This card details three of the early symptoms of scleroderma, namely sore swollen fingers, Raynaud’s Syndrome and reflux/heartburn. Identifying these symptoms is essential as early diagnosis can save lives.
Scleroderma is a rare autoimmune, connective tissue disease in which the blood flow is badly impaired causing the tissues in the fingers (and sometimes the toes) to break down. This in turn may cause ulcers that can take months to heal and which may become gangrenous. More seriously, scleroderma can affect the internal organs, including the heart, lungs, kidneys and digestive system.
1 per 10,000 of the UK population are known to have this disease, 95% of whom also have Raynaud’s. Raynaud’s a common condition in which the blood supply to the fingers and toes (and sometimes the ears and nose) are temporarily starved of blood in cold weather or any slight change in temperature. This can be extremely painful and greatly interfere with daily living . Nine out of ten sufferers are female.
Anne Mawdsley, Chief Executive of the RSA said: “The ‘SO RARE’ card will be a useful reminder to members of the medical profession that severe Raynaud’s should be taken seriously as it may be the first symptom of an underlying condition such as scleroderma."
To download the SO RARE card click here.