Herbal & homeopathic remedies for Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous)


· General Description

· Symptoms

· Causes

· Herbal & Homeopathic Remedies

· Helpful Dietary Habits

· Dos and Don'ts

Natural Herbal & homeopathic products for Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous)
General description & overview of Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous)

Derived from the Greek words "sklerosis," meaning hardness, and "derma," meaning skin, scleroderma literally means hard skin. Though it is often referred to as if it were a single disease, scleroderma is really a symptom of a group of diseases that involve the abnormal growth of connective tissue, which supports the skin and internal organs. It is sometimes used, therefore, as an umbrella term for these disorders. In some forms of scleroderma, hard, tight skin is the extent of this abnormal process. In other forms, however, the problem goes much deeper, affecting blood vessels and internal organs, such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

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Scleroderma is called both a rheumatic disease and a connective tissue disease. The term rheumatic disease refers to a group of conditions characterized by inflammation and/or pain in the muscles, joints, or fibrous tissue. A connective tissue disease is one that affects tissues such as skin, tendons, and cartilage.

An individual with scleroderma may develop either a localized or a systemic form of the disease. Localized scleroderma usually affects only the skin on the hands and face. Systemic scleroderma, however, affects the connective tissue in many parts of the body, including the skin, the esophagus, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, kidneys, heart, and other internal organs. It is unusual for localized scleroderma to progress to the systemic form.

Natural remedies, medicines & cures for Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous). According to the Scleroderma Foundation, an estimated 300,000 people in the United States have the condition.


Symptoms of Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous)

Symptoms of scleroderma may include one or more of the following:

  • Raynaud's phenomenon (numbness, color changes and pain in cheeks, nose, ears, fingers and toes due to abnormal sensitivity to cold)

  • Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness of the fingers, hands, forearms, feet, lower legs, and face, (especially in the fingers and knees)

  • Thickening, hardening, and discoloration of the skin

  • Ulcers or lesions on fingers, face, tongue, and inner lining of the cheek

  • Shortness of breath and coughing

  • Digestive and gastrointestinal problems including difficulty swallowing, bloating, and abdominal pain

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Dry eyes

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

    Five particular symptoms occasionally occur together and are clinically recognized as a variation of scleroderma called CREST syndrome. The term CREST stands for Calcinosis (painful calcium deposits under the skin), Raynaud's phenomenon (abnormal sensitivity to cold in the hands and feet), Esophageal dysfunction (problems with swallowing caused by internal scarring), Sclerodactyly (tightening of the skin on the fingers or toes) and Telangiectasia (lesions on the hands, palms, forearms, face, and lips).

Different Types of Scleroderma

The group of diseases we call scleroderma falls into two main classes: localized scleroderma and systemic sclerosis. (Localized diseases affect only certain parts of the body; systemic diseases can affect the whole body.) Both groups include subgroups. (See chart.) Although there are different ways these groups and subgroups may be broken down or referred to (and your doctor may use different terms from what you see here), the following is a common way of classifying these diseases:

                                                                       Types of Scleroderma
Types of Scleroderma

Localized Scleroderma

Localized types of scleroderma are those limited to the skin and related tissues and, in some cases, the muscle below. Internal organs are not affected by localized scleroderma, and localized scleroderma can never progress to the systemic form of the disease. Often, localized conditions improve or go away on their own over time, but the skin changes and damage that occur when the disease is active can be permanent. For some people, localized scleroderma is serious and disabling.

There are two generally recognized types of localized scleroderma:

Morphea: It refers to local patches of scleroderma. The first signs of the disease are reddish patches of skin that thicken into firm, oval-shaped areas. The center of each patch becomes ivory colored with violet borders. These patches sweat very little and have little hair growth. Patches appear most often on the chest, stomach, and back. Sometimes they appear on the face, arms, and legs.

