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Facial tightening

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I have been diagnosed with Scleroderma a few months ago due to high SCL70 ANA levels. That rheumatologist immediately put me on cell-cept without even having any physical signs of scleroderma. All my pulmonary tests were fine and I do not have any visible skin issues. I went to another doctor for a second opinion and he advised that there is no clinical evidence of scleroderma other than abnormal SCL70 ANA levels and advised me to stop taking this medication. 

The only thing I have been feeling is a tightness/strange sensation in my face for a few months now. Can someone tell me what the beginning stages of scleroderma of the face feels like. I've been having a feeling of tightness on both cheeks that comes and goes throughout the day. It is a feeling similar to when novocaine wears off from a tooth procedure. When I put my fingers on top and on my inner cheek and slightly squeeze it, it hurts. I have also been getting consistent ulcers on my inner cheeks and inside of my throat that come and go.


Can someone tell me if any of this is symptoms of Scleroderma? I was wondering if this the beginning of face tissue issues. I was told scleroderma happens beneath your bone when it impacts your face, not your cheeks and want to know how true this is. 

I have not been successful in finding any information on this on the internet.


Thanks in advance to anyone that can provide any insight!

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Hi Mary,


I'm very sorry to hear that you have concerns about face tightening.


It is possible that the tightening you're experiencing could be related to scleroderma; unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view :wink:) I have very little skin involvement (merely the tips of my fingers) so I'm unable to advise you from my own experience. I would suggest that the best person to advise you on any new symptoms which are worrying you would be your scleroderma expert ( I seem to recall that you were being treated at the Mayo Clinic).


I've included a link to our medical page on Skin Fibrosis, which I hope you'll find helpful and informative.


Kind regards,

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Hi Jo,


Yes, I am being treated there and the doctor there is the one who advised that I am not clinically diagnosed with Scleroderma because I do not show any symptoms. He thinks it was a false/positive diagnosis from the previous doctor. He said just because your SCL70 ANA is high does not always mean you have it.

I am just assuming that 'maybe' this is early signs of it and what you feel prior to the cells in your face changing. That is why I was asking do people actually feel something before your face gets affected?

This doctor does not seem to think this is related at all but I find it strange that I just started feeling this along with burning lips and tongue.

I just wish I knew what it is already. 


Thank you!

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