Scleroderma

  • Definition

    Scleroderma is a widespread connective tissue disease that involves changes in the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs.


    Alternative Names

    CREST syndrome; Limited scleroderma; Progressive systemic sclerosis; Systemic sclerosis; Localized scleroderma; Morphea, linear


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    The cause of scleroderma is unknown. People with this condition have a buildup of a substance called collagen in the skin and other organs. This buildup leads to the symptoms of the disease.

    The disease usually affects people 30 to 50 years old. Women get scleroderma more often than men do. Risk factors include work exposure to silica dust and polyvinyl chloride.

    Diffuse scleroderma can overlap with other autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus and polymyositis. In such cases, the disorder is referred to as mixed connective disease.