Journal Articles

Cutaneous wounds in systemic sclerosis

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Cutaneous wounds in systemic sclerosis

Annie Price, Keith Harding, Sophie Tate
12 March 2019

Systemic sclerosis, also known as systemic or diffuse scleroderma, is an uncommon autoimmune connective tissue disease. Although not fully understood, the disease process is thought to involve immune dysfunction, vascular abnormalities and excess collagen deposition. Skin ulcers are reported to occur in up to 50% of patients and have a major impact on patients’ quality of life (Khimdas et al, 2011). Specific problems include digital ulcers, ulcers over joint contractures or calcinosis, and lower limb ulcers, which can be severe and associated with gangrene. The authors describe cases of chronic wounds seen in patients with an underlying diagnosis of systemic sclerosis, highlighting the challenging nature of managing this condition for the wound specialist.

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