Scleroderma is an autoimmune condition (meaning that an individual’s immune system works against itself) which involves the tightening and hardening of the connective tissues (the fibers which provide the support and framework for the body) and skin.
The word “scleroderma” comes from 2 Greek words – “sclero” translating as hard and “derma” translating as skin.
The most common age span for the development of this autoimmune condition is between 35 and 50. The condition is more frequent in women than in men. In the United States, American Indians and African-Americans are more commonly affected by the condition than Caucasians.
It is not infectious, contagious, malignant, or cancerous. An estimated 85 to 95 percent of scleroderma suferrers experience Raynaud’s phenomenon. Also, up to 1 in 3 patients develops severe symptoms.
There are two main forms of scleroderma:
There are 2 main types of localized scleroderma:
- linear – in this type, there may be streaks or bands of hardened skin on the limbs, and rarely the face and head;
- morphea – in this type, symptoms include oval-shaped patches of darker or lighter skin, that may be hairless, itchy, and shiny.
It typically affects the internal systems or internal organs of the body as well as the skin. Also, systemic scleroderma is described by changes in the appearance and texture of the skin. This is caused by an increased collagen production. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, keeping tissues flexible and firm.
There are two main types of SS:
It affects the skin as well as many internal organs, hindering respiratory and digestive functions, and causing kidney failure.
It is also known as CREST syndrome. Each letter represents a characteristic of the condition:
- Telangiectasias (red spots on the skin);
- Sclerodactyly (skin tightening on the fingers);
- Esophageal dysmotility (difficulty swallowing);
- Raynaud’s phenomenon (see the symptoms section);
- Calcinosis (abnormal calcium deposits in the skin).
Note – symptoms will vary according to the type of scleroderma, and whether it affects a whole body system or one part of the physical body. Symptoms may include:
- red spots on the hands and face;
- tight, thickened skin on the fingers;
- problems of the esophagus, that links the stomach and throat;
- Raynaud’s disease – a narrowing of the blood vessels to the feet and hands;
- calcium deposits in connective tissues.
No one knows exactly what causes this autoimmune condition. Most cases of systemic scleroderma are sporadic, that means they occur in individuals with no history of the condition in their family.
Your healthcare provider will diagnose the condition by using a physical exam, your medical history, a skin biopsy, and lab tests.
Common treatments include:
- various medicines to control heartburn, pain, and high blood pressure (hypertension);
- moisturizing the affected areas of skin to help relieve itchiness and keep it supple;
- steroid medication to relieve muscle and joint problems;
- medicines which slow the progression of the condition by reducing the activity of the immune system;
- other medications to improve circulation.
Here Is A List Of 10 Essential Oils For Scleroderma:
Native to India, palmarosa is a type of tropical grass which is known for its rich supply of volatile oils. It is a fresh smelling essential oil that balances the production of sebum on both dry and oily skin and hydrates the skin.
This essential oil promotes new cell growth and protects the existing cells. Also, it works as a natural toner and possesses anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial benefits.
It is antiseptic and is one of the main detoxifying oils. Additionally, rosemary essential oil is a very versatile warming oil that has the effect of unblocking and stimulating numerous systems in the body.
It contains a potent compound called cinnamaldehyde that makes it a good natural remedy against numerous skin conditions, such as acne, rashes, scleroderma, and psoriasis. Also, this essential oil is an incredible essential oil for treating bacterial infections.
#7 Carrot Seed
Due to its potent skin regeneration properties, carrot seed essential oil enhances the skin complexion and helps to fade scars. In addition, it helps maintain a smooth skin.
It has emollient properties, meaning that coconut oil fills the spaces between skin cells to create a smooth surface.
It contains anti-itch compounds called thymol and camphor that are beneficial for your skin.
Skin conditions in which lavender oil is extremely helpful: eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, scleroderma, and scarring. Also, lavender essential oil can be used as a first aid remedy for abrasions, burns, wounds, and insect bites.
Mangosteen is one of the best natural foods which can help with skin fungal infections, including candida, eczema, and ringworm as well as other skin issues.
Thanks to its natural antifungal, antibacterial, emollient, and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera is an amazing agent for treating a variety of skin problems, including rashes, acne, and possibly scleroderma.
These seeds help block a chemical in the body called arachidonic acid that is responsible for inflammation.
#4 Petroleum Jelly
Also known as mineral oil, petroleum jelly has been used as a skin moisturizer for years.
Oatmeal is especially helpful in treating rashes triggered by eczema, poison ivy, sunburn, chicken pox, and allergies. Some specialists think that it may also be effective for scleroderma.
Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, acts as an antioxidant that reduces the wound healing time and protects the skin. It is recommended to consume at least 1 tsp of turmeric a day. You can also mix it with water an apply the paste topically.
Some of the foods that are rich in antioxidants and can contribute to skin health include:
- navy beans;
- adzuki beans;
- red kidney beans;