Morphea can be either localized or generalized. Localized morphea limits itself to one or several patches, ranging in size from a half-inch to 12 inches in diameter. The condition sometimes appears on areas treated by radiation therapy. Some people have both morphea and linear scleroderma (described below). The disease is referred to as generalized morphea when the skin patches become very hard and dark and spread over larger areas of the body. Regardless of the type, morphea generally fades out in 3 to 5 years; however, people are often left with darkened skin patches and, in rare cases, muscle weakness.

Linear scleroderma: As suggested by its name, the disease is characterized by a single line or band of thickened and/or abnormally colored skin. Usually, the line runs down an arm or leg, but in some people it runs down the forehead. People sometimes use the French term en coup de sabre, or "sword stroke," to describe this highly visible line.

Systemic Scleroderma (also known as Systemic Sclerosis)

This is the term for the form of the disease that not only includes the skin, but also involves the tissues beneath, the blood vessels, and the major organs. Systemic sclerosis is typically broken down into limited cutaneous scleroderma and diffuse cutaneous scleroderma. This means that patients have other manifestations of scleroderma but they do not have any overt skin thickening.

Limited cutaneous scleroderma: Limited cutaneous scleroderma typically comes on gradually and affects the skin only in certain areas: the fingers, hands, face, lower arms, and legs. Most people with limited disease have Raynaud's phenomenon for years before skin thickening starts. Telangiectasias and calcinosis often follow. (See definitions below.) Gastrointestinal involvement occurs commonly and some patients have severe lung problems, even though the skin thickening remains limited. People with limited disease often have all or some of the symptoms that some doctors call CREST, which stands for the following:

  • Calcinosis (KAL-sin-OH-sis): the formation of calcium deposits in the connective tissues, which can be detected by x ray. They are typically found on the fingers, hands, face, and trunk and on the skin above elbows and knees. When the deposits break through the skin, painful ulcers can result.

  • Raynaud's (ray-NOHZ) phenomenon: a condition in which the small blood vessels of the hands and/or feet contract in response to cold or anxiety. As the vessels contract, the hands or feet turn white and cold, then blue. As blood flow returns, they become red. Fingertip tissues may suffer damage, leading to ulcers, scars, or gangrene.

  • Esophageal (eh-SOFF-uh-GEE-ul) dysfunction: impaired function of the esophagus (the tube connecting the throat and the stomach) that occurs when smooth muscles in the esophagus lose normal movement. In the upper and lower esophagus, the result can be swallowing difficulties. In the lower esophagus, the result can be chronic heartburn or inflammation.

  • Sclerodactyly (SKLER-oh-DAK-till-ee): thick and tight skin on the fingers, resulting from deposits of excess collagen within skin layers. The condition makes it harder to bend or straighten the fingers. The skin may also appear shiny and darkened, with hair loss.

  • Telangiectasia (tel-AN-jee-ek-TAY-zee-uhs): a condition caused by the swelling of tiny blood vessels, in which small red spots appear on the hands and face. While not painful, these red spots can create cosmetic problems.

Alternative remedies, medicines & cures for Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous). People with diffuse disease often are tired, lose appetite and weight, and have joint swelling and/or pain. Skin changes can cause the skin to swell, appear shiny, and feel tight and itchy.

Diffuse cutaneous scleroderma: This condition typically comes on suddenly. Skin thickening begins in the hands and spreads quickly and over much of the body, affecting the hands, face, upper arms, upper legs, chest, and stomach in a symmetrical fashion (for example, if one arm or one side of the trunk is affected, the other is also affected). Some people may have more area of their skin affected than others. Internally, it can damage key organs such as the intestines, lungs, heart, and kidneys.

The damage of diffuse scleroderma typically occurs over a few years. After the first 3 to 5 years, people with diffuse disease often enter a stable phase lasting for varying lengths of time. During this phase, symptoms subside: joint pain eases, fatigue lessens, and appetite returns. Progressive skin thickening and organ damage decrease.

