Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK)
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How can I prevent an ulcer developing?

Hi all, I have CREST and have had Raynaud's for about 8 years now. I have had ulcers on my lower legs, and one on my index finger tip (excruciating when it was developing, much worse than on the legs).

The finger one has almost healed (had it for nearly 5 months), but is still producing some discharge (not infected though). However, last night and today I can feel the throbbing and swelling again, and I think it is going to break open and start all over again. Does anyone know of any way to stop an ulcer before it forms, or is it too late once the throbbing and swelling start? I am worried that I will now be stuck in a cycle of slow-healing ulcer, heals with scar tissue, then keeps breaking down again.

I wear gloves, have the heating on at home and at work, take amlodipine and losartan, and I am just not sure if there is a way to stop this cycle. My finger tip has been damaged with scar tissue, and a small chunk missing from where the original ulcer was infected and went under the nail.

Sorry for the self-pity!!


4 Replies


Sorry to hear you're suffering so much ulcers are very painful. I have had many digital ulcers some of which get infected. I have occasional infusions of Iloprost 6hours X 5 days each time. This helps and I am also prescribed Sildenafil (viagra) 3 times a day. These medications have significantly reduced the incidence and severity of ulcers. They can cause low grade headaches and Iloprost can cause nausea but you can control the level to avoid theses. I don't take Sildenafil during the summer as much unless it gets very cold. Like you I also keep warm. Hope you can get a solution.


I understand you self pity, but I am not expert enough to answer your question. Sorry.

1 like

Hello Dunhorse123.

Sounds miserable. I have had finger ulcer problems, but now more or less stabilised thanks to sildenafil (capillary dilator) and methotrexate (immunosuppressant). At the height of the problem I was juggling several ulcers on my fingers for years. My hands were well decorated with sticky plasters. The best thing I found for shortening the lengthy cycle between an ulcer's arrival and its disappearance (at least 6 months) was several sessions of putting the finger in hot salty water. It smarts a bit, but has the effect of wicking the corruption up to the surface where you can release it with a sterilised needle. Infections make things worse, and so do crystals working their way up to the surface.


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You need an urgent infushion of iliprost. I also had the digital ulcer, lasted nearly 8 months and I was excruciating, worst pain I ever felt in my life. I have the chunk of skin missing under my nail also. I now get the iliprost once a year for 5 days, 6-8 hours per day and no more ulcers (fingers crossed) I hope you get sorted very very soon.....I feel your pain :(


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