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Scleroderma: Main Types & Top Questions Answered

How Is Scleroderma Diagnosed?

Your doctor will check you and ask about your health history. He’ll likely take an X-ray, do some blood tests, or take a small sample of skin (called a biopsy). He may check out your heart, lungs, and esophagus.

How Is Scleroderma Treated?

There’s no treatment for scleroderma, but you can manage the symptoms. Your doctor will focus on helping you do that with:

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin). They can help with swelling and pain.
  • Steroids and other drugs to control your immune response. These can help with muscle, joint, or internal organ problems.
  • Drugs that boost blood flow to your fingers
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Drugs that open blood vessels in the lungs or prevent tissue from scarring
  • Heartburn medication

Other things that help may include:

  • Exercise for better overall health
  • Skin treatment, including light and laser therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Stress management
  • If severe organ damage happens, organ transplantation
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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on July 14, 2014

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