Scleroderma is a rare autoimmune condition that causes connective tissues to become hard or thick, which can lead to pain or swelling in the joints and muscles. The symptoms can be mild to severe. There are two main types of scleroderma: 

  • Localized: Primarily affects the skin and joints. 
  • Systemic: Can impact both the skin and internal organs, particularly the lungs, and is more rare than localized scleroderma 



Scleroderma is related to the overproduction of collagen, although the exact cause is unknown.



Common signs and symptoms related to scleroderma are:

  • Tightening of the skin
  • Decreased hand function
  • White, blue or red coloration in hands with tingling and discomfort
  • Joint inflammation and pain



There is no specific testing to diagnose scleroderma.  Your physician will complete a thorough physical examination to look for common signs and symptoms.  They may also recommend tests to rule out other disease that are similar and determine the type and severity of scleroderma, such as a:



Scleroderma can’t be cured, however it can be managed to help keep the inflammation under control. 

Possible non-surgical treatments your doctor may offer or recommend to treat your child’s scleroderma include:

  • Topical medications to reduce inflammation and soften skin
  • Systemic or oral medications to help prevent your child’s immune system from attacking the body’s own tissue  


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Connective Tissue Disorders


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