What Is Scleroderma?
Scleroderma is a chronic, often progressive autoimmune disease – like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis – in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. The disease, which literally means “hard skin,” can cause thickening and tightening of the skin, as well as serious damage to internal organs including the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. Scleroderma occurs three to four times more often in women than men.
For some individuals, Scleroderma is a life altering disease and for others, it can become a life-threatening disease. For most people with Scleroderma, the disease has a serious impact on daily life. To date there is no cure. Medication may occasionally help to manage some of the symptoms. Scleroderma is not hereditary or contagious.