Other Diseases

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Acne
Acne is a common inflammatory disorder of the sebaceous (oil secreting) glands of the skin causing inflamed red pimples on the face and neck. Most people affected by acne are aged between 12 and 25. However, men and women in their 30s and 40s can also suffer. There are many treatments available to help deal with the condition.

  • 99% of people suffering from acne are affecting by it on their fac
  • 60% are affected by it on their back
  • 15% affected by it on their chest

There are 6 main types of acne:

  • blackheads
  • whiteheads
  • papules
  • pustules
  • nodules
  • cysts

It is thought that acne in teenagers is caused by increased levels of the hormone testosterone that occurs during puberty. The sebaceous glands are very sensitive and this excess hormone causes the glands to produce more sebum than is needed by the skin. Too much sebum mixed with dead skin cells forms a plug in the follicle and if this plug is close to the surface of the skin a lump will form causing a whitehead, if the follicle is open to the skin it will create a blackhead.

Adult acne affects more women than men and it is thought that this is due to changes in hormone levels due to:

  • periods
  • pregnancy
  • possible side-effects of medication

There are no specific tests for acne. Your GP will make a diagnosis from looking at your skin.

Classification

  • mild where it is mostly blackheads and or whiteheads on your face,
  • moderate which is blackheads, whiteheads, papules and pustules on your face and possibly on your shoulders and back
  • severe acne where you have papules and pustules and nodules and cysts.

Treatment

  • mild acne is normally treated with a topical cream
  • moderate acne may need a cream containing antibiotics
  • severe acne may be a combination of oral antibiotics in conjunction with a topical treatment.

For more information
Visit the the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk

If you think you may be suffering from acne please see your doctor of healthcare provider.

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Alopecia
Alopecia means sudden hair loss. There are many different causes and patterns of hair loss. It does not only affect the hair on the head as any area can be involved including eyebrows and eyelashes.

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Angina
Is due to a temporary reduction in the flow of blood to part of the heart muscle and does not damage the heart itself. An episode of angina is not a heart attack although sometimes the symptoms can be mistaken for one.

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Ankylosing spondylitis 
AS is a disease of the spine in which there is gradual loss of mobility in the joints between the vertebrae. It occurs mainly in males between the ages of 20 and 40.

Research shows that about 9 in 10 people (90%) with ankylosing spondylitis have the genetic cell marker - Human Leukocyte Antigen B27 (HLA-B27) although having this gene does not necessarily mean you will get ankylosing spondylitis

Symptoms

  • The most common symptom is pain which often starts in the lower back.
  • The pain starts mildly but gradually increases over time and resting does not ease it.
  • The pain is often worse first thing in the morning.
  • Some people may also suffer from a feeling of malaise, tiredness or even depression.
  • There is a slight risk that people with ankylosing spondylitis may go on to develop colitis, Crohns disease, psoriasis, osteoporosis, lung fibrosis, or cardiovascular disease.

Diagnosis
MRI scans can be used to confirm the disease in its earlier stages.

Treatments
Treatments can include painkillers such as paracetamol if symptoms are mild between flare ups, NSAIDs drugs to reduce inflammation and ease pain and drugs that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressant’s) if symptoms are severe.

Approximately 5% of people with Ankylosing Spondylitis may require a hip replacement if the hip becomes badly affected.

Tens machines, heat, and a massage may also help and good posture and exercise is essential for people with Ankylosing Spondylitis.

For more information
Visit the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society’s website: www.nass.co.uk

If you think you may be suffering from ankylosing spondylitis please see your doctor of healthcare provider.

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Athletes foot
Is a fungus infection of the foot sometimes known as tinea pedis or ringworm of the foot. The fungus is contracted from public places and then grows in the warm and moist environment of your footwear.

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Back Pain
Could  and can be caused by muscular strain or a “slipped disk” or it may be associated with some disease of the bones and joints.

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Behcet's syndrome
Is a disease that involves inflammation of the blood vessels. It causes problems in many parts of the body.

Cause
Behcet's syndrome is caused when the immune system turns on the body and causes inflammation and sores in parts of the body. No one knows the exact cause of Behcet’s syndrome but is more common in Middle Eastern countries.

Symptoms
Most people with behcets syndrome complain of:

  • painful mouth ulcers that make eating difficult
  • inflammation or swelling of parts of the eye
  • skin rash
  • sores on the sex organs
  • other skin sores

Some people may also suffer from a feeling of:

  • malaise
  • tiredness or even depression
  • pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints

All these symptoms can wax and wane.

