According to the John Hopkins Scleroderma Center, scleroderma has a big impact on your body, both emotional and physical. There are a number of the parts of your body that may be directly or indirectly affected by scleroderma and should be watched. Since scleroderma varies from people to people, these effects may vary and may not even occur in some cases. These will also help classify the type of scleroderma: limited scleroderma or diffuse scleroderma.
It is important to assess if there is skin damage and its level of involvement. For that, the physician usually performs a skin score by palpation in order to assess the degree of thickening.
At least seventeen areas are evaluated and scored from normal (0) to severe (3) and summed up. The physician will look at the feet, lower leg, upper leg, abdomen, chest, face, upper arms, forearms, hands and fingers.
Diffuse scleroderma patients have a higher risk of kidney disease (also known as scleroderma renal crisis). Evidence shows that the renal blood vessels may suddenly constrict (known as the Raynaud’s phenomenon of the kidney).
This condition often appears as new systemic hypertension which may be asymptomatic. If this is the case, check your blood pressure regularly.