Supporting those affected by Scleroderma
Scleroderma (skleer-oh-DUR-muh) comes from two Greek words: “sclero” meaning hard, and “derma” meaning skin. Scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune disorder which means the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system. In the simplest of terms, Scleroderma is an overproduction of collagen that can result in thickening or tightening of skin and scarring of internal organs.
Scleroderma is rare and it is estimated by several sources that about 300,000 Americans suffer from this debilitating disease. Although it’s more common in women between the ages of 25 and 55, the disease also occurs in men and children. The cause of Scleroderma is unknown and it affects people of all races and ethnic groups.
Symptoms may include:
- Hardening/thickening of the skin, blood vessels and organ tissues
- Swelling or pain in fingers or toes
- Raynaud’s Phenomenon (Cold sensitivity of fingers and/or toes) with red, white, and blue discoloration)
- Gastrointestinal problems