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CREST Syndrome and Scleroderma

Some people have a type of scleroderma called CREST syndrome (or limited scleroderma). Unlike other types, which only affect the arms, legs, and face, this kind can involve your digestive tract. While less common, it can also lead to problems with your heart and lungs. The good news is that your doctor can help you manage your symptoms, prevent complications, and feel better.

People with this form of the disease have at least two of the symptoms below:

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  • Calcinosis -- Painful lumps of calcium in the skin. These can happen on your fingers or other parts of your body.
  • Raynaud's phenomenon -- White or cold skin on the hands and feet when you’re cold or stressed. It’s caused by blood flow problems.
  • Esophageal dysfunction -- Problems swallowing. This is caused by scarring in the esophagus, the tube that runs from your mouth to your stomach.
  • Sclerodactyly – Tightness and thickening of finger or toe skin. It can make it hard to bend your fingers.
  • Telangiectasias -- Red spots on the hands, palms, forearms, face, and lips. These are caused by widened blood vessels.

Treatment for CREST syndrome is similar to treatment for other forms of scleroderma.

WebMD Medical Reference

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

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