Scleroderma in an autoimmune disorder and a
connective tissue disease - a thickening of the skin - by an
overproduction of collagen.
The condition is not that common,
but does affect approximately 300,000 Americans.
scleroderma disease ranges from mild to severe, the
condition is not contagious.
The two main types of Scleroderma
(pronounced "sklare-oh-derma") are systemic and local.
Systemic Scleroderma is when
more than one part of the body is included (skin,
capillaries, veins a arteries, and internal organs).
Localized Scleroderma affects only
the skin, and possibly some of the tissue just under the
Exact causes are still unknown, but there
could be a genetic link, and the development of the disease
after exposure to some foreign agent, such as a virus.
Early stages of Scleroderma are difficult
to diagnose, as many of the symptoms of pain and swelling are
similar to other conditions, like lupus or arthritis.