Diagnosis
There is no actual test for Behcets syndrome but tests to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms may be carried out.

Treatment
As yet there is no cure for Behcet's syndrome but in severe cases pain relief in the form of oral steroids, immunosuppressants and anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed

For more information visit the Behcet's Syndrome Society’s website: www.behcets.org.uk

If you think you may be suffering from behcet’s syndrome please see your doctor of healthcare provider.

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Bowen’s disease
Is a rare skin growth, which is confined to the outer layer of the skin. It usually appears as a slow-growing red and scaly patch. Occasionally Bowen’s disease can become cancerous

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Bullous pemphigoid (BP)
Is a chronic blistering of the skin. It can range from small mild itchy welts to severe blisters and infection, and can be confined to a small area of the body or be widespread. Most of those affected are elderly, but it has been seen at all ages.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome
Is fairly common. Symptoms include numbness, tingling and a burning pain in the hand. The symptoms start off by occurring at night, often waking the patient, later they may also be experienced during the day and in some cases be so severe they can interfere with the normal use of the hand.

What is the Cause
The main cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is unknown although it is thought that a tendon going through the carpal tunnel becomes inflamed which in turn leads to swelling. It is thought to be more common in manual workers.

Symptoms
Symptoms vary in severity depending on how squashed the median nerve is but most commonly pins and needles, normally beginning in the index and middle fingers, pain travelling up the forearm, numbness of fingers or part of the palm, or dryness of the skin

Diagnosis
In most cases no test is needed to confirm the diagnoses although tests to measure the speed the nerve impulse travels through the carpal tunnel may be carried out.

Treatment
In most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome no treatment is necessary as it should clear up of its own accord within 6 months.
In severe cases you may be offered corticosteroids, a wrist splint or in extreme cases surgery.

If you think you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome please see your doctor or healthcare provider.

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Cellulitis
A severe infection of the skin and the tissues beneath it. The infection spreads through the tissues producing pus with accompanying pain and discomfort. The toxins released by the infection produce fever and general feeling of being unwell.

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Coeliac disease
A rare condition where the lining of the small intestine is damaged by gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and certain other cereals).

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Conjunctivitis
Is where the conjunctiva (the membrane that covers the eyeball) is infected, the eyeball becomes red and the lids become sticky.

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Crohn’s Disease

Is a disorder of the intestines characterised by stomach pain, diarrhoea, fever and weight loss. It normally affects young adults and is often misdiagnosed as appendicitis. The cause is unknown but it does tends to be hereditary.

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Darier’s disease
Is a very rare genetic skin condition, where the skin in certain areas develops numbers of small brownish bumps containing pus. It normally affects the chest, neck, back, ears, forehead, and groin, but can involve other parts of the body. It can be aggravated further by heat, humidity, and exposure to sunlight.

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Diabetes
A clinical condition characterised by the excessive excretion of urine.

There are two main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus, develops if the body is unable to produce any insulin
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus in most cases this is linked with being overweight and the body cannot make enough insulin. This is the most common form diabetes mellitus

A rarer form is called diabetes insipidus which occurs in fewer than 1 in 25,000 people and is more common in adults. This is characterised by constant thirst and where the body cannot retain enough water.

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Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH)
DISH is a form of too much bone growth along the sides of the vertebrae of the spine which involves inflammation and bone growth where the tendons and ligaments are attached to the bone. It can also occur in other places such as the elbows, knees and the heels of the feet.

DISH is a form of degenerative arthritis which often coexists with osteoarthritis and is more likely to occur in people with a higher body mass index

Symptoms
Symptoms normally include pain and stiffness in the affected areas.

Diagnosis
X-rays or CT/MRI Scans are used to confirm diagnosis.

Treatment
A variety of treatment could be offered including NSAIDS, surgery, or manipulation by a chiropractor

If you think you may be suffering from DISH please see your doctor or healthcare provider.

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Eczema
Eczema or dermatitis. The word ‘eczema’ comes from a Greek word meaning to ‘bubble through’. The word ‘dermatitis’ means ‘inflammation of the skin’. The two words, eczema and dermatitis, are used interchangeably for a condition in the skin in which fluid accumulates in and between prickle cells of the epidermis.

There are many different types of eczema - the most common is atopic eczema (also called endogenous eczema).

About 1 in 6 children get atopic eczema in the UK, but most grow out of it by their teens. However for some people, it can continue into adulthood.

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Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
(EDS) is a disorder that affects the connective tissues that support the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. People with EDS disorders tend to have loose joints, skin that stretches easily, and a tendency to bruise.

