Scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune condition that leads to scarring of the skin, joints, and other internal organs.
- In the United States, about one in 1,000 people are affected.
- While found among all races worldwide, the disease has high rates among the native American Choctaw tribe and African-American females.
- Women are four times more likely to develop scleroderma than men.
How Children’s approaches scleroderma
The Samara Jan Turkel Clinical Center for Pediatric Autoimmune Disease provides comprehensive and coordinated care and support for patients and families facing the complexities of scleroderma and other challenging autoimmune diseases. Clinical care includes outpatient and inpatient treatment, a wide range of rehabilitative therapies, pain management, outreach to complementary therapies such as acupuncture and massage, and developmental and psychosocial support.
A less severe form of scleroderma is called CREST. The CREST syndrome represents the following symptoms:
- Calcium skin deposits
- Raynaud phenomenon (a condition in which the blood vessels of the fingers and toes go into spasm when triggered by factors such as cold, stress or illness; the result is cold, painful or numb fingers and toes which in severe cases may become gangrenous)
- Esophageal dysfunction (problems with the esophagus, the tube between the mouth and the stomach)
- Sclerodactyly (skin damage on fingers)
- Telangiectasia (spider veins), limits skin damage to the fingers. However, this disease, when coupled with pulmonary hypertension (elevated blood pressures within the lungs), can lead to heart and respiratory failure.
|Transitioning from pediatric to adult care|
|More than 9 million children in the United States are living with a chronic illness. Every year, 500,000 of these children turn 18. As they join their fellow adolescents in struggling to achieve optimal independence, they also face a serious issue they may not be prepared for: the transition of their medical care. Read Children’s tips for helping kids – and their families – make this key transition.|