CREST syndrome, also known as limited scleroderma, is an autoimmune disease with symptoms similar to other varieties of scleroderma. Excessive production and accumulation of collagen, which hardens the skin, is characteristic of CREST syndrome. Unlike systemic scleroderma, though, symptoms typically occur only below the knees and elbows, and on the face and neck. Occasionally, they may spread to the internal organs, but this is rare. Other kinds of scleroderma can affect the skin anywhere on the body and often the internal tissues.
CREST is an acronym of the five signature and observable characteristics of this syndrome. The first is calcinosis. Calcium deposits form in the connective tissue, leading to tightening and thickening of the skin. Calcinosis often makes skin look shiny because it is pulled taut. Side effects of the symptom include difficulty bending or moving fingers and toes and opening the mouth. This condition can also cause small but noticeable bumps under the skin.
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