Scleroderma (skleer-oh-DUR-muh) is a group of rare diseases that involve the hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues — the fibers that provide the framework and support for your body.
In some people, scleroderma affects only the skin. But in many people, scleroderma also harms structures beyond the skin — such as blood vessels, internal organs and the digestive tract. Signs and symptoms vary, depending on which structures are affected.
Scleroderma affects women more often than men and most commonly occurs between the ages of 30 and 50. While there is no cure for scleroderma, a variety of treatments can ease symptoms and improve quality of life.
June 21, 2016
- Scleroderma. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Scleroderma. Accessed March 28, 2016.
- Goldman L, et al., eds. Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma). In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 28, 2016.
- Denton CP. Overview and classification of scleroderma disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 28, 2016.
- AskMayoExpert. Scleroderma. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Shah AA, et al. My approach to the treatment of scleroderma. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2013;88:377.
- Denton CP. Overview of the treatment and prognosis of systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 28, 2016.
- Coping with scleroderma. Scleroderma Foundation. http://www.scleroderma.org/site/PageServer?pagename=patients_coping#.VvmLT9j2aic. Accessed March 28, 2016.