Overview: What is Scleroderma

The information in this section has been gathered from existing peer-reviewed and other literature and has been reviewed by expert dermatologists on the CSPA Medical Advisory Board. (April 2017)

Scleroderma is a chronic hardening and contraction of the skin and connective tissue, either locally or throughout the body.  This is a relatively rare autoimmune disease which means that it is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. It is also known as systemic sclerosis.

In some forms of scleroderma, hard, tight skin is the extent of this irregular collagen over-production process. In other forms, however, the problem goes much deeper, and may severely affect blood vessels and internal organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

Scleroderma affects women more often than men and most commonly occurs between the ages of 30 and 50.  The cause of scleroderma is still unknown but researchers are working hard to make those determinations.  It is known that scleroderma involves an overproduction of collagen.