Scleroderma is a rare pathological condition characterized by tightening and hardening of the skin and connective tissues. While in some cases only the skin gets affected by this condition, there are cases where the internal organs get damaged by this condition which is a potentially serious complication arising out of Scleroderma. The symptoms of Scleroderma are significantly variable and depend on the structures that get affected by this disease. Scleroderma tends to affect females more than males and is seen in individuals between the ages of 30 and 50 in majority of the cases.
As of now, there is no definite cure for Scleroderma; however there are a variety of medications and therapies that can calm down the symptoms, prevent any worsening of the condition, and improve the overall quality of life of the affected individual.
What Is The Prognosis For Scleroderma?
The prognosis or long term outlook for individuals with Scleroderma depend on the overall health status, age, and timely treatment of the condition. If the condition limited to skin lesions on the surface of the skin then this symptom may resolve on their own although it may take quite a few years.
However, if the internal organs get affected then Scleroderma may worsen with time. In such cases, the patient may need to be monitored by a variety of specialists like GI, Pulmonologist, nephrologist, and cardiologists to prevent any complications.
Studies indicate that the chances of the internal organs being affected by Scleroderma are within the first three years of onset of symptoms. Thus if a patient does not have any internal organ complications from Scleroderma within the first three years of diagnosis then the chances of the internal organs getting affected goes down significantly.
The prognosis or the overall outlook for Scleroderma individuals with diffuse skin involvement is worse than those with limited skin involvement. Individuals with a prior history of a lung condition or poor pulmonary function tests prior to the onset of Scleroderma have a guarded to poor prognosis as in such cases the lungs may be severely damaged by Scleroderma.