Systemic sclerosis and localized scleroderma both present with skin changes.

    
  • They usually appear on the chest, stomach, and back, but occasionally on the face, arms, and legs.
  • Findings may include:    
  • Waxy patches on the skin of varying sizes, shapes and color
  • Tight skin over face that makes it hard to change expression
  • Thick and tight skin on the fingers
  • Skin creases diminish or disappear
  • Changes in the skin as areas of affected skin lose hair and become stiff, hard, thick, and shiny
  • Whitish bumps of calcium deposits develop under the skin, known as calcinosis
  • Tiny purplish-red blood vessels appear under the skin—telangiectasias
  • Sores or ulcers on the fingers
  • Systemic sclerosis may also involve a wide variety of symptoms.

        
  • In most cases the first symptoms are associated with Raynaud’s phenomenon    
  • 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
  • Systemic sclerosis may also cause    
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Dry eyes and mouth—Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Digestive problems, such as:    
  • Heartburn
  • Difficulty swallowing—due to impaired function of the esophagus
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Lung, heart, and kidney problems, such as:    
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abnormal heart rhythms—arrhythmias
  • Reduced kidney function