There are several types of systemic sclerosis, the most common types are outlined below.
Limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis (lcSSc) where you develop skin tightening over the face and below the elbows and knees and may also have gastroesophageal reflux disease. This type develops slowly and is often associated with pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the blood vessels that supply the lungs – the pulmonary arteries).
CREST Syndrome is a very, very rare condition that includes a combination of the following signs:
- Calcinosis cutis (chalky calcium deposits under the skin).
- Raynaud's phenomenon (when the blood circulation in your fingers and toes is affected by cold).
- Esophageal dysmotility (where the tube carrying food and liquid from your mouth to your stomach doesn't work properly).
- Sclerodactyly (tightening and thickening of the skin on your fingers).
- Telangiestasias (dilated or broken blood vessels near the surface of the skin).
Diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc) affects various parts of the body including blood vessels, joints, the digestive system (oesophagus, stomach and bowel) and occasionally the lungs, heart and kidneys. Systemic scleroderma is more common in adults.
Systemic sclerosis sine scleroderma is a rare subtype without skin symptoms. People with this have internal organs affected by the conditions (as with dcSSc), Raynaud's phenomenon and auto-antibodies (as with SSc).