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.