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- In children, localized scleroderma is more common and less severe than the generalized from of scleroderma, which is also called systemic sclerosis and severely affects internal organs.
- Scleroderma can cause growth and joint problems in children.
- There is no known cure, but treatments can control the disease or reduce associated problems.
Scleroderma means “hard skin.” Children with localized scleroderma often have involvement of the tissues below the skin, including muscle and bone. Besides the skin hardening, there can be changes in skin color and texture, and the underlying tissues may fail to grow normally. Localized scleroderma can occur in several different forms, including linear scleroderma (where the lesion appears as a line or streak) and circumscribed morphea (where the lesion appears as a roundish lesion). Most patients have the disease on just one part or side of their body. Early on, some lesions may have a red or purplish color that may be limited to the lesion border. Others may have a white or waxy appearance and feel hard.
Ssource: American College of Rheumatology
- Lupus occurs 10 times more often in women than in men.
- Treatment depends on the symptoms and how serious they are.
- Because it is a complex disease, lupus requires treatment by or consultation with a rheumatologist, a doctor who is an expert in treating lupus and other rheumatic diseases.
- People can live well with lupus if they actively work toward good health.
Systemic lupus erythematosus, referred to as SLE or lupus, is a chronic (long-term) disease that causes inflammation — pain and swelling. It is sometimes called the “great imitator,” because of people often confuse lupus with other health problems due to its wide range of symptoms.
In addition to affecting the skin and joints, it can affect other organs in the body such as the kidneys, the tissue lining the lungs (pleura) and heart (pericardium), and the brain. Most patients feel fatigue and have rashes, arthritis (painful and swollen joints) and fever.
Lupus flares vary from mild to serious. Most patients have times when the disease is active, followed by times when the disease is mostly quiet — referred to as a remission. Yet, there is much reason for hope. Improvements in treatment have greatly improved these patients’ quality of life and increased their lifespan.
Source: American College of Rheumatology
- Lyme disease spreads only by a tick bite. Though the bite may go unnoticed, the infection usually starts with a painless, spreading rash where the tick had attached itself to the skin.
- Noticing the early signs of Lyme disease and getting prompt treatment when they occur greatly reduces the severity and length of symptoms.
- Even when the infection is found much later, antibiotic treatment is still successful for most people.
Lyme disease is an infection spread by the bite of certain types of ticks. If caught and treated early, the infection most often clears quickly. If not found until the later stages of infection, people with Lyme disease are more likely to still have symptoms (what you feel) after treatment. These include fatigue (feeling very tired), poor sleep, and muscle and joint pain.
Lyme disease results from the spread of Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria living inside infected ticks. These small ticks can attach to human skin and go unnoticed, feeding for a few days. During that time, the bacteria pass from the tick into the person, before the tick dislodges. Other infections spread by ticks may occur at the same time (co-infection) or separate from Lyme disease. These also require prompt medical care.
Treatment of Lyme disease is with certain antibiotics. In most cases, early-stage Lyme disease is treated successfully with two to three weeks of oral (by mouth) antibiotics. Most cases of early-stage Lyme disease need just two or three weeks of antibiotics, most experts agree. However, patients with arthritis (swelling of a joint) need longer treatment (four weeks) with oral antibiotics. If arthritis persists, they may need a second four-week course of oral or intravenous (often called IV) antibiotics. Infection involving the nervous system or heart also may require IV antibiotics.
Even when antibiotic treatment does not start until the later stages, it is still successful in most patients. However, early detection and treatment are important. People are more likely to have lingering symptoms after treatment if they do not get treatment promptly. These symptoms include fatigue, poor sleep, and muscle and joint pain. The name for this set of ongoing symptoms is post-Lyme disease syndrome.
The cause of post-Lyme disease syndrome is not known. Symptoms are similar to those that can occur after other infections and stressors to the body. Treatment with more antibiotics beyond the first standard treatment has not been proven to be of benefit. Only people with ongoing active infection (which is rare after earlier recommended antibiotic treatment) should receive additional antibiotic treatment. Most people with this syndrome will improve over time.
Source: American College of Rheumatology