Systemic Sclerosis

Board-Certified Rheumatologist located in Heart of Hendersonville Indian Lake Blvd, Hendersonville, TN

Systemic Sclerosis services offered in Heart of Hendersonville Indian Lake Blvd, Hendersonville, TN

Systemic sclerosis causes the skin to tighten and harden and also affects internal organs, joints, and other parts of your body. At Comprehensive Arthritis Care, the team of renowned rheumatic disease experts offers personalized care for systemic sclerosis to prevent your disease from progressing to disability. Early treatment is the path to an excellent quality of life, so call the Hendersonville, Tennessee, office or use the online scheduling feature now.

Systemic Sclerosis Q&A

What is systemic sclerosis?

Systemic sclerosis is a disease that causes skin tightening and hardening. Additionally, it causes connective tissues in the body to harden and thicken. This leads to the growth of tough scar tissue that can prevent organs, joints, muscles, and blood vessels from functioning normally.

Systemic sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system mistakenly produces antibodies that attack your own body. It usually starts at age 30-50 but may occur earlier or later in rare cases. Women are far more likely to develop systemic sclerosis than men. 

Is systemic sclerosis the same as localized scleroderma?

Localized scleroderma affects only the skin. Systemic sclerosis affects both the skin and other parts of your body, like internal organs.

What are the symptoms of systemic sclerosis?

Systemic sclerosis can cause problems bodywide, with common symptoms including:

  • Hard patches of skin
  • Tight-feeling patches of skin
  • Shiny skin
  • Spider veins
  • Nodules under the skin
  • Joint pain
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon (fingers grow numb and turn white or pale, then blue)
  • Digestive issues like acid reflux, cramps, and bowel habit changes
  • Joint stiffness
  • Joint swelling

Nearly everyone with systemic sclerosis experiences skin symptoms, but in rare cases, some people have other issues but no skin involvement. Symptoms can range from mild to quite severe. If left untreated, systemic sclerosis can cause serious heart, kidney, and lung problems that could be life-threatening. 

Is systemic sclerosis treatable?

The symptoms of systemic sclerosis are treatable. Comprehensive Arthritis Care offers personalized symptom relief as well as treatments to help slow down disease progression. Some of the most common treatments include:

  • Steroid medications to reduce inflammation and discomfort
  • Immunosuppressant medications to suppress immune system activity
  • Blood pressure medications for vascular issues and kidney and lung problem prevention
  • Acid-reducing medications for acid reflux
  • Antibiotics for bacterial infections that cause digestive issues

Comprehensive Arthritis Care offers topical creams, oral medication, musculoskeletal injections, and intravenous (IV) infusion therapy conveniently in the office. The team can also provide a referral to physical, occupational, or water therapy. 

If you have possible systemic sclerosis symptoms, it’s important to have autoimmune disease experts evaluate your situation and needs. Call Comprehensive Arthritis Care or click the online scheduling feature today.