Gradually, however, the skin may begin to soften, which tends to occur in reverse order of the thickening process: the last areas thickened are the first to begin softening. Some patients' skin returns to a somewhat normal state, while other patients are left with thin, fragile skin without hair or sweat glands. Serious new damage to the heart, lungs, or kidneys is unlikely to occur, although patients are left with whatever damage they have in specific organs.

People with diffuse scleroderma face the most serious long-term outlook if they develop severe kidney, lung, digestive, or heart problems. Fortunately, less than 1/3rd of patients with diffuse disease develop these severe problems. Early diagnosis and continual and careful monitoring are important.


A diagnosis of scleroderma is based largely on the medical history and findings from the physical exam. Once your doctor has taken a thorough medical history, he or she will perform a physical exam. Finding one or more of the following factors can help the doctor diagnose a certain form of scleroderma:

  • changed skin appearance and texture, including swollen fingers and hands and tight skin around the hands, face, mouth, or elsewhere

  • calcium deposits developing under the skin

  • changes in the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) at the base of the fingernails

  • thickened skin patches

Finally, your doctor may order lab tests to help confirm a suspected diagnosis. At least two proteins, called antibodies, are commonly found in the blood of people with scleroderma.

In some cases, your doctor may order a skin biopsy (the surgical removal of a small sample of skin for microscopic examination) to aid in or help confirm a diagnosis.

Diagnosing scleroderma is easiest when a person has typical symptoms and rapid skin thickening. In other cases, a diagnosis may take months, or even years, as the disease unfolds and reveals itself and as the doctor is able to rule out some other potential causes of the symptoms.

Diagnosing scleroderma is particularly difficult in the early stages of the disease. This is because many individuals with scleroderma experience symptoms of other connective-tissue diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and polymyositis. When these conditions overlap, it is called mixed connective-tissue disease.

Herbal supplements for Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous). Skin biopsies, too, have their limitations: biopsy results cannot distinguish between localized and systemic disease, for example.


Causes of Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous)

The exact cause of scleroderma is not known. Scleroderma is a result of the overproduction of collagen (the primary connective tissue protein in the body) in body tissues and researchers believe that the immune system plays a role in the development of this disease. The immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells (an autoimmune response), producing too many white blood cells and other factors that cause inflammation and an overproduction of collagen, primarily in the skin. It is also believed that genetic and environmental factors may also contribute to the development of this autoimmune response.

Scientists suspect that scleroderma comes from several factors that may include:


  • Abnormal immune or inflammatory activity: Like many other rheumatic disorders, scleroderma is believed to be an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is one in which the immune system, for unknown reasons, turns against one's own body.

In scleroderma, the immune system is thought to stimulate cells called fibroblasts so they produce too much collagen. The collagen forms thick connective tissue that builds up within the skin and internal organs and can interfere with their functioning. Blood vessels and joints can also be affected.

  • Genetic makeup: While genes seem to put certain people at risk for scleroderma and play a role in its course, the disease is not passed from parent to child like some genetic diseases.

  • Environmental triggers: Research suggests that exposure to some environmental factors may trigger sclerodermalike disease (which is not actually scleroderma) in people who are genetically predisposed to it. Suspected triggers include viral infections, certain adhesive and coating materials, and organic solvents such as vinyl chloride or trichloroethylene. But no environmental agent has been shown to cause scleroderma. In the past, some people believed that silicone breast implants might have been a factor in developing connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma. But several studies have not shown evidence of a connection.

  • Still, scleroderma has been associated with a number of industrial and pharmaceutical chemicals including:

  • Silica dust

  • Some plastic materials, such as epoxy resins and vinyl chloride

  • Aromatic hydrocarbons

  • L-tryptophan (synthetic supplement)

  • Rapeseed oil

  • Hormones: By the middle to late childbearing years (ages 30 to 55) women develop scleroderma 7 to 12 times more often than men. Because of female predominance at this and all ages, scientists suspect that hormonal differences between women and men play a part in the disease. However, the role of estrogen or other female hormones has not been proven.

