Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks your skin and other connective tissues. These tissues are tendons and cartilage that protect and support your body. Scleroderma can change how your skin looks, creating patches of hard or discolored skin or scars. There are 2 main types of scleroderma based on which parts of the body it affects:
1) Localized scleroderma only affects the skin.
2) Systemic scleroderma affects the skin and other parts of the body.
This is also called systemic sclerosis.
Symptoms of localized scleroderma include:
Symptoms of systemic scleroderma include:
You are more likely to develop scleroderma if a family member has scleroderma or other autoimmune diseases that affect connective tissue (such as lupus). However, you may have no family history of scleroderma and still develop the disease.
Scientists are still learning what other factors may increase the risk of scleroderma. They think certain chemicals, infections, or hormones may increase the risk.