Skin calcification in scleroderma

By Dr Ian McColl

However, the area is not tender and the yellow material is hard and will not wipe away. This is calcification of the skin in scleroderma with perforation of the calcium plate through the skin surface. The redness is inflammatory rather than infective.

This is known as dystrophic calcification. It is common in the CREST variant of scleroderma, particularly around fingers and wrists, but it can occur as large plates of subcutaneous calcification on the limbs, limiting mobility.

Treatment is difficult. Nothing really dissolves the calcium, but oral diltiazem may slow progression. This patient had several fingers involved and was having the calcium removed surgically. Many of these patients also show Raynaud’s phenomenon contributing to skin ischaemia and breakdown.

This article first appeared in Medical Observer on the 9th of June, 2015

However, the area...

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