The symptoms of scleroderma vary from person to person. The most common symptom is tightening, hardening, or thickening of the skin on the fingers, arms, legs, hands, feet, and face. The skin continues to thicken during the first two to three years of the disease. Thickening usually stops and may even improve.
In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics, including some of the oldest -- and most cherished -- medical myths out there. For our October 2011 issue, we asked Dimitrios Pappas, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, about the long-term effects of one popular childhood activity: knuckle cracking.
Q: My 10-year-old son cracks his knuckles. Is it true that it causes arthritis?