Scleroderma and Cosmetic Treatments

Scleroderma is a connective tissue disorder that can lead to hardening of the skin. There can be over production of collagen. The condition usually starts after 25 years of age. The severity of this condition varies a lot among individuals. There is no known cause and hence you cannot prevent it.

Patients with severe scleroderma that affects the whole body might not live past 30 years of age. In milder cases the patients’ face might look older because of tremendous wrinkles, leather like skin that is dry and coarse. In these situations there are good non invasive treatments like Microdermabrasion, Botox and Hyaluronic Acid fillers that can be used safely.

Other treatments such as ablative lasers or bio stimulators like Sculptra (Poly L-Lactic Acid) might not be advisable as they interact with the native collagen and could have unpredictable results.  Surgical options for these patients have to be evaluated carefully as the skin is not as pliable, elastic as a normal healthy skin. This can lead to poor healing with stretching of the incisions or excessive scarring.

It is probably best to avoid treating a patient with recent diagnosis of scleroderma as the severity of the condition is not established as yet. Some patients might progress very fast and could have unpredictable results.

In summary there are a lot of good aesthetic treatments available for stable scleroderma patients which should be offered after evaluating the extent of the disease.