Scleroderma happens when the body’s immune system begins attacking its own tissues instead of protecting them. This causes the affected area to thicken that in turn would limit blood flow and limit the organ’s function. Scleroderma can affect everyone but the most affected are women that are between the ages 30 and 50. This rarely happens among Northern Asians and in children and is inherent in African-American women and the Native American Choctaw tribe.
There are two main forms of scleroderma. These are systemic sclerosis which would affect two or more areas and is the more fatal form and CREST or limited scleroderma. Although limited scleroderma can be disabling, it is not very likely that it can cause death unless the condition will progress into something worse. CREST usually affects the lower arms and legs, the face and the neck and tends to progress much slower than systemic sclerosis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Crest?
CREST is an acronym for its major symptoms. C in crest stands for calcinosis which is characterized by calcium deposits forming under the skin mainly on the knees, elbows and fingers. Another symptom is Raynaud’s phenomenon which is one of the most common symptoms of any form on sclerosis. This usually begins by color changes, numbness and pain in the fingers and is caused when blood flow is limited towards the fingers.
Another common symptom of CREST is esophageal dysfunction. People with limited scleroderma often experience problems with their esophagus which makes swallowing difficult for them. They could also experience thickening in various parts of the body particularly the fingers, legs, chest, arms and legs. This condition is known as sclerodactyly. The last symptom is telangiectasia which is a collection of blood vessels on the surface of the skin.