Sclerosis is when the skin’s surface would suddenly turn into scar tissue or when one would suddenly experience different problems with internal organs that are brought about when an individual’s immune system would start attacking the tissue of that same body. The most visible symptoms of sclerosis is to have some affected areas in the skin however, to know if one is affected, he or she should get diagnosed by a doctor.
Sclerosis is more common in women than it is in men and is rarely found in children. It also happens between the ages of 30 to 60. While sclerosis would affect the skin as well as some organs, it is also notorious for causing a lot of its victims joint pain. Sclerosis could make its victims have dry joints or make the joint movement more limited and in severe cases, it could cripple the victim.
What Causes It?
So far, the cause for sclerosis has never been identified although medical experts have resulted to developing various theories for the cause of sclerosis. Some medical experts would say that sclerosis is very much genetic; having a case of sclerosis in the family would mean that everyone else is at danger of developing it. Some would also say that it is largely environmental and is mainly caused by factors that can be picked up from the environment.
Basing on the common category this would affect which are women in between the ages 30 to 60, some medical experts have thought that the reason behind scleroderma are the fetal remnants left over that are still circulating in the mother’s bloodstream. They say that even after decades after birth, these could still cause scleroderma. This however is yet to be proven and is not backed by sufficient evidence. Even with the main cause of scleroderma being unknown, a lot of cases have still been managed and treated effectively with the use of medications and other methods.
How Does It Affect Joints?
Scleroderma would affect different organs and body parts differently, the only common thing with how it would affect them is that it would cause the patient pain and would limit the activities of the affected area. As for joints, they become less flexible and would cause sharp pain similar to rheumatism or arthritis. This could also lead to the patient being crippled over time if the symptoms do not improve in time.
This is because the antibodies are attacking the bone itself and could also be attacking the nearby muscles depending on the case. If you would get diagnosed with an x-ray, it would show that the bone is whiter than it should be, that of which indicates degeneration in the bone. If that is so, then that degeneration is expected to get worse by the moment until the bone is very brittle and could later start cracking.
How Is It Treated?
With the cause of scleroderma being yet unknown, there is also no single drug that would cure all cases of it. Treatment for scleroderma is specific depending on the case and on the patient as for joint problems, this is usually done first by having it diagnosed with joint x-rays and if it is confirmed that the bones are affected by scleroderma, the patient then will undergo physical therapy for them to be able to manage having limited movement.