EDS is caused where changes in genes cause problems with collagen which provides strength to the skin, bones, blood vessels and internal organs.

Symptoms
Symptoms can include skin that bruises and scars easily but takes a long time to heal, flat feet, early arthritis, and joint pain

Diagnosis
Examinations alone are normally enough to diagnose EDS but skin biopsy’s to test for collagen type may also be done

Treatment
There is no actual cure for EDS, but physiotherapy and exercise may be beneficial.

For more information
Visit the Ehlers Danlos Support Group website: www.ehlers-danlos.org

If you think you may be suffering from EDS please see your doctor or healthcare provider.

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Fibromyalgia

Is the name given to widespread pain affecting the muscles but not the joints. It is a chronic condition but is not life threatening or progressive and does not cause permanent damage to muscles, bones or joints.

Fibromyalgia normally begins following a trauma such as an accident, an infection, childbirth, an operation or some other emotional event. Sometimes the condition begins without any obvious trigger

Symptoms
Rather than a specific symptom fibromyalgia is made up of a collection of symptoms including fatigue and pain, disturbed sleep patterns, headaches, irritable bowel, diarrhoea and sometimes nausea

Diagnosis
Diagnosis is normally made if there has been widespread pain for a period of 3 months or more. Tests to eliminate other conditions may be made.

Treatment
The treatment for fibromyalgia is to treat the symptoms such as reducing pain and improving sleep rather than treating the condition itself.

For more information
Visit the Fibromyalgia Association’s website: www. fibromyalgia-associationuk.org

If you think you may be suffering from Fibromyalgia please see your doctor or healthcare provider.

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Gout
Is a chemical defect which causes the accumulation in the bloodstream of a waste product of metabolism also known as uric acid. It is the deposition of crystals of uric acid in the skin, joints and kidneys which is responsible for the symptoms.

Cause
Gout is caused by too much uric acid (a chemical in the blood) in the body. If your kidneys don’t pass uric acid quickly enough or your body produces too much uric acid you may be prone to gout

Symptoms
If you have pain and swelling in the joints along with red skin around the painful joint and sometimes fever you may be suffering from gout

Diagnosis
Gout can be diagnosed by blood tests to measure the levels of uric acid in your blood or by a small amount of fluid being removed from the swollen painful joint to see if uric acid is present. Sometimes X-rays may be done to rule out other medical conditions

Treatment
Resting the affected joint and applying ice may help to reduce the swelling.

Your GP may prescribe NSAIDs drugs to relieve the pain and inflammation . In severe cases steroid tables or injections may be used

For further information
Visits the Arthritis Research UK website: www.arthritisresearchuk.org

If you think you may be suffering from gout please see your doctor or healthcare provider.

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Juvenile arthritis
Refers to a "childhood arthritis" for children under the age of sixteen affected by inflammatory arthritis. Children can develop almost all types of arthritis that affect adults, but the most common type that affects children is juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

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Lichen planus
Is an itchy rash that can appear anywhere on the body. Generally speaking, about 1 in 50 people may develop the condition, which most commonly affects those between the ages of 30 and 60, and women slightly more often than men. It's rare for children or older people to be troubled by lichen planus, though not impossible.

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Lyme disease
Begins by a bite from an insect that is infected by bacterium. The bacterium enters the body and travels to different parts of the body. If untreated, it can progress to produce an infection that involves inflammation affecting joints, the nervous system, the heart and the skin.

Symptoms
The first symptom of lyme disease is a red skin rash that looks similar to the middle bull on a dart board. If left untreated this will then follow with a fever, muscle and joint pain and swelling in the affected joints.

Diagnosis
Lyme disease is normally diagnosed by the original rash. Occasionally blood and urine tests may be taken to help with the diagnosis.

Treatment
If your GP confirms you have lyme disease you will be treated with a course of antibiotics to clear the infection.

For further information
Lyme Disease Action website: www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk

If you think you may be suffering from lyme Disease please see your doctor or healthcare provider.

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Myalgic encephalomyelitis
ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that affects many body systems and their functions, mainly the nervous system and immune system.

Exhaustion, muscle pain, problems with mental function, such as memory loss and poor concentration, malaise along with other symptoms are associated with ME/CFS.

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Osteoarthritis
is a degenerative disease of the joints, usually accompanied by pain and stiffness. It causes a great deal of pain and discomfort to a large number of people and affects both males and females alike. The cause of the disease is not known but it is described as a degenerative disorder developing with age.

