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RHEUMATO-DERMATOLOGY SYMPOSIUM
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-40

Management of systemic sclerosis: A dermatologist's approach


1 Cosultant Dermatologist, Deepthi's Derma Care, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Smitha Prabhu
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal - 576 104, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/CDR.CDR_45_18

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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune connective tissue disease affecting the blood vessels, skin, and internal organs. The main pathogenic mechanisms are vascular dysregulation, tissue fibrosis due to collagen and extracellular protein deposition, and autoantibody production due to immune dysfunction. The treatment also targets these mechanisms. Various criteria including the American College of Rheumatology and the European League against Rheumatism are laid down for the clinical diagnosis of scleroderma, and treatment is tailored to the systems involved. In the initial stages of the SSc, immunosuppressants are more useful, whereas in the later stages, antifibrotic therapies are important. Vasospasm and endothelial dysfunction are seen in all stages of the disease, and hence, vascular therapies are needed throughout the course of the disease. Special care should be taken to rule out gastrointestinal, pulmonary, and renal system involvement if the primary treatment is by a dermatologist.


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