Digital ulcers can be caused by Raynaud's and by all types of systemic scleroderma (either limited or diffuse systemic sclerosis.) The ulcers can occur on fingers or toes and are often (but not always) painful and difficult to heal.
Unfortunately, there are insufficient standards to define digital ulcers. The result is that many rheumatologists fail to accurately diagnose, and assess stages of active versus inactive, digital ulcers. Thus, scleroderma patients who have issues with sores on their fingers or toes may find it particularly beneficial to consult a scleroderma expert for proper evaluation and treatment.
Preventing attacks of Raynaud's can be critical for controlling the occurrence of digital ulcers. Treating ulcers promptly and effectively is critical to preventing the development of gangrene, which can lead to amputation. (Also see What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma, Raynaud's, Raynaud's Prevention, and Worldwide Scleroderma Experts)
Digital (Finger) Ulcers Scleroderma and Raynaud's can cause painful ulcers on the fingers or toes, which are known as digital ulcers. No treatment for finger ulcers should be undertaken without the supervision of a physician — it's very important to treat finger ulcers properly, to prevent complications such as serious infection, gangrene or possible amputation. ISN Photo Repository, contributed by Cindy G.
Digital (Finger) Ulcer from Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD). This digital ulcer is 14 weeks old. It was caused by secondary Raynaud's phenomenon, in a patient with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD). The MCTD was diagnosed 5 years ago, after thyroid gland removal. ISN Photo Repository, contributed by Jeanne N.
Digital Ulcer from Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD). When I was eighteen my rheumatologist diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis. Later at the age of twenty-one, another doctor said it looks more like C.R.E.S.T. Scleroderma. Now I'm twenty-six and the same doctor who diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis says its mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD). ISN Photo Repository, contributed by Rosemarie.
Photo of Leg Ulcer This is a very large chronic leg ulcer in a Systemic Sclerosis patient, which has not responded to treatment. ISN Photo Repository, contributed by Sylvia Finegan.
Reading Voices of Scleroderma Books: Diana Kramer.
Sharing Scleroderma Awareness Bracelets: Deb Martin, Brenda Miller, Vickie Risner.
Thanks to UNITED WAY donors of Central New Mexico and Snohomish County!
Patricia Ann Black: Marilyn Currier, Shelley Ensz, Richard Howitt, Gerald and Pat Ivanejko, Juno Beach Condo Association, Keith and Rosalyn Miller, and Elaine Wible.
Gayle Hedlin: Daniel and Joann Pepper and Nancy Smithberg.
Janet Paulmenn: Anonymous, Shelley Blaser, Susan Book, Dennis and Pat Clayton, Grace Cunha, Cindy Dorio, Shelley Ensz, Nancy Falkenhagen, Jo Frowde, Margaret Hollywood, Karen Khalaf and Family, Susan Kvarantan, Bradley Lawrence, Jillyan Little, Michele Maxson, John Moffett, Joan-Marie Permison, John Roberts, Margaret Roof, and Maryellen Ryan.
SCLERO.ORG is the world leader for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses, such as pulmonary hypertension. We are a service of the nonprofit International Scleroderma Network (ISN), which is a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team, or Volunteer. Donations may also be mailed to:
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
7455 France Ave So #266
Edina, MN 55435-4702 USA
Email [email protected] to request our Welcome email, or to report bad links or to update this page content.