The medical condition known as Scleroderma causes the skin and connective tissues to thicken and stiffen, yet it is infrequent. Scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune disease with many symptoms and effects; skin involvement is joint, but internal organ damage is a rare but potentially fatal outcome. Some people simply experience symptoms on the skin.
Regarding Scleroderma, the symptoms might vary widely from person to person according to which body systems are being impacted. Women have a higher risk of developing Scleroderma than males, and those between the ages of 30 and 50 account for the vast majority of cases. Prevalence is higher in females than in males.
However, several treatments available to those living with scleroderma help alleviate symptoms, boost the quality of life and slow the disease progression. Scleroderma is currently incurable, and there is no known treatment or cure.
Who all can get Scleroderma?
Anyone can get Scleroderma. Additionally, few people are more likely to be affected than others. Depending on the following variables, your risk may either increase or decrease.
- Gender. Many more women than men suffer from Scleroderma.
- Age. Patients between the ages of 30 and 50 are where this ailment is seen most often.
- Race. Scleroderma can affect persons of all races and ethnic groups. However, it affects African Americans more severely than other races and ethnic groups.
Types of Sclerodermas
The skin disease scleroderma can be divided into two types:
- When Scleroderma is localized, it can cause damage to the underlying tissues and organs.
- When you have systemic sclerosis, also called systemic Scleroderma, your skin, tissues, blood vessels, and significant organs can all be harmed.
What are the symptoms of Scleroderma?
Scleroderma symptoms are highly distinctive and depend on a person’s type of Scleroderma. Localized Scleroderma commonly manifests as thick, hard skin patches, which can take one of two forms:
- Oval, complex lesions may stay in one place on the skin or spread to other body areas.
- Discoloured or thicker bands appear on the face, neck, and extremities (this latter symptom is relatively uncommon).
Systemic Scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis, can have a sudden or progressive onset and damage internal organs and the skin. Numerous patients with this form of Scleroderma describe extreme weariness (fatigue).
What are the causes of Scleroderma?
The exact reason why some people acquire Scleroderma is unknown, although the following factors are all speculated to play a role:
The risk of developing Scleroderma is increased in some families. A person’s genetic makeup can affect the form of Scleroderma they create. Having a parent with Scleroderma does not enhance a child’s likelihood of developing the disease, but having any affected family raises that risk significantly. In the natural world, Scleroderma can be brought on by being exposed to environmental elements, such as viruses or chemicals.
When your immune system is disrupted, your cells may produce an abnormally high amount of collagen. Skin can become rough and wrinkled when there is an excess of collagen. Prolactin, oestrogen, and testosterone. Hormonal differences between sexes may contribute to the development of this illness.
Investigators are looking into the root causes of Scleroderma to better treat patients. Here is what we do know about this group of rare diseases:
- NOT communicable
- NOT a specific form of cancer
- NOT a contagious illness
It is an excessive quantity of collagen production in the body that can lead to Scleroderma. Rigid and thick skin is the result of an excess of collagen being produced. Furthermore, it may lead to stiffening and thickening of tendons, joints, and other bodily organs. The root of this phenomenon remains a mystery. The aberrant creation of collagen originates from an individual’s immune system flaw. There is also the possibility that the individual’s environment can trigger the onset of Scleroderma.
The increased risk of Scleroderma among those exposed to silica dust has been known since 1914. Miners, foundry workers, and roofers are examples of people whose jobs put them in contact with silica dust. However, additional research is required to identify whether exposure to silica dust increases the risk.
Children who get morphea, the most common form of Scleroderma, are more likely to have a close relative with the disease. Because morphea tends to be inherited, you’re more likely to develop it. Perhaps there’s a genetic component.
Collagen accumulates in the tissues of people with Scleroderma because their bodies produce too much protein. Connective tissues, such as the skin, contain collagen, a protein with a fibrous structure. Medical experts don’t know what sets off this cascade of events, but they suspect the body’s immune system. Many factors come together to produce Scleroderma; immune system dysfunction, genetics, and environmental irritants play a role.