What You Need to Know About Scleroderma

Types

The group of diseases we call scleroderma fall into two main types -- localized scleroderma and systemic scleroderma (also known as systemic sclerosis). Each type has subtypes.
 
Subtypes of localized scleroderma include morphea and linear scleroderma. Subtypes of systemic scleroderma include limited scleroderma, diffuse scleroderma, and sine scleroderma.

(Click Types of Scleroderma for more information.)
 

Causes

Although scientists do not know the exact cause of scleroderma, they are certain that people cannot catch it from or transmit it to others. Studies also show that it is not inherited.
 
Scientists suspect that it comes from several factors, which may include:
 
  • Abnormal immune or inflammatory activity
  • Genetics
  • Environment
  • Hormones.
 
(Click Scleroderma Causes for more information about factors that may play a role in causing this disease.)
 

Symptoms

Symptoms will depend on the type and subtype of the condition that a person has. However, in most patients, early symptoms are swelling and puffiness of the fingers or hands and Raynaud's phenomenon (a disorder that affects the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, ears, and nose).
 
Other symptoms can include:
 
 
(Click Scleroderma Symptoms for more information.)
 

Scleroderma Disease

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