Scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder that causes connective tissues and skin to become tighter and harder. It is a progressive disease that slowly gets worse. One of the functions of the connective tissue is the formation of fibers that support the body. They are around organs and skin. Scleroderma can happen when the immune system produces too much collagen that forms the tissue. The result is scarring of the skin.
This disease is not contagious. It is mostly hereditary but can occur in a patient without any family history of this disease. The symptoms can be very mild at the beginning and then slowly progress to fatal. Scleroderma mostly affects the skin but can also have an impact on the bones and muscles. It can also influence the whole body, especially kidneys, heart, and lungs.
There is no cure for the disease and no medications that can stop the overproduction of collagen, but complications can be prevented. Sometimes, scleroderma can be resolved without treatment. However, when it can't, the treatment will help relieve symptoms, prevent the disease from worsening or slow it down, and minimize disabilities.