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Collagenosis: what is it, main causes and how to treat it

Collagenosis, also known as collagen disease, is a group of inflammatory autoimmune diseases that damage the connective tissue of the body, which is formed by fibers, such as collagen, and is responsible for functions such as filling spaces between organs , give support and support and, in addition, contribute to the defense of the organism.

The alterations caused by collagenosis can affect various organs and body systems, such as the skin, lungs, blood vessels and lymphatic tissues, for example, and produce signs and symptoms, mainly dermatological and rheumatological, which include joint pain, skin lesions, changes in blood circulation and dry mouth and eyes.

Some of the main diseases of collagenosis are:



1. Lupus

It is the most common autoimmune disease, it causes lesions in organs and cells due to the action of autoantibodies and is more frequent in young women, even though it can arise in any person. Its cause is not completely determined and usually unfolds slowly and continuously, with symptoms that can range from mild to severe, which vary depending on each person.

Signs and symptoms: Lupus can cause a wide variety of clinical manifestations, both localized and spread by the body, which include spots on the skin, oral ulcers, arthritis, renal and blood disorders and inflammation in the lungs and heart.

Find out more about what is and how to identify lupus.

2. Scleroderma

It is a disease that causes the accumulation of collagen fibers in the body, which is also unknown. It mainly attacks the skin and joints, and can also affect blood circulation and other internal organs, such as the lungs, heart, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract.



Signs and symptoms: by the general, the skin becomes more heavy, rigid, shiny and presents circulatory difficulties, las cuales empeoran slowly and progressively. When it attacks internal organs, in its diffuse type, it can generate breathing difficulties, digestive alterations and, asimism, affect the functioning of the heart and of the kidneys, for example.

3. Sjogren’s Syndrome

It is another type of autoimmune disease that is characterized by the infiltration of defense cells into the lacrimal and salivary glands, making secretion difficult by the glands. This illness is more common in middle-aged women, however, it can arise in any person, being able to do so in an isolated way or accompanied by illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, vasculitis or hepatitis, for example.

Signs and symptoms: The mouth and dry eyes are the main symptoms, which can worsen slowly and progressively and cause reddening, burning and sensation of sand in the eyes and/or difficulty in swallowing, speaking, increase in dental caries and burning sensation in the mouth. Symptoms in other regions of the body are not very common, however, they can include tiredness, fever and joint and muscle pain.

4. Dermatomyositis

It is also a type of autoimmune disease that attacks and compromises the skin muscles. When it affects only the muscles, it can also be known as polymyositis. Its cause is unknown, and may arise in the personas of any age.

Signs and symptoms: It is usual that there is muscular weakness, which is more common in the trunk, making it difficult to move the arms and the cadera, which causes problems to perform actions such as peinarse el hair or sit down and stand up. However, any muscle can be affected, which can cause difficulties such as swallowing, moving the ass, walking or breathing, for example. On the other hand, the lesions on the skin include red spots or scaly patches that can deteriorate with the sun.

why does it happen

There is also no clear cause for the emergence of the group of autoimmune diseases that cause collagenosis. Despite what they are related to the erroneous and excessive activation of the immune system, it is not known exactly what causes this situation.

It is quite probable that there are genetic and even environmental mechanisms, such as lifestyle and food habits, that cause these diseases; However, science still needs to better determine these causes through bad investigations.

How to confirm the diagnosis

To diagnose collagenosis, apart from clinical evaluation, the doctor may request blood tests to identify inflammation and antibodies present in these diseases, such as FAN, Mi-2, SRP, Jo-1, Ro/SS-A or La /SS-B, for example. Biopsies or analysis of inflamed tissue may also be necessary.

How to treat collagenosis

The treatment of a collagenosis, as well as of any autoimmune disease, depends on its type and severity and must be guided by a rheumatologist or a dermatologist. In general, this implies the use of corticosteroids, such as Prednisone or Prednisolone; in addition to other more potent immunosuppressants or immune regulators, such as Azathioprine, Methotrexate, Ciclosporin or Rituximab, for example, with the purpose of controlling immunity and reducing its effects in the organism.

Similarly, certain measures such as sun protection to prevent skin lesions and eye drops or artificial saliva to reduce eye and mouth dryness can be alternatives to reduce symptoms.

Collagenosis does not have a cure, however, science has sought to develop more modern therapies based on the control of immunity with immunotherapy, with the aim of ensuring that these diseases are controlled with greater effectiveness.

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