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Scleroderma and hyperpigmentation on face

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Hi all, I was diagonised with Scleroderma in 2006. I have symptoms like Raynauds, hard skin on neck, face and hands etc. I also have pigmentation on nose and cheeks tough I apply SCF 60 sunscreen every day. Does anyone know how to get rid of this pigmentation?


Also can anyone tell if I should be doing manicure or not as I was told by my doctor not to do it. But I feel I always get lots of dead skin around my nails which if I dont remove goes hard.





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Welcome to the ISN forums! You've found a great place to share your experiences and talk to people with similar problems. It's a great bunch here!


I don't have much pigmentation so I can't answer your question, but we do have a small section on hyperpigmentation on the ISN skin involvement page. There are a couple of studies listed you might find interesting. As you already know, sun exposure is not good for it, and based on a recent study, apparently it's not good for scleroderma patients regardless of pigmentation or not. Good thing you use sunscreen. I really need to start using it more, but I find the smell irritating, but then I find most artificial smells irritating.


In reference to the manicure, I'm curious as to why your doctor said not to get one. I got one a few years ago and it hurt so bad that the results weren't worth it. She cut into one of my cuticles and blamed it on me for pulling away! So I haven't gone back. If you have a trusted manicurist, you might just have her remove the dead skin at least - but very carefully.


Big Hugs,

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Hello Monika


Welcome to the forum! You are in the right place for support and accurate information.


I had hyperpigmentation on my forearms during my first year with diffuse systemic sclerosis but it eventually faded away. I didn't do anything out of the ordinary or give it any particular treatment and I have never been one for the sun so that didn't play a part.


If you have a look on the hyperpigmentation link in Janey's post you'll see that there are products available to try and minimalise the appearance of it. I obviously don't have any experience of these as I never used anything but then it was just on my forearms and I have no doubt I would have felt differently about it if it had been on my face.


As for the manicure issue maybe your doctor thought you would end up with lots of nicks and cuts as a result of the manicure and was worried about how they would heal. I have the typical sclerodactyly hands so manicures are out of the question for me!


I hope this helps and keep posting.


Take care.

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Luckily before I became ill I was a Beauty Therapist so still manage to do my own nails. You do have to be incredibly gentle or find a very experienced understanding therapist.


One way of very gently getting rid of the dead skin is to apply some nourishing oil or cream to the cuticles and then soak one hand in a bowl of warm water. After about 5 minutes take the hand out and with a soft fluffy face cloth or towel, gently rub and slough off the dead skin around the nail, and if you can mange, gently push the cuticle back and off the nail plate as if left, the cuticle gets attached to the nail ,and as it grows the skin gets stretched and splits which is very sore and those splits are called 'hangnails'!


The warmth and wetness loosens dead skin and it comes away easier. Follow the removal of dead skin with some more nourishing cream to keep soft!


It is best really not to use any metal or sharp instruments as our skin is so often fragile and healing more difficult.


It is always best to try and use creams that are natural (no chemicals, perfumes or irritants).


Better still get a friend to do all of the above whilst you put your feet up!


Phew that was a manicure lecture..I feel like a bossy teacher ;)


Suddenly I'm off to soak my nails.


Much love,




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Hi Monika, I suffer from the typical scleroderma ragged, thick cuticles and also have fairly bad Raynauds. I find having regular manicures beneficial. It helps prevent the nasty hangnails which catch and tear the skin around the nail and have noticed that I have less rather than more cuts and nicks around the nail. It is also a psychological boost to have nails that look almost presentable.

However, as others have said, it is very important that the manicurist is aware of the need to be very gentle - so no getting out the big pliers to cut the cuticles!



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Hello Monu,


I have hyperpigmentation issues and they seemed to have improved due to an increase of methotrexate. The hard part about sclero is knowing or not knowing when and why things happen and what to attribute them to.

I also stay out of the sun as much as possible, which is very hard living in Florida. I wear 3/4 length sleeves year round as when the sun hits my arms it feels like they are burning. People look at me strange, but oh well.


I stopped having manicures done because when I would leave my cuticles would hurt for days. That began after being diagnosed with Raynaud's. I bought a product that's touted as being a manicure in a jar and it has done the cuticle trick for me. It has a natural sloughing material in it as well as oils that soften the cuticles and make my nails shine. I am going to try the suggestion offered by Alex as well.

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