Scleroderma is a disease that involves the buildup of scar-like tissue in the skin and elsewhere in the body. It also damages the cells that line the walls of small arteries.
Progressive systemic sclerosis; Systemic sclerosis; Limited scleroderma; CREST syndrome; Localized scleroderma; Morphea - linear; Raynaud's phenomenon - scleroderma
Scleroderma is a type of autoimmune disorder. In this condition, the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages healthy body tissue.
The cause of scleroderma is unknown. A buildup of a substance called collagen in the skin and other organs leads to the symptoms of the disease.
The disease most often affects people ages 30 to 50 years. Women get scleroderma more often than men. Some people with scleroderma have a history of being around silica dust and polyvinyl chloride, but most do not.
Widespread scleroderma can occur with other autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus and polymyositis. These cases are referred to as undifferentiated connective tissue disease or overlap syndrome.
Some types of scleroderma affect only the skin, while others affect the whole body.
Skin signs of scleroderma may include:
Bone and muscle symptoms may include:
Breathing problems may result from scarring in the lungs and can include:
Digestive tract problems may include:
Heart problems may include:
Kidney and genitourinary problems may include:
There is no specific treatment for scleroderma. Your provider will assess the extent of disease in the skin, lungs, kidneys, heart, and gastrointestinal tract.
People with diffuse skin disease (rather than limited skin involvement) may be more prone to progressive and internal organ disease. This form of the disease is classified as diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc). Body wide (systemic) treatments are most often used for this group of patients.
You will be prescribed medicines and other treatments to control your symptoms and prevent complications.
Medicines used to treat progressive scleroderma include:
Some people with rapidly progressive scleroderma may be candidates for autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). This type of treatment needs to be performed in specialized centers.
Other treatments for specific symptoms may include:
Treatment often involves physical therapy as well.
Christopher Denton is in Canada. Denton is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Scleroderma. He is also highly rated in 17 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Scleroderma, Acute Interstitial Pneumonia, Interstitial Lung Disease, and Raynaud Phenomenon.
Dinesh Khanna is a Rheumatologist and a Geriatrics doctor in The Villages, Florida. Dr. Khanna has been practicing medicine for over 38 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Scleroderma. He is also highly rated in 12 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Scleroderma, Hypertension, Arthritis, and Raynaud Phenomenon. He is licensed to treat patients in Florida. Dr. Khanna is currently accepting new patients.
Lorinda Chung is a Rheumatologist in Redwood City, California. Dr. Chung has been practicing medicine for over 22 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Scleroderma. She is also highly rated in 9 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Scleroderma, Dermatomyositis, Polymyositis, and Scleroma. She is licensed to treat patients in California. Dr. Chung is currently accepting new patients.
Some people can benefit from attending a support group for people with scleroderma.
In some people, symptoms develop quickly for the first few years and continue to get worse. However, in most people, the disease gets worse slowly.
People who have only skin symptoms have a better outlook. Widespread (systemic) scleroderma can lead to.
Call your provider if you develop Raynaud phenomenon, progressive thickening of the skin, or trouble swallowing.
Published Date : May 31, 2020
Published By : Diane M. Horowitz, MD, Rheumatology and Internal Medicine, Northwell Health, Great Neck, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
Herrick AL, Pan X, Peytrignet S, et al. Treatment outcome in early diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis: the European Scleroderma Observational Study (ESOS). Ann Rheum Dis. 2017;76(7):1207-1218. PMID: 28188239 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28188239/.
Poole JL, Dodge C. Scleroderma: therapy. In: Skirven TM, Osterman AL, Fedroczyk JM, Amadio PC, Feldscher SB, Shin EK, eds. Rehabilitation of the Hand and Upper Extremity. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 92.
Sullivan KM, Goldmuntz EA, Keyes-Elstein L, et al. Myeloablative autologous stem-cell transplantation for severe scleroderma. N Engl J Med. 2018;378(1):35-47. PMID: 29298160 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29298160/.
Varga J. Etiology and pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Gabriel SE, Koretzky GA, McInnes IB, O'Dell JR, eds. Firestein and Kelly's Textbook of Rheumatology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 88.
Varga J. Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma). In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 251.