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.
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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.