Managing Your Digical Ulcer PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 August 2010 12:49
Around 40% of patients with Scleroderma develop open sores on their fingertips called digital ulcers. In some patients, this is the major ongoing difficulty whereas in others, digital ulcers are an uncommon and short term complication.

Digital ulcers occur because of poor blood flow to the fingertips which is in turn related to the narrowing of blood vessels that is the hallmark of all forms of Systemic Scleroderma.

Digital ulcers are tightly linked with Raynaud's phenomenon. They both occur in Scleroderma because of narrowed blood vessels. Raynaud attacks occur daily and are clearly worsened by cold weather. Digital ulcers can occur at anytime of the year and in any weather.

The fingertips in Scleroderma should be cared for in much the way a patient with diabetes might care for their feet.
  • Keep the skin moist and supple. Hand creams rich in lanolin can help.
  • Protect the fingertips. Avoid tasks that risk fingertip trauma.
  • Treat cuts promptly and thoroughly. Don’t let infection get established.
  • Control your Raynaud’s phenomenon more effectively. This requires working closely with your physician to choose the best program of medication.
  • Keep your physician involved. Let him or her know when an ulcer has started. The earlier it is treated, the better the outcome.

The Scleroderma research community is actively investigating treatments for digital ulcers. In Europe, intravenous iloprost (Ilomedin®) is approved and widely used, although this therapy is not available in the U.S. Recent studies with bosentan (Tracleer®), an agent approved by the FDA for pulmonary hypertension, have suggested an effect in preventing digital ulcers. Other research projects are in early stages of planning.

Source: University of Michigan Health System
 
More articles :

» Role of ACE Inhibitors in Preventing Scleroderma Renal Crisis Remains Unclear

Scleroderma patients on angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors at the onset of Scleroderma renal crisis do not appear to have worse outcomes than do those not taking the antihypertensive agents prior to the acute renal function deterioration,...

» What Works for Raynaud's Phenomenon With Ischemic Finger

Until further testing confirms or disproves the promise of an oral formulation of treprostinil that is making its way through the developmental pipeline for management of Raynaud’s phenomenon and the ischemic finger, rheumatologists will have to...

» Raynaud's Syndrome

John W. Hallett, Jr., MDJanuary 2008Raynaud's syndrome is vasospasm of parts of the hand in response to cold or emotional stress, causing reversible discomfort and color changes (pallor, cyanosis, erythema, or a combination) in one or more digits....

» Coping With Scleroderma

Coping with SclerodermaBy Jane Brandenstein, P.T., University of Pittsburgh Medical CenterAs physical therapists, there are some things that we have learned over the years about Scleroderma, and there are even more things we wish we understood...

» Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma)

Panayiotis G. Vlachoyiannopoulos1November 2001Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune systemic disease characterized by small vessel involvement that leads to tissue ischemia and fibroblast stimulation resulting in accumulation of collagen...

» Courts Makes A Contribution To The Scleroderma Care Foundation

(Unicomer Trinidad Limited) graciously contributed on Firday, three Juicers to the . In a statement by Foundation Vice-President, , "Juicing fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to obtain maximum nutrition. When someone finds themselves...