Homeopathic medicines for Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous). Native Americans of the Choctaw tribe of Oklahoma are more disposed towards scleroderma.

Who Gets Scleroderma?

Although scleroderma is more common in women (approximately three times more women than men develop the disease), the disease also occurs in men and children. It affects people of all races and ethnic groups. However, there are some patterns by disease type. For example:

  • Localized forms of scleroderma are more common in people of European descent than in African Americans. Morphea usually appears between the ages of 20 and 40, and linear scleroderma usually occurs in children or teenagers.

  • Systemic scleroderma, whether limited or diffuse, typically occurs in people from 30 to 50 years old. It affects more women (young women) of African American ancestry than European descent.

For some people, scleroderma (particularly the localized forms) is fairly mild and resolves with time. But for others, living with the disease and its effects day to day has a significant impact on their quality of life.


Herbal & homeopathic remedies for Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous)

While there is no cure for scleroderma, a variety of treatment options can ease the symptoms of this condition. Individuals have to avoid developing infections and it is most likely that doctors will therefore administer an annual flu and pneumococcal vaccine. Topical medications such as moisturizers or corticosteroids are used to treat localized scleroderma.

If localized scleroderma progresses to a large area of the body such as an arm or leg, oral medications may also be prescribed. Various medications such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, calcium-channel blockers, immunosuppressants or ACE inhibitors are used to treat the symptoms of systemic scleroderma – improve circulation, control high blood pressure, reduce swelling and inflammation, promote digestive function and prevent kidney damage.

If symptoms become severe, surgery may be required to repair intestinal wall or stomach damage. Sometimes, infected fingers or toes may have to be amputated and in rare cases a kidney, heart or lung transplantation may be performed.

Natural and alternative treatments may also be used in combination with prescription medicine to reduce the symptoms of scleroderma. Herbal and homeopathic remedies have proven to be highly effective in supporting skin health and healthy lymphatic functioning.

Well known herbs such as Galium aperine (Cleavers) and Trifolium pratense (red clover) act as a cleansing tonic, lymphatic cleanser and blood purifier for the skin. Homeopathic ingredients such as Natrium muriaticum, Kalium muriaticum and Kalium sulphate help to maintain a well-hydrated skin and support the natural healing and regenerative processes of the skin.

  • Natrium muriaticum (D6) (Nat. mur.) is a biochemic tissue salt which helps to maintain the body's water balance and is an essential component of all living cells. This tissue salt has an excellent reputation for maintaining skin health and supporting well-hydrated skin.

  • Schizandra sinesis is a powerful ingredient which originated in China. Schizandra is also used to assist the body in its capacity to maintain healthy energy levels, and as a general systemic tonic to support feelings of health, vitality and well-being. Schizandra is also respected for its effect on liver health and studies show that this herb can help to support healthy cardiovascular, liver, and kidney function. 

  • Kalium sulphate(D6) (Kali. sulph.) is a biochemic tissue salt that supports the distribution of oxygen throughout the body and to each individual cell and helps to maintain health in all cell membranes,  supporting the natural regenerative processes of the skin. Kali sulph. is also of great benefit in the maintenance of joint health.  

  • Galium aperine (Cleavers) is an herb which has been used in folk medicine for many centuries as a cleansing tonic, lymphatic cleanser and blood purifier. Regular use supports the natural detoxification processes of the body, including the skin.

  • Olea europea (extract of olive leaf) contains a compound called oleuropein acid that is an effective immune system tonic. The positive effects of Olive leaf have recently been demonstrated in a variety of clinical studies. Olive leaf also contains the active ingredient Calcium enolate, which is directly responsible for supporting healthy phagocytosis, the immune system function in which phagocytes in the blood engulf and digest harmful foreign micro-organisms.

  • Trifolium pretense (red clover) has a range of therapeutic benefits and is also well known as a cleansing herb for the skin. Its ability to support lymph functioning also helps to maintain the natural purifying functions of the system.

