderma are typically diagnosed between ages 30 and 50.

A theory suggests that scleroderma is caused by a virus or other infection.

For example, a common virus called CMV (cytomegalovirus) is known to infect cells (endothelial cells) that line our blood vessels, which we know are diseased in scleroderma.

Those with systemic sclerosis (SSc) have worse health-related quality of life than patients with other systemic rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Antinuclear antibody (ANA) testing is the most important blood test to screen for scleroderma and other connective tissue diseases.

A lab technician will perform a blood test, place a sample of your cells on a slide, and then examine them using a fluorescent microscope.

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