Systemic sclerosis (Scleroderma)

Systemic sclerosis (Scleroderma)

BioCertica Content Team

Systemic sclerosis, also known as scleroderma, is a rare and chronic autoimmune disease that affects the connective tissues in the body. It is characterized by the hardening and thickening of the skin and internal organs due to the overproduction of collagen.

The symptoms of systemic sclerosis vary from person to person. However, they most frequently include thickening and hardening of the skin, particularly on the hands and face, joint pain, stiffness and swelling, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, fatigue, and Raynaud's phenomenon. The latter is a condition where the fingers and toes turn white or blue in response to cold temperatures or stress.

While the exact cause of systemic sclerosis is unknown, research suggests that genetics and environmental factors play a role in its development. Studies have shown that certain genes may increase the risk of developing the disease, and exposure to environmental factors such as toxins, infections, or trauma may trigger the immune system to attack the body's tissues.

There is no cure for systemic sclerosis, but treatment options are available to manage symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. Treatment may include medications to suppress the immune system, manage symptoms such as pain and stiffness, and physical therapy to maintain mobility and flexibility.

If you experience any of the symptoms associated with systemic sclerosis, it is important to speak to your healthcare provider. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage symptoms and prevent further complications. 

Knowing your family history or genetic predisposition to systemic sclerosis can help you to get an earlier diagnosis and treatment for more effective treatment of the disease. If you are genetically predisposed, make sure you are aware of the symptoms and seek medical attention promptly.


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