Scleroderma Specialist

Valerius Medical Group & Research Center

Rheumatologists located in Los Alamitos, CA

Although it’s rare with fewer than 500,000 cases nationwide, scleroderma can be a serious and complicated disease. Nathaniel Neal, MD, and Rebekah Neal, MD, both rheumatologist at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center, offer scleroderma treatment. Through a variety of treatment methods, they can reduce your symptoms and help protect against infection. If you’re located in Los Alamitos Long Beach, CA, and looking for a scleroderma specialist, call the office today or schedule your appointment online.

Scleroderma Q & A

What is scleroderma?

Scleroderma occurs when there’s a hardening or tightening of your skin and connective tissues. Scleroderma can impact your:

  • Skin
  • Blood vessels
  • Organs
  • Digestive system

The condition’s symptoms depend on the part of the body it attacks but often includes patches of hardening skin across the trunk and limbs. These can form as ovals or straight lines and often appear shiny. This combination of tightening and hardening can cause pain and restrict movement.

Scleroderma can also cause Raynaud’s disease, a condition that leads to an exaggerated response to cold temperatures, especially in the fingers and toes. It can cause numbness and pain, as well as skin-color changes.

When scleroderma impacts the digestive system, it may cause acid reflux or issues with nutrient absorption. It’s also known to interfere with the functioning of your:

  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys

What causes scleroderma?

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the body’s immune system begins to respond when it’s unnecessary. For reasons unknown, the body overproduces collagen, a protein the body uses to heal. Because there are no injuries, your body doesn’t use the collagen, and it accumulates in your body’s tissues.

Scleroderma is more common in women than men and is typically diagnosed between the ages of 30-50. Men and women of Choctaw Native American and African-American descent are also at a higher risk of developing the autoimmune condition.

Is scleroderma treatable?

There’s no cure for scleroderma, but its symptoms are treatable. In some cases, the disease runs a three to five-year course and gets better on its own. In other cases, the symptoms get worse as time goes on.

If your scleroderma symptoms are severe, your rheumatologist may recommend medication to reduce your side effects. These may include:

  • Blood vessel dilators
  • Immune system suppressants
  • Acid reflux reductors
  • Infection preventions
  • Pain relievers

When you’re looking for help with scleroderma, you can find it at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center. Call the office today to schedule your appointment or book online.