  • Crataegus oxyacanthoides is highly respected as a tonic to support healthy circulation. Studies have demonstrated the ability of Crataegus to positively assist with cardiological indications, utilizing active flavonoids in the herb producing simultaneous cardiotropic and vasodilatory action, thus dilating blood vessels for improved circulation.

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Dietary recommendations in Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous)

Individuals with scleroderma tend to have deficiencies in many vitamins and minerals.

Following these nutritional tips, they may help themselves to reduce symptoms:

  • Eat high fiber foods and eat more, smaller meals throughout the day that will not aggravate stomach problems

  • Avoid foods that cause heartburn or gas

  • Try to eliminate potential food allergens, including dairy, wheat (gluten), corn, preservatives, and food additives. Your health care provider may want to test for food sensitivities.

  • Eat antioxidant foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell peppers).

  • Include in your diet anti-inflammatory oils such as those found in cold-water fish (salmon, trout, mackerel, herring and sardines), nuts, and seeds (linseeds). They contain omega-3 oils, which although not a direct anti-inflammatory, can lessen the amount of inflammatory chemicals your body produces over time and also increase immunity.

  • Avoid refined foods such as white breads, pastas, and especially sugar.

  • Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy) or beans for protein. Quality protein sources, such as organic meat and eggs, whey, and vegetable protein shakes, should be used as part of balanced program aimed at gaining muscle mass and preventing wasting.

  • Use healthy oils, such as olive oil or vegetable oil.

  • Probiotic supplement (containing Lactobacillus acidophilus), 5 - 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) a day, when needed for maintenance of gastrointestinal and immune health. You should refrigerate your probiotic supplements for best results.

  • Coenzyme Q10 may help the body use energy and lessen fatigue and also for antioxidant and immune activity.. It is also supposed to tremendously help the elderly in their various age related issues. Sources of this useful compound include meat, fish, soya beans, potatoes, spinach and offal

  • Vitamin C with flavonoids for connective tissue repair - Vitamin C rich food goes a long way in providing not only an antioxidant rich diet but also boosting the immunity to fight against infections. Studies suggest that antioxidants deficient diet may make you bursitis prone. Some rich sources of vitamin C are oranges, green peppers, watermelon, Rose Hips, papaya, parsley, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwi, mango, broccoli, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, currants, cabbage, and citrus juices or juices fortified with Vitamin C.

  • Avoid coffee and other stimulants, alcohol, and tobacco.

Herbal & homeopathic cures for Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous). You should reduce or eliminate trans-fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.

Dos & don'ts (precautionary measures) in Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous)

Basically, scleroderma treatment and management focus on relieving symptoms and limiting damage. Your treatment will depend on the particular problems you are having. Some treatments will be prescribed or given by your physician. Others are things you can do on your own.

Here is a listing of the potential problems that can occur in systemic scleroderma and treatments for them. These problems do not occur as a result or complication of localized scleroderma. This listing is not complete because different people experience different problems with scleroderma and not all treatments work equally well for all people.

For detailed information on these disorders, please visit their individual links.

Raynaud's Phenomenon


More than 90 percent of people with scleroderma have this condition, in which the fingers and sometimes other extremities change color in response to cold temperature or anxiety. For many, Raynaud's phenomenon precedes other manifestations of the disease. In other people, however, Raynaud's phenomenon is unrelated to scleroderma, but may signal damage to the blood vessels supplying the hands arising from occupational injuries (from using jackhammers, for example), trauma, excessive smoking, circulatory problems, and drug use or exposure to toxic substances. For some people, cold fingers and toes are the extent of the problem and are little more than a nuisance. For others, the condition can worsen and lead to puffy fingers, finger ulcers, and other complications that require aggressive treatment.


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Stiff, painful joints

In diffuse systemic sclerosis, hand joints can stiffen due to hardened skin around the joints or inflammation within them. Other joints can also become stiff and swollen.

