Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of granulomas, tiny clumps of inflammatory cells, in different areas of the body. When the immune system goes into overdrive and too many of these clumps form, they can interfere with an organ’s structure and function. If left unchecked, chronic inflammation can lead to fibrosis, which is permanent thickening or scarring of organ tissue.
Organs Affected by Sarcoidosis
This disorder can affect almost any organ in the body, including the skin, heart, liver, kidneys, brain, sinuses, eyes, muscles, bones, and other areas. Sarcoidosis most commonly targets the lungs and the lymph nodes, which are an important part of the immune system.
With treatment, many people recover, although it can take several years. Others may have a harder time and can suffer greater organ damage. Even when symptoms go into remission, sarcoidosis can return.
The symptoms of sarcoidosis can vary greatly, depending on which organs are involved. Most patients initially complain of a persistent dry cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms commonly include tender reddish bumps or patches on the skin, swollen and painful joints, and enlarged and tender lymph glands in the neck, armpits, and groin.
In some patients, symptoms may begin suddenly and/or severely and subside in a short period of time. Others may have no outward symptoms at all even though organs are affected. Still others may have symptoms that appear slowly and subtly, but which last or recur over a long time span.
Why a Dermatological Issue
The skin is the body’s largest organ and is not spared from sarcoidosis. A skin rash may be seen most commonly on the legs, scalp, or face, but any body part can be involved. The “rash” is a raised/lumpy area that does not itch nor does it come and go quickly.
Here for your dermatological needs
The decision to treat or not to treat sarcoidosis at a given time is critical. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment.