Health Information

Symptoms of Scleroderma

The more you know about your health, the better prepared you are to make informed healthcare decisions. Our health library gives you the information you need to take charge of your health.

Scleroderma involves a wide variety of symptoms. In most cases, people first have symptoms that are associated with Raynaud’s phenomenon .

Raynaud's phenomenon causes:

  • Changes in skin color of the fingertips, toes, and nose in response to cold or emotional stress
  • Skin usually turns very white when first exposed to cold, then blue, then very red
  • May be accompanied by pain, tingling, numbness

Scleroderma may cause:

  • Sores or ulcers on the fingers
  • Changes in the skin as areas of affected skin lose hair and become stiff, hard, thick, and shiny
  • Tight skin over face that makes it hard to change expression
  • Skin creases diminish or disappear
  • Whitish bumps of calcium deposits develop under the skin, known as calcinosis
  • Tiny purplish-red blood vessels appear under the skin, known as telangiectasias
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Dry eyes and mouth, called Sjögren’s syndrome

Scleroderma may cause digestive problems, such as:

Scleroderma may cause lung, heart, and kidney problems, such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Abnormal heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias
  • Fainting, known as syncope

Revision Information

  • Systemic sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 5, 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.

  • Scleroderma. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Scleroderma/default.asp . Updated August 2012. Accessed August 8, 2013.

  • What is scleroderma? Scleroderma Foundation website. Available at: http://www.scleroderma.org/site/PageServer?pagename=patients%5Fwhatis . Accessed August 8, 2013.