Symptoms of Collagen Vascular Disease

Changes in the skin can be the first visible symptoms of collagen vascular disease and can be instrumental in diagnosing the disease before it progresses. Symptoms vary depending on the specific disease, but may include:

  • Skin rash
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness and aches
  • Joint pain
  • Fever

Other skin symptoms for specific conditions may include:

  • Mouth ulcers (lupus)
  • Dry eyes and dry mouth (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Vaginal dryness (Sjögren syndrome)
  • Malar rash (rash shaped like a butterfly on the bridge of the nose and cheeks) (lupus)
  • Discoid rash (raised rash on the head, arms, chest or back) (lupus)
  • Hair loss (lupus)
  • Bumps of tissue at the joints (rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma)
  • Thickening and hardening of the skin (scleroderma, morphea)
  • Taut, shiny, darker skin on large areas that may hinder movement (scleroderma)
  • Open sores, especially on fingertips and knuckles (scleroderma)
  • Sensitive scalp (temporal arteritis)
  • Itchy, painful, violet or red rash on the face, elbows, knees, knuckles, back and chest (dermatomyositis)
  • Reddish or purple oval patches on the abdomen, back and chest that develop a white center (morphea)
  • Long patches on the arms and legs (morphea)
  • Palpable purpura (purplish, red spots that can be felt) (vasculitis)
  • Dark, thickened skin that may resemble and orange peel (nephrogenic systemic fibrosis)
  • Burning, itching or blistering skin (nephrogenic systemic fibrosis)
  • Numb, cool, and white or blue fingers and toes (Raynaud disease)