Overview

Hardening Of The Skin: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

What is the Hardening Of The Skin? How is the Hardening Of The Skin treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the Hardening Of The Skin?

Hardening of skin or scleroderma is a condition that develops in a person with an overactive immune system, that is, an immune system that mistakenly attacks the healthy cells of the body. In this case the immune system attacks the inner linings that remain present in tiny blood vessels and tissues. When this happens the collagen (the skin protein) gets activated and is produced in surplus amount thereby leading to skin hardening, development of scar tissues.

A person suffering from scleroderma can feel pain due to inflammation. This disorder could be inherited. Environmental factors can also lead to the development of this disorder. For example certain types of viruses can predispose a person to developing scleroderma. It does not mean that hardening of the skin is limited to the upper surface of the skin. It can also occur in the kidneys.

There are two categories into which this disorder is divided. One is localized scleroderma and the other one is systematic sclerosis. Localized scleroderma is the hardening of the skin which is area-specific. It happens in certain areas of the outer skin and remains there as hardened, pigmented patches. They usually do not spread beyond the set area. On the other hand systematic sclerosis is a condition whereby the hardening of the skin progresses beyond the area which is initially affected. This mainly happens on the face, the chest, the back, the abdomen and the flanks. It can also affect internal organs such as esophagus, bowels, heart, lungs and kidneys.

How is the Hardening Of The Skin treatment done?

Medications will not completely remove scleroderma, but they will help to reduce the symptoms of this disorder that also includes organ damage. Moisturizers, corticosteroid creams, colchicines can help greatly to reduce skin inflammation and skin hardness. The doctor can prescribe medications to better blood flow, improve the function of the bowels and the esophagus, regulate blood pressure and promote fruitful renal functions.

Hardness of the skin can develop inflammation. To treat these, anti-inflammatory drugs can be prescribed. Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers can also be given. Scleroderma that affects the internal organs can lead to gastrointestinal problems. In such cases antibiotics and antacids might be given to the patient. This disorder narrows down the esophagus. A catheter might be used from time to time to expand the esophagus.

Aspirin, nifedipine, nicardipine, ditiazem are some of the medical compounds that open up the arteries that become contracted as a result of scleroderma. High blood pressure is a common symptom of hardening of skin. Hence anti-coagulation medicines might be prescribed. Medicines to control the hyperactive immune system include penicillamine, azathiprine, methotrexate etc. There is no single medicine to cure hardening of skin. The medicines are prescribed on the basis of the symptoms observed.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Hardening of the skin in concentrated areas is the obvious symptom of scleroderma. Apart from that a person might feel pain around the joints. This condition is also accompanied by digestive disorders, and renal, cardiac or lungs disorders. Therefore one should be on a look-out for these symptoms so that early intervention can be attempted.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Corns also lead to hardness of the skin. But the treatment of corns is not similar to the treatment of scleroderma. Similarly scleroderma treatment might not work for people with skin that is too sensitive. In this case the treatment mode would be different.

Are there any side effects?

There are certain side effects of certain medications. For example, colchicines can cause side effects like diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, hair loss etc. Therefore one must talk to the doctor regarding the dosage of the medicines.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Post-treatment guidelines include the proper taking of the medicines prescribed on part of the patient.

How long does it take to recover?

One cannot completely recover from hardness of skin. Medicines will work to reduce the intensity of the symptoms. After taking the medicines for at least a month, the patient will observe positive effect.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Medicines can cost anywhere between INR 500 to INR 1500 (per strip).

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

No the treatment is not permanent, because with medicines the symptoms will only subside partially. There is no treatment available to eliminate scleroderma completely.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Oxide of Alum, black sulphide of Antimony, calcarea carbonica, are some of the components that homeopathic medicines use to treat scleroderma.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have mesalma with brown dark patches I using melacare cream past 8 months now I stop the cream but dark patches increase in my face pls suggest remove mesalma.

BScMLT, DCA, BPH bachelor of science in public health, MBA (Healthcare), Post graduate diploma in skin disease, Post Graduate Diploma in Asthetic & Cosmetic Dentistry (ENCODE), DHMS (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery)
Dermatologist, Ghaziabad
Cream alfaglow day use full face cream origlo-h night use only pigmented area facewash cutiaglow local apply 3-4 time cap medmune daily night.

I am sujoy roy, 37+ years old. I am taking medicine for thyroid for the last 5 years. In the year 2017, started with eltroxin 50 mcg. Now taking eltroxin 75 mcg. Recently I have done blood test and test report comes: t3 is 101.5 ng/dl, t4 is 7.40 ug/dl, tsh is 10.510 ulu/ml. Always feeling very tired and negative thoughts comes in mind. Why my tsh is always high? Why the power of medicine is increasing day by day? How can I cure from it?

MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
Endocrinologist, Dharwad
Hello, thanks for the query. I have gone through the details mentioned. From the the "recently done" thyroid report it is clear that your current dosage is not adequate. When one is on adequate dosage of levothyroxine, tsh is maintained around 3 t...

I am 26 years of old male ànd I have diagnosed with thyroid when I was 20 since I was taking 25 mg thyronorm that time I gained weight still I have many problems like mood swings hand tremor constipation hairloss like I have men boobs.

MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
Endocrinologist, Dharwad
Hello, thanks for the query. I have seen the details mentioned. However, there is no mention about your recent or current thyroid hormone levels (t3, t4 & tsh). Usually if hypothyroidism is well controlled (t4 in normal range & tsh around 3 to 4 m...
1 person found this helpful

I am using bobet glycolic & salicylic acid face wash ,hydrate moisturising lotion and nioclean gel .this product make my skin dry and slightly peel of skin and slightly burning suntion. What should I do. Now for acne.

MD - Dermatology, MBBS
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Hi, use emodel or moiz cleanser as facewash. Nioclean gel is effective on acne only for a month so don't use it for longer time. Use venusia or excela moisturizer 2 to 3 times a day to improve dry skin. If acne is persistent, please see a local de...
2 people found this helpful
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