Stretching exercises under the direction of a physical and/or occupational therapist are extremely important to prevent loss of joint motion. These should be started as soon as the diagnosis of scleroderma is made.
Exercise regularly. Ask your doctor or physical therapist about an exercise plan that will help you increase and maintain range of motion in affected joints. Swimming can help maintain muscle strength, flexibility, and joint mobility.
Learn to do things in a new way. A physical or occupational therapist can help you learn to perform daily tasks, such as lifting and carrying objects or opening doors, in ways that will put less stress on tender joints..  

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Skin problems

When too much collagen builds up in the skin, it crowds out sweat and oil glands, causing the skin to become dry and stiff. If your skin is affected, you may need to see a dermatologist. To ease dry skin, try the following:

Apply oil-based creams and lotions frequently, and always right after bathing.
Apply sunscreen before you venture outdoors, to protect against further damage from the sun's rays.
Use humidifiers to moisten the air in your home in colder winter climates. Clean humidifiers often to stop bacteria from growing in the water.
Avoid very hot baths and showers, as hot water dries the skin.
  Avoid harsh soaps, household cleaners, and caustic chemicals, if at all possible. Otherwise, be sure to wear rubber gloves when you use such products.
  Exercise regularly. Exercise, especially swimming, stimulates blood circulation to affected areas.

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Dry mouth and dental problems

Dental problems are common in people with scleroderma for a number of reasons. Tightening facial skin can make the mouth opening smaller and narrower, which makes it hard to care for teeth; dry mouth due to salivary gland damage speeds up tooth decay; and damage to connective tissues in the mouth can lead to loose teeth. You can avoid tooth and gum problems in several ways:

Brush and floss your teeth regularly. If hand pain and stiffness make this difficult, consult your doctor or an occupational therapist about specially made toothbrush handles and devices to make flossing easier.
Have regular dental checkups. Contact your dentist immediately if you experience mouth sores, mouth pain, or loose teeth.
If decay is a problem, ask your dentist about fluoride rinses or prescription toothpastes that remineralize and harden tooth enamel.
Consult a physical therapist about facial exercises to help keep your mouth and face more flexible.
Keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water, sucking ice chips, using sugarless gum and hard candy, and avoiding mouthwashes with alcohol.

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Gastrointestinal (GI) problems


Systemic sclerosis can affect any part of the digestive system. As a result, you may experience problems such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, early satiety (the feeling of being full after you've barely started eating), or intestinal complaints such as diarrhea, constipation, and gas. In cases where the intestines are damaged, your body may have difficulty absorbing nutrients from food.

Check out our exhaustive list of articles on various GI problems for detailed information on individual disorders.


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Lung damage


Virtually all people with systemic sclerosis have some loss of lung function. Some develop severe lung disease, which comes in two forms: pulmonary fibrosis (hardening or scarring of lung tissue because of excess collagen) and pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the artery that carries blood from the heart to the lungs). Do the following:


Watch for signs of lung disease, including fatigue, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and swollen feet. Report these symptoms to your doctor.

Have your lungs closely checked, using standard lung-function tests, during the early stages of skin thickening. These tests, which can find problems at the earliest and most treatable stages, are needed because lung damage can occur even before you notice any symptoms.

Get regular flu and pneumonia vaccines as recommended by your doctor. Contracting either illness could be dangerous for a person with lung disease.


If your lungs are damaged because of your scleroderma, you will get very good support by using our BioVent Drops, BronchoSoothe & ImmunityPlus

Heart problems


Common among people with scleroderma, heart problems include scarring and weakening of the heart (cardiomyopathy), inflamed heart muscle (myocarditis), and abnormal heart beat (arrhythmia). All of these problems can be treated. Treatment ranges from drugs to surgery, and varies depending on the nature of the condition.


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Kidney problems


Renal crisis occurs in about 10 percent of all patients with scleroderma, primarily those with early diffuse scleroderma. Renal crisis results in severe uncontrolled high blood pressure, which can quickly lead to kidney failure. It's very important that you take measures to identify and treat the hypertension as soon as it occurs.
Check out our articles for detailed information on kidney pertaining issues.


