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Scleroderma

What is scleroderma?

This condition takes its name from the Greek root word skleros, which means hard, and derma, which means relating to the skin. It is an autoimmune disorder, causing the skin as well as other tissues to harden. It is not cancerous, contagious, or infectious.

Scleroderma is a chronic disease, affecting about 300,000 Americans. It typically develops between the age of 25 and 55, and it progresses over time.

What causes scleroderma?

This condition is the result of excess collagen production. Although the cause of the excess collagen is not clear, it appears to be associated with the immune system. There are two forms:

Localized scleroderma affects only the skin.

Systemic scleroderma affects the skin, as well as other tissues and organs such as the lungs, kidneys, heart, intestines, and gall bladder.

Symptoms of scleroderma

Some of the most common signs include:

  • Unusually light or dark skin.
  • Changes in the coloring of the fingers or toes when exposed to cold or heat.
  • Hardening or thickening skin.
  • Shiny skin on the forearms and hands.
  • Small lumps, white in color, forming beneath the surface of the skin.
  • Tightness of the facial skin.
  • Ulcers on the toes or fingers.

Scleroderma treatment at Dr. W Dermatology

Unfortunately, this condition cannot be cured; however, medications can help to slow the progression and ease the symptoms. Treatment will depend on the type and severity of the condition. It may include:

  • Biological medications that suppress the over-activity of the immune system.
  • Medications to stabilize blood pressure can help the functionality of the lungs and kidneys.
  • Occupational or physical therapy is helpful for many patients.
  • In some cases, surgical intervention is required.

Although scleroderma is less common than many familiar skin diseases like acne, it can be devastating for those affected. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned, or you have any other persistent, unknown skin problem, visit Dr. W Dermatology. You can call 281 771-0494 to schedule an appointment at either of our locations. We have offices in Katy and Houston for your convenience.



“Dear Dr. Weaver,

Thank you very much for everything that you have done to enhance my outside beauty. When I first stepped foot into your office, I knew that my dream of having clearer skin would then become more than just a dream. It would now be a reality. Without you, Dr. Weaver, I would not have the confidence that I now possess and could not have made it as far in my career path as I have. I can truly and sincerely say you are my “Facial Angel”. At the age of 15, I had a low self esteem and never thought that I would ever be in a relationship with anyone who would accept me and “all my acne”. But now at the age of 23, I have someone who loves me for me and is also grateful to you for all that you have and will continue to do for me and us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are a God’s Facial/body helper for me and many like me. May God continue to bless you, your family, and your business. Thank you so much”