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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is scleroderma?
Scleroderma, also known as systemic sclerosis, is a rare, chronic condition that affects the skin and internal organs of the body. Hardening of the skin is a common feature of the condition. However, it can also affect many other parts of the body - including the …
What are the symptoms of scleroderma?
Signs and symptoms of scleroderma can vary, but include: hardening or thickening of the skin; patches of tight shiny skin; Raynaud's phenomenon, which involves the fingers and toes turning either white or blue-purple due to a cold or emotional stress …
What causes scleroderma?
Scleroderma is caused by an autoimmune reaction. When operating correctly, the immune system helps your body fight off the infections. During an autoimmune reaction, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues. In scleroderma, excess collagen is produced …
How is scleroderma diagnosed?
Scleroderma can develop slowly over time and appear in different forms, which can make it difficult to diagnose. A physical examination and variety of tests may be required by your doctor to give a diagnosis of scleroderma. These can include blood tests, skin …
How is scleroderma treated?
Scleroderma cannot be cured, so treatment aims to reduce the symptoms, prevent progression of the condition and address any complications as early as possible to limit any disability. Treatments can include: moisturizing dry and tight skin; stretching exercises …
What are the complications of scleroderma?
Scleroderma can vary in severity and can have multiple complications. These can include pulmonary artery hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs), pulmonary fibrosis and heart complications including pericarditis and heart failure. Acute …
What are the different types of scleroderma?
There are two main types of scleroderma: localized scleroderma, which affects only the skin, and systemic scleroderma, which can affect the skin as well as the internal organs including the digestive system, heart, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, …
About this article
Author: Dr Bow Tauro PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 16 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Votes: 251 (Click smiley face below left to rate)