Scleroderma and Your Feet

June 23, 2014
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Getting a diagnosis of scleroderma can be overwhelming.  This condition is characterized by thickening of the skin and damage to small arteries.  There are two types of scleroderma:


  • Limited Cutaneous Scleroderma – Side effects are limited to the skin of the face, hands, and feet.  This form is also associated with CREST syndrome (Calcinosis, Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Esophageal dysfunction, Sclerodactyly, and Telangiectasias.)
  • Diffuse Cutaneous Scleroderma – More of the skin is affected, and the heart, lungs, GI tract, and kidneys can be involved.


Since this disease affects so much of your body, it is important to have a good health care team from many fields.  Specialists can tell you how scleroderma will affect the part of the body that they are familiar with.


What Does Scleroderma do to Your Feet?


At Advanced Foot Care Centers, we have a group of podiatrists (foot specialists) who can work with you so that you understand your symptoms, and know what to expect with your feet.  Call our Chattanooga office on Brainerd Road at (423) 698 – 1966 to schedule your appointment today.


  Skin Symptoms:  Hardened, scarred, tight, reddish, and/or scaly skin, thinning or changed appearance of the fat pad under the heel, and large itchy areas of skin.    Thickened skin can become so severe that it limits motion in the feet.  Every patient is different, and some people may only have minor problems with the skin while others have extensive skin symptoms.


  Joint Symptoms:  Joint pain, arthritis, and achy muscles & tendons around the joint.  Movement of the joints in the feet can be limited due to calcinosis (calcium deposits in skin and soft tissue.)


Are There any Treatments for my Feet?


Although there is no cure for scleroderma, there are things you can do to help with the symptoms you are experiencing. 


  • NSAID’s such as Naproxen or Ibuprofen can help with pain (Always check with your doctor first to make sure you are able to take these medications)
  • Skin tightness may be treated with cyclosporine and methotrexate
  • Skin thickness may be treated with penicillamine
  • Questionable benefits with steroid treatment (prednisone)



By:  Ira Kraus


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