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Scleroderma

Names


Description

Scleroderma
Systemic scleroderma
Systemic sclerosis

Scleroderma is an autoimmune, rheumatic, and chronic disease that affects the body by hardening connective tissue

Prevalence

Scleroderma is a rare disorder with a prevalence of just 840 cases in the United States.

Typical Age of onset

Scleroderma is more common in women than men. Anyone can get it, even children.

Most localized types show up before age 40, and are more common in people of European descent than in African Americans.

Systemic types are more common in people aged 30 to 50 and are more common in African Americans than in people of European descent.

Symptoms

  • Hardened or thickened skin that looks shiny and smooth. It’s most common on the hands and face.
  • Cold fingers or toes that turn red, white, or blue. This is called Raynaud's phenomenon.
  • Ulcers or sores on fingertips
  • Small red spots on the face and chest. These are opened blood vessels called telangiectasias.
  • Puffy or swollen or painful fingers and/or toes
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dry eyes or mouth (called Sjogren's syndrome)
  • Swelling -- mostly of the hands and fingers. Your doctor may call this edema.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight Loss
  • Itching