We know this is a difficult time and We want you to know we care for our patient's health and wellbeing.

Understanding Scleroderma

In Greek, “sclero” means “hard” and “derma” is skin. In modern medical terminology, scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune disorder. Although it can’t be cured, scleroderma can be treated and managed. 

At Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, Reinhard Kage, MD, PhD, Barbara Kage, MD, and Donna Duffy, PA-C, and the rest of our staff are dedicated to helping patients with chronic autoimmune conditions, such as scleroderma, achieve excellent quality of life. 

When you have scleroderma your skin, tendons, and ligaments are at risk. Your immune system produces excess collagen as if your connective tissues were injured and need to heal. However, the collagen builds up and hardens your connective tissues. 

Symptoms

Not everyone who has scleroderma experiences the same symptoms. In some people, only the skin hardens, but in other people, virtually every organ is affected. 

These are common symptoms: 

In cases where scleroderma affects the blood vessels and organs, symptoms may include: 

Treatments

Currently, there’s no cure for scleroderma, but there are treatments that can ease symptoms, relieve pain, and make your life more comfortable. 

Some of the medications that the experts at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut may suggest if you have scleroderma include: 

Physical therapy may also be an option to help improve your range of motion, build strength, and manage pain. 

In some instances, surgical intervention may be necessary. Raynaud’s disease in addition to scleroderma may require amputation of affected fingertips because Raynaud’s disease can restrict blood flow to your fingers causing tissue loss. 

Systemic scleroderma, in which your organs are affected, may require surgery as well. Surgical intervention can extend your life. 

Because scleroderma can affect your body in so many different ways, it’s important for your treatment to be highly individualized. Our experts provide a thorough examination and discuss your symptoms and history with you before making any treatment suggestions. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with scleroderma and you’re curious about your options, schedule an appointment at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut today. You can request an appointment online or call one of our offices in Manchester or Middletown, CT, that works best for you to schedule

You Might Also Enjoy...

How Biologics Can Help Treat Lupus

Living with lupus means constantly managing your symptoms with drugs that relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and ease breathing. But there may be a treatment you haven’t tried that can treat your lupus at the source — biologics.

3 Telltale Symptoms of Vasculitis

You’re tired and achy all the time. Your head hurts. You don’t feel well, and you’re not sure why. You may have a rare but dangerous condition called vasculitis, inflammation inside your blood vessels. Here’s what to do.

Can My Osteoporosis Be Reversed?

Brittle bones are no laughing matter. Osteoporosis affects approximately 10 million people, and many more are at risk for it. The condition increases your risk for fracture, back pain, and more. Learn steps you can take to halt its progression.

Effective Treatments for Connective Tissue Disease

If you’re living with a connective tissue disease — whether that’s rheumatoid arthritis or another condition — you’ll be glad to know that there are a variety of effective treatments available. Explore them here.

5 Common Asthma Triggers

Living with asthma can be challenging, wondering when you’ll have another asthma attack. Knowing what sets off your attacks is a good way to stay ahead of it. Read on to learn more about these five common asthma triggers.

Symptoms of an Insect Allergy

More people are afraid of being bitten or stung than are actually allergic to insects. However, if you are allergic to insect bites and stings, it can be potentially life-threatening. Here’s what you need to know about insect allergies.