Diseases Home > Types of Scleroderma

There are two main types of scleroderma: localized and systemic. Localized scleroderma only affects the skin, related tissues, and the muscles below the tissues. Systemic scleroderma affects the skin, the tissues beneath skin that lead to the blood vessels, and major organs. These forms of scleroderma are broken down further into subtypes, each with their own symptoms and level of intensity.

Types of Scleroderma: An Overview

The two main scleroderma types are:
Localized scleroderma affects only certain parts of the body, while systemic scleroderma can affect the whole body. Both types have additional subtypes.
Although there are different ways these types and subtypes may be broken down or referred to (and your doctor may use different terms from what you see here), the following sections provide common ways of classifying scleroderma.

Localized Scleroderma

Localized scleroderma only affects the skin, related tissues, and the muscles below the tissues. It does not affect the internal organs, and it will never progress to systemic scleroderma. Although localized conditions usually improve or go away on their own, over time, the skin changes, and damage that occurs when the disease is active can be permanent. For some people, localized scleroderma can be serious and disabling. The two recognized types of localized scleroderma are:
  • Morphea
  • Linear.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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