The term ‘scleroderma’ comes from the Greek words ‘sclerosis’ (hardness) and ‘derma’ (skin); meaning “hard skin.” (1)
Thus you may diagnose scleroderma with a tightened and thickened skin on the face and hands.
More than 75000 people in the U.S.A. are suffering from scleroderma. Scleroderma is responsible for disability, shortened life expectancy, mental distress, and depression. (2) Scleroderma is incurable and a problematic medical condition to live with.
However, using essential oils for Scleroderma can efficiently manage many awful symptoms of the condition and improve your quality of life to a great extent.
Read more inside this article:
- What is scleroderma?
- Causes, types, and symptoms of scleroderma.
What is Scleroderma?
You have already known that scleroderma is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases cause the body’s immune system to work against the healthy cells of the body.
In the case of scleroderma, your immune system produces more collagen protein or connective tissues in the body. (3)
They make your skin hard, tight, and scar the tissues of the lungs, the kidney, and the heart. Scleroderma can thicken and block the blood vessels as well; resulting in blood pressure, tissue damage, etc. 2)
Scleroderma is a rheumatic condition because it causes a lot of pain and inflammations in the muscle and joints.
Moreover, the medical condition affects your skin, body tissues, tendons, cartilage, etc. Hence it is a connective tissue disorder.
There are two types of scleroderma. Localized sclerodermas are the inflammations or thickening of your skin. This type of scleroderma is divided into morphea and linear forms of skin inflammations. (1)
Systemic scleroderma or generalized scleroderma affects the internal organs and bodily system.
It is believed that a person might be genetically susceptible to suffer from this autoimmune disease.
Women in their 30’s and 50’s are more prone to suffer from Scleroderma than men (the ratio is 4:1)
What are the Symptoms of Scleroderma?
Scleroderma causes mild to severe complications on some internal organs of the body and disrupts the vital bodily functions. (3)
Some of the common symptoms that you suffer from scleroderma are:
- You’ll observe patches of hard and tight skin on different parts of your body such as on the face, the hands, and on the upper trunk, etc. These patches may be straight lines or of oval shape. The hard and tight skin patches differ in their location, size, and number based on the types of scleroderma.
- At an early stage, your fingers and toes will be extra sensitive to cold temperatures and emotional stress. Thus you’ll experience numbness, color changes (fingertips and toe turning red, blue, or white) and pain. This symptom is also known as Raynaud’s phenomenon.
- Swollen and painful fingertips, toes, joints.
- Fatigue and weakness in the muscles.
- Dryness of mouth and eyes are also known as Sjogren’s syndrome
- Difficulty in breathing.
- The problem in brushing teeth and lower production of saliva
- Erectile dysfunction in men reduced vaginal lubrication and constricted opening of the vagina.
- Diarrhea, heartburn or acid reflux and weight loss
Scleroderma affects a wide range of bodily organs and systems. There is no single remedy for this rare and challenging medical condition.
Essential oils are effective natural remedy for addressing many of the symptoms by minimizing their negative impacts on the body.
1. Frankincense Oil
Frankincense is a sacred ingredient in many cultures. The sweet and earthy aroma of the oil has a calming and relaxing effect on your body and mind. The essential oil is rich in anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and anti-anxiety properties. Hence frankincense oil can relieve stress and inflammations associated with scleroderma symptoms. The oil can provide you with a sense of well-being. (6)
You can use this oil for aromatherapy, topical massage or a hot bath to manage scleroderma symptoms.
2. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is one of the most therapeutically potent essential oils with versatile uses. The herbal oil originates from the steam distillation of the aromatic lavender flowers.
Lavender oil has a sweet and calming aroma. It is full of antioxidant, analgesic, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and expectorant properties. (7)
Thus, the aromatic oil can relieve stress, insomnia, muscle and joint pains, fatigue, and headaches due to scleroderma. A lavender oil topical massage can reduce the skin inflammations and induce sound sleep in the time of scleroderma difficulties. (7)
3. Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass oil comes from the spiky aromatic leaves of lemon grass plants. The yellow herbal oil has a mind-blowing lemony scent.
The therapeutic oil is a rich store of analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety components. (8)
Thus, lemongrass oil massage and a hot bath is an excellent solution to the pain, stress, sleeplessness, and circulatory disorders caused by scleroderma.
4. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is famous for its menthol flavor. The oil originates from the peppermint herbs which is a combination of spearmint and watermint plants.
The high menthol content of the peppermint oil makes it an authoritative source of anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-stress, and antidepressant properties.
Peppermint oil can relieve the puffy and swollen fingertips and toes. It can calm down the pain and manage the circulatory problems in the body.
The rosmarinic acid in the oil can help you treat the shortness of breath associated with scleroderma symptoms. (9)
5. Roman Chamomile Oil
Roman Chamomile oil comes from the blossoms of the chamomile plants through steam distillation. It is a great aromatic oil that acts as a stress reliever and mood enhancer.
The sedative, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory properties of the herbal oil can manage multiple scleroderma symptoms.
Scleroderma is a chronic medical condition, and you need to undergo a difficult period of life because of this.
However, the essential oils discussed here can help you minimize your problems in this crucial journey.
Using essential oils for managing scleroderma symptoms has absolutely no side effects at all.
The National Centre for Biotechnology suggests using essential oils because they provide symptomatic relief from pains, skin inflammations, stress, sleeplessness, joint and muscle immobility, etc. (11)
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