How to treat limited scleroderma or Crest syndrome

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Limited scleroderma or crest syndrome is a subtype of scleroderma which is a condition that causes hardening of the skin and skin changes only happen in the lower arms and legs and oftentimes, it can affect the face and the throat as well as the digestive tract. You can register for first aid training today if you want to learn more about this condition.

Symptoms of limited scleroderma

  • Changes in the skin affects only the lower part of the arms and legs as well as the fingers and toes. Oftentimes, it can affect the face and the neck and the skin looks shiny and there is difficulty in bending the fingers and opening the mouth.
  • A condition that happens when small blood vessels in the fingers and toes goes into spasm, causing the blockage of the blood flow which is known as Raynaud’s phenomenon and can be a symptom of a limited scleroderma.
  • Presence of small red spots or lines that are caused by the swelling of the tiny blood vessels found near the surface of the skin of the hands and face.
  • Limited scleroderma may lead to the tiny calcium deposits that can develop under the skin of the elbows, fingers and knees.
  • Experiencing difficulty in swallowing

Some complications that can be caused by limited scleroderma include changes in the functions of the esophageal muscles which can cause difficulty in swallowing and a chronic heartburn.

Limited scleroderma
Changes in the skin affects only the lower part of the arms and legs as well as the fingers and toes.

If the intestines are affected by limited scleroderma, the person can suffer from constipation, bloating and diarrhea after eating meals and unintended loss of weight. Limited scleroderma can cause ulcers on the finger and toes which are difficult to heal which is known as Raynaud’s phenomenon. Limited scleroderma can damage the lungs, scarring of the heart tissues that can lead to abnormal heart beats or arrhythmias and sometimes an inflamed heart muscle or myocarditis. Limited scleroderma can cause severe tightening of the facial skin and making it difficult to open the mouth and brushing the teeth. Additionally, those who have limited scleroderma experiences dry mouth and eyes.

Treatment and home remedies

  • To minimize the Raynaud’s phenomenon symptoms, when outdoors wear gloves or mittens when the weather is cool.
  • Avoid smoking since nicotine causes constriction of the blood vessels and makes Raynaud’s phenomenon worse.
  • Perform regular exercises every day to help in maintaining flexibility and strength
  • If there is difficulty in swallowing, eat soft, moist foods and chew them well in order to minimize acid reflux.
  • Avoid using harsh soaps and detergents and bath only once a day or every other day using warm water not hot water. Apply oil-based moisturizers after washing the hands or bathing while the skin is still damp.
  • Apply sunscreen before going out in order to prevent further damage to the skin.
  • Always practice good oral hygiene such as maintaining regular check up with the dentist as well as using special toothpastes and rinses. Drinking water when the mouth is dry or sucking ice chips or sugarless candies.

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