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There is a lot of redness on my legs and feet. Is that a symptom of scleroderma?

It could be. If your doctor warned you about systemic sclerosis, you are right to be on the lookout for possible early warning signs. 

In most cases, redness or spotting on the skin in scleroderma patients is caused by telangiectasias. These are tiny blood vessels that burst under the surface of the skin, which gives the affected area a spotted or mottled appearance. These can develop anywhere on the body, but are most commonly seen on a patient’s face, legs, upper thighs, ankles, and just below the knee joint.

Many patients do not like the bruised look that telangiectasias give their skin. Some opt for dermatological treatment, such as pulsed dye laser treatment, to break down the broken blood vessels. However, this treatment commonly takes three to four treatments to work effectively, causes intense stinging sensations on the skin, and may bruise the area for a few weeks afterwards.  

Telangiectasias are usually only a cosmetic problem and do not cause a patient any suffering. However, there have been cases where these blood vessels bleed in dangerous areas of the body (such as the brain), causing complications and potential injury.

If you are having scleroderma problems in PA, you should have any discoloration or redness of the feet inspected by your podiatrist. It could be burst blood vessels, but it could also signify trouble with your circulation, or you may be suffering from an infection. 

The podiatrists at HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates are available at two different Philadelphia locations to answer your scleroderma questions. Call us today for an appointment in Media at 610-565-3668 or in Phoenixville at 610-933-8644.