Scleroderma is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease primarily of the skin and characterized by fibrosis or hardening of the skin, vascular alterations, and autoantibodies.
There are two major forms:
There are other forms of scleroderma which are localized forms and lack skin changes. Prognosis is generally good for limited cutaneous scleroderma patients who escape pulmonary complications. The cause is unknown and it runs in families. There is no direct cure for scleroderma because the exact cause is unknown and the treatment is specific for each patient depending on the symptoms and involvement of other areas.
Refer to the Scleroderma Foundation for more information and your rheumatologist.
Author: Norman B. Gaylis, M.D., F.A.C.P., M.A.C.R.