• Systemic Sclerosis, SSc

Scleroderma is a rare problem with the immune system that causes a thickening of the skin, joints, and some organs.

There is no cure. It is managed with medicine and therapy. Some people may need surgery.

Natural Therapies

May Be Effective

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Manual lymph drainage C1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.


Chinese Medicine

REFA1 Zhou J, Yang D, et al. Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Bathing with Chinese Medicine Taohong Siwu Decoction () for Treatment of Diffuse Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Chin J Integr Med. 2018 Mar;24(3):185-192.

Other Therapies

REFB1 Willems LM, Vriezekolk JE, et al. Effectiveness of Nonpharmacologic Interventions in Systemic Sclerosis: A Systematic Review. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2015 Oct;67(10):1426-1439.

REFB2 Moran ME. Scleroderma and evidence based non-pharmaceutical treatment modalities for digital ulcers: a systematic review. J Wound Care. 2014 Oct;23(10):510-516.

REFB3 Maddali-Bongi S, Landi G, et al. The rehabilitation of facial involvement in systemic sclerosis: efficacy of the combination of connective tissue massage, Kabat's technique and kinesitherapy: a randomized controlled trial. Rheumatol Int. 2011 Jul;31(7):895-901.

REFB4 Maddali Bongi S, Del Rosso A, et al. Efficacy of a tailored rehabilitation program for systemic sclerosis. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2009 May-Jun;27(3 Suppl 54):44-50.

Manual Lymph Drainage

REFC1 Bongi SM, Del Rosso A, et al. Manual lymph drainage improving upper extremity edema and hand function in patients with systemic sclerosis in edematous phase. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011 Aug;63(8):1134-1141.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 11/2019
  • Update Date: 06/17/2020