• Combination therapy with
Scleroderma, technically called systemic sclerosis or SSc, is a disease of unknown cause that affects the connective tissues of the skin and various organs. Common symptoms include thickening and tightening of the skin (beginning with the extremities), Raynaud’s phenomenon (a condition characterized by an exaggerated reaction in the fingertips to cold exposure), joint pain (especially in the fingers and knees), esophageal reflux (heartburn), calcium deposits under the skin, and telangiectasias (mats of enlarged small blood vessels). Scleroderma can lead to serious complications, such as fibrosis of the lungs, heart, and kidneys; for this reason, medical supervision is essential. There is no cure as yet for scleroderma, although drugs may be used to alleviate the various individual symptoms of the disease.
Proposed Treatments in Scleroderma
The supplement PABA
Finally, several herbs and supplements have shown promise for treating the individual symptoms of scleroderma. For more information, see the articles on
Herbs and Supplements to Avoid in Scleroderma
Combination therapy with the supplement 5-HTP
Finally, various herbs and supplements may interact adversely with drugs used to prevent or treat scleroderma. For more information on this potential risk, see the appropriate individual drug articles in the
5. Mavrikakis ME, Lekakis JP, Papamichael CM, et al. Ascorbic acid does not improve endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilatation of the brachial artery in patients with Raynaud's phenomenon secondary to systemic sclerosis. Int J Vitam Nutr Res . 2003;73:3–7.
6. Maeda M, Kachi H, Ichihashi N, et al. The effect of electrical acupuncture-stimulation therapy using thermography and plasma endothelin (ET-1) levels in patients with progressive system sclerosis (PSS). J Dermatol Sci. 1998;17:151–155.
9. Auffranc JC, Berbis P, Fabre JF, et al. Sclerodermiform and poikilodermal syndrome observed during treatment with carbidopa and 5-hydroxytryptophan [translated from French]. Ann Dermatol Venereol. 1985;112:691–692.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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