A condition where the skin on the facial region looks taut and shiny, almost resembling a tight mask in appearance is due to the hardening of the facial skin in a disorder called scleroderma. Flexibility is lost in many other parts of the body and many places in the body become thickened and hardened, this disorder affects the connective tissue, the skin allover the body is affected and restricted from performing its functions. In more severe forms, the internal organs are also affected, but this is less common. The symptoms in the early stages of the condition are varied. Other conditions may strike as secondary disorders and as an example, circulatory loss to the extremities like the fingertips and the toes often turns them cold and numbs them and thus a condition like Raynaud's syndrome results and it normally always affects patients suffering from scleroderma. The smooth, shiny and plastic like complexion of the skin is first and foremost normally observed in the skin covering the fingers. The recurring bouts of tendinitis and bursitis cause a lot of problems to the joints and all over the body the joints become stiff and ache greatly complicating the problem. Other physical problems like excessive acidity in the stomach and heartburn are evident along with a condition where swallowing food or water becomes difficult for some patients during the early stages of the disease. Stiffening and hardening of the skin occurs over a period of years in the patient and once this is completed, the disorder stops or disappears from the person. Crippling as a result of this disorder is very uncommon and not likely even if some forms of bodily movements are extremely restricted. Lethal forms of the disorder are also evident in the forms that affect the heart, the lungs or the tissues in the kidneys; these severe forms of the disease can kill its possessor. Patchy hardening of the skin is observed in the milder form of the disease known as morphea, no other symptoms being evident. In fact polymyositis, a conditions known to cause extreme muscle weakness and inflammation in the body often accompanies scleroderma, and the condition of scleroderma as such can come out with symptoms resembling all the known affects of polymyositis. The excess production of collagen, a protein essential to the formation of connective tissues results in the disorder known as scleroderma. The origin and the causative factors behind the rise of the condition is still a mystery and it remains unknown to the medical community. The skin may perhaps be weakened and affected by processes such as autoimmune reactions, which trigger the degenerative reactions in the skin and bring on the hardening and the contraction of the tissue. The symptoms of the disorder can also be brought about by an imbalance of essential minerals in the body. As a demographic group women are more susceptible to the disorder than men and many more women seem to be afflicted with the disease comparatively.
The oils of the evening primrose herb and the oil found in the flax seed, contain abundant quantities of gamma-linolenic acid which is an essential fatty acid, these acids are building blocks or structural precursors to the body's own or internal anti-inflammatory like substances called the prostaglandins, which are very important as a class of compounds because of their role against scleroderma. Additionally the hardening of the tissues, which is a common symptom of the disease, can be prevented by consuming large amounts of the vitamin E. Autoimmune disorders which may possibly be the cause of the disease are remedied by the presence of large amounts of the essential fatty acids and the vitamin E within the body, and both these substances can be used as high level supplements. The tissue in the bones requires the presence of two essential minerals, which are silica and calcium respectively. The over health of the connective tissues is promoted and the inflammation reduced through supplements utilizing the vitamin C combined with the bioflavonoids. The following herbal remedies can help with the symptoms of the condition. Detoxification is carried out and skin disorders are alleviated by the use of the roots of the devil's claw, comfrey and sassafras along with licorice, which also induce the urge to urinate and perspire vigorously, in addition these herbs help in the cleansing and purification of the blood of the patient. Herbal teas made form the Siberian ginseng, along with an extract of the wild yam and the astragalus herb can aid the alleviation of adrenal problems. A tsp. of this herbal mixture can be mixed boiled in a cup of water, the herbs must be allowed to steep into the water, the resulting tea can be strained and drunk thrice every day as a herbal remedy. Degenerative processes in the connective tissues of the patient can be halted and retarded while the tissue is restored to its former performance and functional roles when the aqueous horsetail extract is used as a supplement, this extract is rich in silica which maintains connective tissue and aids in regeneration. Dose can be twenty drops of the extract in twice along with water on a daily basis, or alternately three capsules of the horsetail three times everyday. Two capsules of the gotu kola herb can also be supplemented on a daily basis, this is an herb, which is very effective against skin and other dermal conditions present in the patient.