Coping with the disfigurement of scleroderma: Facial, skin, and hand changes

Shadi Gholizadeh, Rina S. Fox, Sarah D. Mills, Lisa R. Jewett, Brett D. Thombs, Vanessa L. Malcarne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Changes in appearance are a common and distressing aspect of scleroderma. Disfigurement in scleroderma often occurs in areas of the body that are both visible and socially relevant (e.g., face, hands), which can contribute to increased social anxiety and avoidance. A case study is provided to share examples of common concerns and challenges associated with treating patients with scleroderma who are experiencing body image distress; social, self-esteem, mood, and sexual impacts of body image distress are also discussed.The presence of significant body image is not always associated with severity of appearance changes, and open communication around changes in appearance is important. Referrals to mental health professionals should be initiated as appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationScleroderma
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Pathogenesis to Comprehensive Management
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9783319314075
ISBN (Print)9783319314051
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Appearance changes
  • Body image
  • Disfigurement
  • Distress
  • Interventions
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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