Dermatologist? Rheumatologist? Or Both?
Posted 07 August 2007 - 07:21 PM
At the moment I am only seeing a dermatologist. I first saw him december when he diagnosed me with linear scleroderma en coup de sabre. A couple of weeks later I saw him again for the results of my biopsy which he said because the disease wasn't affecting me at the moment we won't start any treatment, but when I do have to start treatment it would be methotrexate and said to go back to him in four months, which is friday, 2 days away. Well I have been reading a lot of your posts and it seems most people are seeing both a rhuematologist and a dermatologist so do you think this is what maybe be I should be doing? and I also keep reading that alot of people are taking medicines to slow the process of their diseases, so again would that be something I should be doing?and how would my dermatologist feel about asking to see a rhuematologist or would I find one myself?
Posted 07 August 2007 - 09:21 PM
Good question, Jane, but not one with an easy answer. Some people have only seen a rheumatologist, others have only seen a dermatologist, others have seen both. A scleroderma specialist often comes into the picture as well. The important thing is that whoever you are seeing is viewing the whole picture of the overall effect. If it were me, I would have no problem asking the dermatologist about the rheumatologist. It would be good to know what his opinion is on the subject and let you know how much he knows and his level of knowledge and commitment to your treatment. Have you had a look at our page on Linear Scleroderma?
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Posted 08 August 2007 - 02:43 AM
I first went to a dermatologist not knowing what was wrong with me. He did a skin biopsy and when that came back, he told me I needed to see a rheumatologist.
I am not sure if it was because I have dermatomyositis and scleroderma or if he just felt it was in my best interest to see one. I now only see the rheumatologist. I guess its up to us and our doctors to find a plan that works best for each of us. We may all have this but its different for us all. I guess one could say that we all own our own scleroderma.
I wish you the best in this and please let us know how the appointment goes Friday.
If Life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Limited scleroderma, Dermatomyositis. Diastolic Dysfunction, dysphagia, Fibro, restless leg. Lupus is a maybe.
Posted 08 August 2007 - 04:04 AM
I would see both, on a regular basis. Make sure they are both up to speed as to what is going on with you. And if it were me, yes I would be asking for some sort of treatment.
Carrie gave you a great link. Take a look at it and be prepared for your visit.
Looking forward to what he/she has to say this Friday.
Posted 08 August 2007 - 04:48 AM
My 6 year old sees both about every 3 or 4 months for her linear scleroderma. I have all bloodwork, medications, etc, faxed to both offices as well as to her pediatrician's. She is on Plaquenil to slow down the disease, and it has not spread in 2 years. I really like getting both of their opinions, and I'm hoping one of them will think of something helpful that the other one might not. Good luck!
Posted 08 August 2007 - 06:26 AM
I do think that it is a good idea to see a rheumatologist, and a dermatologist if your scleroderma is effecting your skin. You could ask your dermatologist to reffer you to one that he respects. You may want to ask him if he knows of a rheumatologist that has dealt with scleroderma or specializes in autoimmune diseases.
As for the medication, that is totally up to the doctor and you. If you are having symptoms like fatigue or muscle/joint pain than there are medications to consider.
Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:50 PM
Well thanks to all of you that got back to me with your thoughts, I now feel that I will definately talk to my dermatologist today about seeing a rhuematologist and what his thoughts are about treatment to slow the process.
thanks again for your help