Introduction: Scleroderma


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Scleroderma: Autoimmune disease of skin or blood vessels.

Scleroderma: Derived from the Greek words "sklerosis," meaning hardness, and "derma," meaning skin, scleroderma literally means hard skin. Though it is often referred to as if it were a single disease, scleroderma is really a symptom of a group of diseases that involve the abnormal growth of connective tissue, which supports the skin and internal organs. It is sometimes used, therefore, as an umbrella term for these disorders. In some forms of scleroderma, hard, tight skin is the extent of this abnormal process. In other forms, however, the problem goes much deeper, affecting blood vessels and internal organs, such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

Scleroderma is called both a rheumatic (roo-MA-tik) disease and a connective tissue disease. The term rheumatic disease refers to a group of conditions characterized by inflammation and/or pain in the muscles, joints, or fibrous tissue. A connective tissue disease is one that affects the major substances in the skin, tendons, and bones.1

Researching symptoms of Scleroderma: Further information about the symptoms of Scleroderma is available including a list of symptoms of Scleroderma, other diseases that might have similar symptoms in differential diagnosis of Scleroderma, or alternatively return to research other symptoms in the symptom center.

Misdiagnosis and Scleroderma: Research more detailed information about misdiagnosis of Scleroderma, failure to diagnose Scleroderma, or research misdiagnosis of other diseases

Treatments for Scleroderma: Various information is available about treatments available for Scleroderma, current research about Scleroderma treatments, or research treatments for other diseases.

Causes of Scleroderma: Research more detailed information about the causes of Scleroderma, or other general information about Scleroderma.

Statistics and Scleroderma: Various sources and calculations are available in statistics about Scleroderma, prevalence and incidence statistics for Scleroderma, and you can also research other medical statistics in our statistics center.

         Contents for Scleroderma:

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Handout on Health Scleroderma: NIAMS

Last revision: June 13, 2003

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