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Dermatology Online Journal

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Botulinum toxin for treatment of Raynaud phenomenon in CREST syndrome


Calcinosis, Raynaud phenomenon, esophageal dysmotility, sclerodactyly, and telangiectasia (CREST) syndrome is a form of a rare, clinical subtype of systemic sclerosis, known as limited systemic sclerosis. Limited systemic sclerosis, including CREST syndrome, manifests as fibrotic skin changes restricted to the hands and face, with vascular, musculoskeletal, and visceral involvement. We present a case of a 75-year-old woman with a longstanding history of CREST syndrome complicated by a digital ulceration and persistent pain associated with recalcitrant Raynaud phenomenon. After failing a number of first-line pharmacologic therapies such as diltiazem, sildenafil, and topical nitropaste, the patient was started on a trial of botulinum toxin for the left second digit, with 10 unit injections into both webspaces for a total of 20 units. Following injection, the patient reported no further baseline pain in the affected finger and an over fifty-percent improvement in discomfort with manipulation of the digit at a follow-up time of one week. The ulceration started healing within the following three weeks. This result was maintained at a follow-up time of six weeks.

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