Scleroderma is a connective tissue disease that involves changes in the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs. It is a type of autoimmune disorder, a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.

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. Some people with scleroderma have a history of being around silica dust and polyvinyl chloride, but most do not.

Some types of scleroderma affect only the skin, while others affect the whole body.

  • Localized scleroderma usually affects only the skin on the hands and face. It develops slowly, and rarely, if ever, spreads throughout the body or causes serious complications.
  • Systemic scleroderma, or sclerosis, may affect large areas of skin and organs such as the heart, lungs, or kidneys. There are two main types of systemic scleroderma: Limited disease (CREST syndrome) and diffuse disease.

There is no specific treatment for scleroderma.

Your doctor will prescribe medicines and other treatments to control your symptoms and prevent complications.

Some people with scleroderma have symptoms that develop quickly over the first few years and continue to get worse. However, in most patients, the disease slowly gets worse.

People who only have skin symptoms have a better outlook. Widespread (systemic) scleroderma can damage the heart, kidney, lungs, or GI tract, which may cause death.

Lung problems are the most common cause of death in patients with scleroderma.

Get much more specific Information: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001465/

Scleroderma light blue car