Limited scleroderma is one of two main forms of scleroderma, with it being the safer or the one which would tend not to be fatal. Limited scleroderma happens when an individual’s antibodies would attack his or her own tissues, which is contrary to its real purpose which is to protect it. This in turn would cause the affected area, which in most cases is the skin, to thicken. Since this is usually accompanied by pain, the patient’s movement is limited.
Limited scleroderma would often show in the face, chest, arms, elbows, knees, fingers, toes and sometimes on the legs and the spine. This is most likely to occur to women than it is on men and usually comes out when the victim is around 30 to 50 years of age. While limited scleroderma is considerably mild, neglecting it can make the case worse and have the condition spread inside. This condition then is known as systemic sclerosis.
As of now, there is no accurately known cause for any case of scleroderma. Some of the possible causes are genetics and that scleroderma can be hereditary, environment and that it is brought about by different unwanted factors in the environment such as bacteria, virus and similar factors, hormones are also said to cause it as to explain why women are more likely to develop scleroderma much more than men are.
One theory also made was that the fetal matter left after pregnancy that are still circulating in the mother’s system, even after decades of giving birth can cause scleroderma. While all of these may be reasonable and are very possible causes of scleroderma, unfortunately none of them are proven yet and the cause for all forms of scleroderma remains unknown.
Limited scleroderma is also known as CREST which is an acronym of all of its most visible symptoms. The first symptom for it of which the first letter stands for is calcinosis. This is the development of tiny calcium deposits under the skin which mainly form on the joints. These deposits can be felt and seen easily. Another symptom is Raynaud’s phenomenon which is the most common symptom of every form of scleroderma with it happening in 95% of all cases.
Esophagus disease is also experienced by people who suffer scleroderma, which would make it difficult for them to swallow since it interferes with the body’s way of processing food down known as peristalsis. Another evident symptom is sclerodactyly which refers to the localized tightening of the toes and fingers thus limiting their movement. The last symptom is telangiectasias, which are tiny red areas anywhere on the skin.
As of now, there is no known treatment for the complete removal of scleroderma in a patient. The approach for treating scleroderma is focused on limiting the damages done by the illness to the affected areas and as well as attempting to restore function to the damaged area. This can be done by either medications, rehabilitation therapy and as well as surgery. Numerous cases have been proven successful in the past.
For limited scleroderma, each different symptom is treated individually. Raynaud’s phenomenon would only require warming and protection or one could take low-dose aspirin to prevent blood clots. Fluoxetine can also help improve overall circulation which can restore normal functions.