Eosinophilic fasciitis is a syndrome in which muscle tissue underneath the skin, called fascia, becomes swollen and thick. Rapid swelling can occur in the hands, arms, legs, and feet.
The disease is similar to scleroderma.
The cause of eosinophilic fasciitis is unknown. People with this condition have a build up of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, into the affected fascia and muscles. Eosinophils are associated with allergic-type reactions, but their specific function is largely unknown.
The syndrome is most common in people between ages 30 and 60. In some cases, it appears to be triggered by strenuous physical activity.
Tests that may be done include:
Treatment with corticosteroids and other immune-suppressing medications provides relief of the symptoms, especially when they are started early in the disease. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also help relieve symptoms.
In most cases, the condition goes away within 3 to 5 years. However, symptoms may return (recur) or persist.
Arthritis is a rare complication of eosinophilic fasciitis. Some patients may develop blood-related cancers.
Call your health care provider for an appointment if you have symptoms of this disorder.
There is no known prevention.