What is scleroderma?
Scleroderma is a rare autoimmune skin condition consisting of hard, thickened skin. This chronic disorder occurs when normal tissue is replaced with excessive collagen, which forms thick, hard tissue that accumulates in the skin and organs. Scleroderma is a dangerous condition as it can form scar tissue on vital organs such as the lungs, heart, gut, blood vessels, and kidneys. The presentation of symptoms for scleroderma varies with each individual but can pose some serious health complications, especially when the heart or lungs may be involved.
Who can develop scleroderma?
Only about 100,000 Americans suffer from this rare condition. Women have a higher tendency to develop scleroderma versus men. It also seems to appear in middle-aged populations around 30-50 years old the most, although there is a pediatric form as well.
Where does scleroderma occur?
Scleroderma is most known to affect the skin but is also able to affect organs as well. Other locations include:
What are the different types of scleroderma?
There are several different forms of scleroderma that may present in individuals. The two main types include: