Scleroderma is an uncommon disease in which parts of the skin,
joints, and blood vessels break down and are replaced by fibrous tissue. Organ
damage may also occur, which can lead to lung, kidney, or heart failure and
other life-threatening conditions.
Symptoms of scleroderma include thickening of the skin, joint pain
and stiffness, problems swallowing, and cold fingertips that may turn white or
blue (Raynaud's phenomenon). More serious symptoms may occur as the disease
progresses and affects major organs.
Scleroderma is most common in middle-aged women. Its cause is
unknown. But it may occur from an autoimmune disease, which is when the body's
defense system (immune system) attacks its own tissues. There is no cure. But
treatment can help relieve symptoms and prevent complications.
May 10, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
We are happy to take your appointment request over the phone, or, you may fill out an online request form.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.