CREST Syndrome

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CREST Syndrome, also known as Scleroderma is a widespread connective tissue disease that involves changes in the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs.


  • Blanching, blueness, or redness of fingers and toes in response to heat and cold
  • Pain, stiffness, and swelling of fingers and joints
  • Skin thickening and shiny hands and forearm
  • Skin is hard
  • Tight and mask-like facial skin
  • Ulcerations on fingertips or toes
  • Esophageal reflux or heartburn
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bloating after meals
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Shortness of breath

  • Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:
  • Wrist pain
  • Wheezing
  • Skin, abnormally dark or light
  • Joint pain
  • Hair loss
  • Eye burning, itching, and discharge

  • Causes:
    The cause is unknown. Persons with this condition have a build up of a substance called collagen in the skin and other organs. This build up leads to the symptoms associated with the disease.

    The disease usually affects people 30 to 50 years old. Women are affected more often than men. Risk factors are occupational exposure to silica dust and polyvinyl chloride.

  • Drugs used to treat scleroderma include:

  • ...... Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Other treatments for specific symptoms may include:

  • .......Antacids for heartburn
    .......Medications to treat Raynaud's phenomenon
    .......Blood pressure medications for high blood pressure or kidney problems
    .......Medicines to improve breathing
  • Treatment usually includes a combination of physical therapy and skin and joint protection techniques.

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