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Cosmetic problems


Even if scleroderma doesn't cause any lasting physical disability, its effects on the skin's appearance - particularly on the face - can take their toll on your self-esteem. Fortunately, there are procedures to correct some of the cosmetic problems scleroderma causes:

  • The appearance of telangiectasias - small red spots on the hands and face caused by swelling of tiny blood vessels beneath the skin - may be reduced or even eliminated with the use of guided lasers
  • Facial changes of localized scleroderma - such as the en coup de sabre that may run down the forehead in people with linear scleroderma - may be corrected through cosmetic surgery. (However, such surgery is not appropriate for areas of the skin where the disease is active.)

Related products for cosmetic problems Invigorate Skin Tonic & ClearSkin-E Cream

Other self care techniques

Although your doctors direct your treatment, you are the one who must take your medicine regularly, follow your doctor's advice, and report any problems promptly. In other words, the relationship between you and your doctors is a partnership, and you are the most important partner. Here's what you can do to make the most of this important role.

  • Get educated: Knowledge is your best defense against this disease. Learn as much as you can about scleroderma, both for your own benefit and to educate the people in your support network.

  • Seek support: Recruit family members, friends, and coworkers to build a support network. This network will help you get through difficult times: when you are in pain; when you feel angry, sad, or afraid; when you're depressed. Also, look for a scleroderma support group in your community by calling a national scleroderma organization. If you can't find a support group, you might want to consider organizing one.


Herbs for Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous). A few studies of patients with systemic scleroderma indicate that acupuncture may improve circulation in the hands and fingers, mend fingertip ulcers, and possibly reduce the formation of fibrous tissue. Acupuncture may also be effective for pain.

  • Assemble a health care team: You and your doctors will lead the team. Other members may include physical and occupational therapists, a psychologist or social worker, a dentist, and a pharmacist.

  • Be patient: Understand that a final diagnosis can be difficult and may take a long time. Find a doctor with experience treating people with systemic and localized scleroderma. Then, even if you don't yet have a diagnosis, you will get understanding and the right treatment for your symptoms.

  • Speak up: When you have problems or notice changes in your condition, don't feel too selfconscious to speak up during your appointment or even call your doctor or another member of your health care team. No problem is too small to inquire about, and early treatment for any problem can make the disease more manageable.

  • Don't accept depression: While it's understandable that a person with a chronic illness like scleroderma would become depressed, don't accept depression as a normal consequence of your condition. If depression makes it hard for you to function well, don't hesitate to ask your health care team for help. You may benefit from speaking with a psychologist or social worker or from using one of the effective medications on the market.

  • Learn coping skills: Meditation, calming exercises, and relaxation techniques may help you cope with emotional difficulties, and relieve pain and fatigue. Ask a member of your health care team to teach you these skills or to refer you to someone who can.

  • Ask the experts: If you have problems doing daily activities, from brushing your hair and teeth to driving your car, consult an occupational or physical therapist. They have more helpful hints and devices than you can probably imagine. Social workers can often help resolve financial and insurance matters.

  • If you have trouble using your hands, consult an occupational therapist, who can recommend new ways of doing things or devices to make tasks easier. Devices as simple as Velcro fasteners and built-up brush handles can help you be more independent.


Massage and Physical Therapy

Research suggests that massage may be useful in improving circulation and preventing muscle distortion. More research is needed in this area to determine whether massage is truly an effective complementary therapy for scleroderma.

Mind-Body Medicine

Biofeedback appears to successfully control the temperature in the hands and feet of those with Raynaud's phenomenon, a symptom often found in those with scleroderma. Other mind-body techniques such as counseling, meditation, and emotional freedom technique (EFT) can be very useful.


Herbal & homeopathic products recommended in Scleroderma (Morphea, Linear, Limited cutaneous, Diffuse cutaneous)

Skin Dr.™

Helps maintain lymphatic functioning, promoting blemish-free healthy skin.

Product Details