Symptoms
The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain and stiffness and difficulty in moving some of the joints.

Diagnosis
There is no actual test that will diagnose osteoarthritis but if you are over 45 years old a diagnosis can be made from a physical examination from your GP, and tests to rule out other medical conditions.

Treatment
Depending on the severity of the osteoarthritis the treatment could be either to reduce the pain or to slow down the progression of the disease.
Painkillers will reduce the pain but not the inflammation, NSAIDs and Corticosteroids can reduce pain and help to reduce inflammation, whilst DMARDs can help to slow down the progression of the disease

For further information
Visit the following website:  www.arthritisresearchuk.org

If you think you may be suffering from osteoarthritis please see your doctor or your healthcare provider

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Osteomalacia
is a disease affecting mainly adult women, where the bones are generally softened due to the impaired deposition of calcium. It is thought to be caused by lack of vitamin D.

Cause
Most people get enough vitamin d naturally through sunshine on the skin and through food. People who spend a lot of time indoors or people with dark skin living in cold climates could be lacking in sufficient levels of natural vitamin d.

Symptoms
Symptoms may begin with a general feeling of malaise along with aches and pains which come on gradually often in the lower back and hips but in more severe cases all bones can be affected.

Diagnosis
Medical history and blood tests for vitamin D levels are often all that is needed to diagnose Osteomalacia. X-rays are not normally taken as this will not show up the condition.

Treatment
The normal treatment is a vitamin D supplement

For further information
Visit the Arthritis Research UK website: www. arthritisresearchuk .org

If you think you may be suffering from Osteomalacia please see your doctor or healthcare provider.

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Osteoporosis
is a disease whereby the bones thinthin. From the age of 20 onwards more bones cells are lost than replaced causing bones to become thinner with age but in osteoporosis the thinning is faster than normal. People who remain active are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis as the exercise strengthens their bones.

Cause
There is no single cause of osteoporosis. Most commonly it is due to the cells that create new bone not keeping up with those cells that remove bone, therefore bone density decreases over time, particularly after the age of 30 or 40.

Symptoms
Osteoporosis develops slowly over a matter of years, early warning signs may include joint pains and trouble standing or sitting up straight. A minor fall could cause a broken bone. As the osteoporosis develops further even a cough or a sneeze could cause the ribs to fracture. In older people the common stoop is a sign of osteoporosis as the fractures in the spine make it difficult to support the body.

Diagnosis
To confirm if osteoporosis is present a bone scan known as a DEXA scan may be done

Treatment
For menopausal women HRT may be offered as this helps to prevent further thinking of the bones. Calcium and vitamin D supplements may be offered to older people.

For further information
Visit The National Osteoporosis Society website: www.nos.org.uk

If you think you may be suffering from osteoporosis please visit your GP or healthcare provider.

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Pagets Disease
Is a disease where areas of bone become thickened and soft and there is an increase in the total number of bone cells. It is quite common in old age especially in men.

Causes
The causes on not yet known, but there are various theories that include possible causes as follows:

  • genetic links
  • lifestyle, such as poor diet or bone injury in early life
  • linked to a viral infection early in life -though this remains controversial.

Symptoms
The most common symptom of Pagets disease is bone pain particularly the bones in the pelvis. The pain is often worse at night when laying down and resting. The thigh, spine, shin, and arm bones may also be involved and as the disease progress there may be deformities in the affected bones

Diagnosis
Pagets disease can be diagnosed by blood test as a rise in the chemical SAP in your blood is a common sign of pagets disease.

Treatment
Diagnosis may be before any actual symptoms so if this is the case you will not have any treatment and will just have further blood tests to monitor how the disease is developing.

If you are already experience painful symptoms you will be treated with bisphosphonates.

For further information
Visit the the Paget's Association website: www.paget.org.uk

If you think you may be suffering from pagets disease, please see your doctor or healthcare provider.

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Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)
Is muscular pains throughout the body starting abruptly in the neck and shoulder muscles and then spreading down the back to the buttocks and the thighs accompanied by stiffness, headache, fever and generally feeling unwell.

Cause
The cause is not known, but its is known that the immune system suddenly malfunctions and starts attacking healthy tissue.

Symptoms
Usually develop over the course of a few weeks and can include stiffness, aches and pains around the shoulders and upper arms. Inflammation and swelling may also be present and you may experience tiredness, depression, fever, and loss of appetite.

Diagnosis
A blood test will be done to see if there is inflammation in the body. If there is and you are showing typical signs of PMR this is normally sufficient to confirm the condition.

