What Are The Symptoms Of Connective Tissue Diseases? When To See A Dermatologist

  • Dermatology
  • dermatology - Skin Care
  • October 11, 2022

Connective tissue diseases occur when proteins are damaged. The symptoms vary but can affect vital organs and the musculoskeletal system.

What Is Connective Tissue Disease?

The structures of the human body are kept intact via connective tissue which is composed of proteins. Proteins such as elastin and collagen are found in various areas like skin, ligaments, tendons, bones, cartilage, and blood vessels. In the presence of connective tissue disease, elastin and collagen become damaged and various body parts are affected. When body parts can no longer connect, a plethora of symptoms are produced.

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Variety of symptoms

The produced symptoms depend on the type of disorder and affected body part. The structures that are affected include the skin, spine, bones, joints, heart, blood vessels, respiratory system, and digestive tract. The symptoms due to genetic defects include abnormalities of the spine, skin, joints, tendons, bones, muscles, and organ defects. Symptoms of autoimmune disorders include weakness, paresthesia, weight loss, fever, pain, swelling, stiffness, respiratory issues, rash, and skin sensitivity. Some conditions may make a person at risk of developing cancer while others are at risk of developing damaged organs.

Management and prevention

The treatment of connective tissue disease depends on the patient’s diagnosed condition. The management is mostly medications, supplements, and physical activity. In a few cases, the doctor may recommend surgery depending on the patient’s situation. Genetic diseases cannot be prevented. Otherwise, having a healthy diet and lifestyle may help reduce the risk.

The dermatologist visit

When the symptoms deteriorate over time and affect daily life, consult a healthcare provider immediately. Some worsening signs include changes in any organ such as eyes or skin, muscle weakness, and exacerbating pain. The family doctor may refer the patient to other specialists such as eye or skin specialists, called dermatologists. Some warning skin signs include changes in skin color or texture, tightening of the skin, and skin sensitivity to temperatures. Other reasons to visit a dermatologist include the formation of painful rashes or ulcers and lumps or nodules.

Prognosis of condition

The outlook for connective tissue disease depends on the type of medical disorder and the severity. The prognosis also depends on the effectiveness of the treatment and how a patient’s body is responding to the treatment. Many connective tissue diseases have a favorable outlook, especially with treatment from a specialist.

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