Scleroderma is a disease that affects the patient’s connective tissue. It is an autoimmune disease, which means that the patient’s own immune system attacks the body. Scleroderma causes collagen to accumulate at the skin and other parts of the body as if they’d been injured, which makes them thicken and grow hard. This gives the disease its name, which means, “hard skin,” in Greek.
Scleroderma is a rare disease, and there are fewer than 300,000 Americans living with it as of 2016. Anyone of any age can get scleroderma, but most people are between 35 and 50. It overwhelmingly affects women, though men who have jobs where they’re exposed to silica are at higher risk. There may be a genetic component, but no one really knows what causes scleroderma. For information, contact www.hensoftware.com.
Types of Scleroderma
There are several types of scleroderma, and scleroderma symptoms are different for each person. Types of scleroderma are:
Limited scleroderma is characterized by the CREST acronym. This means:
These are calcium deposits under the skin and the tissues.
• Raynaud’s Phenomenon
Raynaud’s Phenomenon is a condition when the patient’s fingers are very sensitive to cold and turn blue when exposed to it. This is because the blood vessels in the digits are attacked by collagen. The fingers and hands may also swell and become stiff.