There is no cure for scleroderma. In many cases, symptoms stabilize and begin to ease after several years. Skin may soften but remain discolored and may become fragile. Tissue and organ damage that has accumulated is often permanent.
Treatment of scleroderma is focused on managing symptoms, minimizing damage to organs and tissues, and maintaining mobility in affected joints. Treatments may include:
For Raynaud's phenomenon:
- Keeping hands and feet warm and avoiding temperature extremes
- Avoiding smoking
- In some cases, calcium channel blocker medications are used to help improve blood flow.
For Esophageal dysfunction:
- Small meals
- Avoiding spicy foods
- Proton pump inhibitors, antacids, H2-blockers, and other medications
Other treatments may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other pain relievers
- Topical skin treatments for open sores and for itching
- Medications for hypertension and pulmonary hypertension
- Supplemental oxygen
- Corticosteroids and other immune suppressants
- ACE inhibitors for acute kidney dysfunction
- Physical and occupational therapy to maintain muscle strength and range of motion
- Dental treatments
Sometimes surgery is necessary to address tissue damage, joint contractures, or calcium deposits.