How do you treat CREST syndrome?


Quick Answer

There is no cure for CREST syndrome, but traditional medications, therapy and surgery treat symptoms and prevent complications, states Mayo Clinic. Biofeedback and relaxation exercises are alternative methods that may also treat CREST syndrome.

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Full Answer

Topical antibiotics, blood-pressure-lowering drugs, antacid drugs and immune system suppressants are some of the traditional medications used to treat CREST syndrome, according to Mayo Clinic. Topical antibiotics are applied to infected skin ulcers, blood-pressure-lowering drugs increase circulation, antacid drugs reduce CREST-syndrome-related heartburn, and immune system suppressants may prevent excess collagen collection in the lungs. Physical therapy treats finger and facial joint stiffness caused by CREST syndrome, and occupational therapy shows an individual different ways of accomplishing everyday tasks made difficult by the condition.

Surgical procedures treat large or painful calcium deposits caused by CREST syndrome, states Mayo Clinic. Laser surgery reduces red lines or spots caused by blood vessels that swell near the surface of the skin, and amputation treats fingertips if skin ulcers develop into gangrene. Keeping warm with layers and proper accessories keeps the core of the body temperature warm, eliminating smoking prevents nicotine from constricting blood vessels, and regular exercise maintains strength and flexibility. Changing eating habits to minimize acid reflux and continuously protecting the skin from the drying results of excess collagen are also lifestyle changes that treat CREST syndrome.

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