Scleroderma Symptoms Checklist

Author: Jo Frowde. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Heart, Lungs, Kidneys
Muscles and Tendons
Excessive Dryness


 Symptoms of Scleroderma VideoVideo: Symptoms of Scleroderma
(Systemic Sclerosis)
Presented by Amanda Thorpe

Please consult your doctor if you have two or more of the following symptoms, which are sometimes due to systemic sclerosis (scleroderma). (Also see: What is Scleroderma? and Types of Scleroderma)

Systemic scleroderma may disqualify a person for life and/or health insurance in some countries. Sometimes certain lab work or biopsy results may force an unwelcome diagnosis into the medical record. (Also see: Diagnosis of Scleroderma)

Many of these symptoms can occur by themselves or can be due to other things. Symptoms such as heartburn, high blood pressure, constipation and muscle aches are common in the general population. More unusual symptoms, such as pulmonary fibrosis or tight skin, may be more likely to lead to a diagnosis of systemic scleroderma. (Also see: Pulmonary Fibrosis and Skin Fibrosis)


Edema: Swelling of hands, feet and/or face
Raynaud's: fingers and/or toes turn white or blue due to cold or stress
Digital ulcers (sores) on fingertips or toes


Difficulty swallowing
Heartburn (reflux)
Constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome

Heart, Lungs, Kidneys

Shortness of breath
Pulmonary (lung) fibrosis
Aspiration pneumonia
Pulmonary hypertension
High blood pressure or kidney (renal) failure
Right-sided heart failure

Muscles and Tendons

Tendonitis, or carpal tunnel syndrome
Muscle aches, weakness, joint pain

Excessive Dryness or Sjogren's Syndrome

Excessive dryness of the mucus membranes (such as eyes, mouth, vagina), which is sometimes called Sjogren's Syndrome


Tight skin, often on hands or face
Calcinosis (calcium deposits)
Telangiectasia (red dots on the hands or face)
Mouth becomes smaller, lips develop deep grooves, eating and dental care become difficult

Go to Difficult Diagnosis
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