Your doctor has warned you to be vigilant about treating the symptoms of systemic sclerosis. There is no known cure for the disease, so the best chance you have at a normal, healthy life is to treat any injury as quickly as possible—especially if it could lead to an infection.
Infections are one of the more common scleroderma problems in PA. Since many patients who are suffering from scleroderma have circulation problems, they may feel only cold or numbness in their feet. As a result, they are unable to feel the pain of a sore, letting an ulcer go unnoticed until it becomes infected.
Sensory problems aren’t the only reason that people with systemic sclerosis are more prone to developing infections. Poor or interrupted blood circulation in the feet makes it unlikely that the infection will heal on its own, leading to hospitalization and a rigorous course of antibiotics. Even then, it may take weeks for the infection to clear up.
In order to overcome an infection as quickly as possible, you must know the common warning signs. These include:
- Heat. Your wound may feel warm to the touch.
- Pain. You may not be able to feel pain, so inspect the site visually, as well.
- Swelling. A wound may seep or appear “puffy.”
- Redness. Any discoloration around a wound should be treated immediately.
If you are living with systemic sclerosis and think you may have any signs of infection, contact the trusted Philadelphia podiatrists at HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates today. Call 610-565-3668 in Media or at 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville to set up your first consultation, or click the link on this page to receive a FREE copy of our book, The Foot is Not an Island: Recognizing Vitamin D Deficiency & How to Correct It.