Treatment
The normal treatment for PMR is steroid tablets.

For further information
Visit the Arthritis Research UK website: www. arthritisresearchuk .org

If you think you are suffering from PMR please see your doctor or your healthcare provider.

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Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
PML is a rare disease of the central nervous system which results in the destruction of the sheath that covers the nerves. There have been reports that this has been seen in a patient treated with efalizumab.

European authorities, has issued a ‘Dear Healthcare Professional’ letter highlighting the association of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) with efalizumab.

Patients must be regularly monitored for any new or progressive neurological symptoms that may be suggestive of PML (impaired cognition, visual disturbances, hemiparesis, altered mental state, or behavioural changes. If PML is suspected, further dosing should be withheld until PML has been excluded.

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Raynaud's phenomenon
Is a condition where the blood vessels that supply blood to the skin narrow reducing blood flow to the hands. This causes the fingers to become cold and white with a feeling of pins and needles. Eventually they will turn blue then red Raynauds phenomenon is most common in young women.

Cause
The condition is caused by the interruption of the blood supply to the extremities, usually the fingers and toes but sometimes also the ears and nose, this can triggered by touching cold objects or exposure to the cold.

Symptoms
First the fingertips go white and cold, the fingers then become numb and may become stiff due to the blood supply being temporarily cut off. The condition may be slight or severe. In severe cases small ulcers may form on the fingertips and the nails may also be affected.

Diagnosis
If you are suffering from symptoms of Raynauds phenomenon then tests to rule out other conditions may be carried out.

Sometimes a specialist will try to bring on an episode of Raynauds by placing your hands in cold water so they can witness your symptoms.

Treatment
Self-care such as keeping warm is normally all that is needed to control the symptoms if they are mild.

Your GP may prescribe medicine that helps to open up the blood vessels and helps with circulation.

For further information
Visit the Raynaud's & Scleroderma Association website: www.raynauds.org.uk

If you think you are suffering from Raynauds phenomenon please see your doctor or your healthcare provider.
 

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Repetitive strain injury
(RSI) is used to describe a range of painful conditions of the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues. It is mainly caused by repetitive use of part of the body. It is usually related to a job or occupation, but leisure activities can also be a cause.

Symptoms
Symptoms vary depending on the affected area but normally start with either pain, throbbing or numbness and to begin with may subside when resting the affected muscle.

Diagnosis
There is no actual diagnosis for RSI but if the pain subsides when resting from the repetitive task and if other conditions are discounted you may be diagnosed with RSI.

Treatment
Stopping the activity which aggravates the condition, anti inflammatory painkillers or physiotherapy.

If you think you may be suffering from RSI please see your doctor or healthcare provider
 


Rheumatoid arthritis
Is a condition which causes pain, swelling and inflammation in the joints. Initially, the joints of the hands and feet are affected, but any joint may later become affected. Rheumatoid arthritis can make your joints feel stiff and can leave you feeling generally unwell and tired.

Symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis tends to develop gradually and normally starts with pain and swelling and joint stiffness which tends to be worse in the morning but shows signs of improvement when you are up and about. The joints may become warm and appear slightly red. Anaemia is also known to be quite common in those with rheumatoid arthritis.

Diagnosis
There is no actual test that will diagnose rheumatoid arthritis but a physical examination from your GP and tests to rule out other medical conditions may be done.

Treatment
Depending on the severity of the rheumatoid arthritis the treatment could be either to reduce the pain or to slow down the progression of the disease.

Painkillers will reduce the pain but not the inflammation, NSAIDs and corticosteroids can reduce pain and help to reduce inflammation, whilst DMARDs can help to slow down the progression of the disease

For further information
Visit the Arthritis Research UK website: www.arthritisresearchuk.org

If you think you may be suffering from Reactive Arthritis please see your doctor or your healthcare provider.

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SAPHO
(Syndrome Acne-Pustulosis-Hyperostosis-Osteitis). The syndrome has common conditions together which include synovitis, acne, hyperostosis, pustulosis and osteitis.First describe in a report following data collected by a national investigation organised by the French Society of Rheumatology (Ref 1). Rev Rhum Mal Osteoartic. 1987 Mar;54(3):187-96.Related Articles Chamot AM, Benhamou CL, Kahn MF, Beraneck L, Kaplan G, Prost A.

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Scleroderma
A rare disease which produces hardening of the skin which becomes smooth, shiny and tight. The skin of the face may shrink so much that it becomes difficult to open the mouth fully.

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