Alopecia (Hair Loss)
Calcinosis (Calcium Deposits)
Elbow Tip Pain
Fingernails, Nailfolds, Cuticles
|Lower Extremity Ulcers
Microstomia (Small Mouth)
Sclerodactyly (Sclero in Hands)
Telangiectasia (Red Dots)
Xerosis (Dry Skin)
Skin involvement in systemic sclerosis, which includes both limited/CREST and diffuse scleroderma, can include hair loss, calcium deposits, open sores, swelling, gangrene, changes in skin color, itching, small mouth, swollen or hardened skin on fingers or elsewhere, and dry skin. When skin hardens on the fingers, it is called sclerodactyly. (Also see What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma, and Systemic Sclerosis)
Patterns and predictors of skin score change in early diffuse systemic sclerosis from the European Scleroderma Observational Study. Two prediction models for progressive skin thickening were derived, for use both in clinical practice and for cohort enrichment in randomised controlled trials. PubMed, Ann Rheum Dis, 2018 Apr;77(4):563-570.
Alopecia (hair loss) may occur with scleroderma, if it affects the scalp. ISN.
|Overview of Alopecia (Hair Loss)
Alopecia and Autoimmune Diseases
Alopecia and Scleroderma
Alopecia Personal Stories
Calcinosis. The systemic forms of scleroderma can cause small white calcium lumps to form under the skin on fingers or other areas of the body. ISN.
Photos of Calcinosis
Collagen, Face Lifts, and Scleroderma. Collagen injections should be used with caution in people who have had certain autoimmune diseases. ISN.
|Overview of Collagen Injections
Collagen Injections and Autoimmune Diseases
Face Lifts and Scleroderma
As Cause of Autoimmune Diseases
Repair for Linear/Morphea Scleroderma
Digital Ulcers. Systemic scleroderma and Raynaud's can cause painful ulcers on the fingers or toes, which are known as digital ulcers. ISN.
|Digital Ulcer Stories
Prevention & Treatment
In the initial stages, the systemic forms of scleroderma may cause edema (swelling) in the fingers.
Scleroderma Elbow Tip Pains "A common area of involvement of this condition is the skin over the tips of the elbows (the olecranon area). When this skin is involved, it can lead to troublesome irritation of the tips of the elbows with tenderness noted when any pressure is applied." MedicineNet.
Fingernails, Nailfolds, and Cuticles. The systemic forms of scleroderma can cause the fingernails to become smaller, and cuticles to become hard or rough. ISN.
Cuticles: Periungual Erythema
Causes of Fingernail Symptoms and Abnormalities
|Lack of Fingerprints
Gangrene and Amputations. Severe cases of scleroderma and Raynaud's may cause a total lack of blood supply to the extremities. When this happens, necrosis (death of tissue) and gangrene may set in, sometimes making it necessary to have the affected part(s) amputated. ISN.
Causes of Gangrene
Scleroderma and Smoking
|Photos of Gangrene
Hypopigmentation and Hyperpigmentation. Systemic sclerosis (SSc) such as limited or diffuse scleroderma, can cause hyperpigmentation (darkening) and hypopigmention (lightening) of the skin, usually in the areas which have been affected by skin hardening. ISN.
|Salt and Pepper Appearance
Ultraviolet Light Therapy
Itching may precede and accompany skin tightening in limited and diffuse systemic sclerosis (lSSc, dSSc, SSc). It is caused by the inflammation, and is a temporary phase. ISN.
Drug-Induced Skin Itching
Itching QOL and Disability
Treatments for Itching
Xerosis (Dry Skin)
Points to consider for skin ulcers in systemic sclerosis. Biomarkers should be considered or consideration should be given to storing serum, plasma or cells for possible future analysis. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford), 2017 Sep 1;56(suppl_5):v67-v71.
Efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of ischemic toe ulcer in a patient presenting systemic sclerosis. We report herein a clinical case illustrating the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the treatment of ischemic ulcers of the toes in systemic sclerosis. PubMed, Ann Dermatol Venereol, 2017 Jan;144(1):55-59.
Microstomia. Systemic scleroderma can cause the mouth area to shrink and harden, which can impair chewing, brushing, flossing, and dental work. When the mouth becomes smaller, it is called "microstomia". ISN.
|Microstomia (Small Mouth) and Scleroderma
Prevention of Microstomia
|Treatments for Microstomia
Microstomia Personal Stories
The Neck Sign is a distinctive pattern of yellow-brown plaque with beading and ridging. See Scleroderma Photos.
Raynaud's causes blood vessel spasms, which can cause painful coldness, color changes, numbness and tingling. ISN.
Tips from Patients
Sclerodactyly. When fingers and/or toes become tight, stretched, wax-like, and hardened it is called sclerodactyly. ISN.
Sclerodactyly and Scleroderma
Sclerodactyly Personal Stories
Skin Fibrosis. Scleroderma is named after skin fibrosis, which is one of its most common and recognizable symptoms. Skin fibrosis eventually develops in most patients. Sclero means "hard" and derma means "skin". ISN.
Myositis (Muscle Inflammation)
Skin Viscoelasticity. Skin is the largest organ in our body. It protects us from environmental factors, like sunshine and chemicals. It is like elastic, in that it stretches and then snaps back to its original shape and size, which is called viscoelasticity. ISN.
|Early Diagnosis of SSc
Telangiectasia may appear on the hands or face. These are tiny red dots, which are caused by blood vessels dilating near the surface of the skin. ISN.
T's in Scleroderma
Wound Healing can be a real challenge for many scleroderma patients. Any wound that does not show improvement after a couple of days should be brought to your doctor's attention. ISN.
Xerosis may occur from Scleroderma causing the skin to become excessively dry. Very mild soaps and lotions (often baby products) are recommended. ISN.
|What is Xerosis?
Tips from the Skin Site
The Scleroderma Bath
We have the world's best supporters! See ISN News.
SCLERO.ORG is the world's leading nonprofit for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses. We are a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team. Donations may also be mailed to: