What Does CREST Disease Stand For?


Quick Answer

The acronym CREST stands for calcinosis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, esophageal dysmotility, sclerodactyly and telangiectasia, according to MedlinePlus. Doctors generally look for at least two of these symptoms to diagnose CREST syndrome.

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Full Answer

Calcinosis is a condition where painful lumps of calcium form under the skin on the patient's fingers, according to WebMD. These deposits also form on the elbows and knees, states Mayo Clinic. It is possible to see the deposits under the skin, and they have the potential for tenderness or infection.

Raynaud's phenomenon affects the small blood vessels in response to temperature or emotional stress, according to Mayo Clinic. The phenomenon blocks the flow of blood, causing the skin to turn white and then blue. The digits become cold and numb. As blood flow resolves, the skin becomes red, and the individual sometimes experiences tingling and throbbing of the affected area.

Esophageal dysmotility causes swallowing difficult for the patient, according to Mayo Clinic. The condition affects the muscles controlling swallowing and sometimes allows stomach acid into the esophagus, causing heartburn and scarring of the tissue.

Sclerodactyly is a tightening or thickening of the skin on the fingers and toes, according to WebMD. The condition makes it difficult for some patients to bend the fingers.

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