Scleroderma

Scleroderma

Scleroderma means hard skin. It is an autoimmune related disease that causes abnormal growth of connective tissue.

Scleroderma means hard skin. It is an autoimmune related disease that causes abnormal growth of connective tissue. Connective tissue is the material inside your body that gives your tissues their shape and helps keep them strong. In scleroderma, the tissue gets hard or thick. It can cause swelling or pain in your muscles and joints. Symptoms of scleroderma include: calcium deposits in connective tissues, Raynaud’s phenomenon, a narrowing of blood vessels in the hands or feet, swelling of the esophagus, thick, tight skin on your fingers, and red spots on your hands and face. No one knows what causes scleroderma. It is more common in women. It can be mild or severe. Doctors diagnose scleroderma using your medical history, a physical exam, lab tests, and a skin biopsy. There is no cure, but various treatments can control symptoms and complications.

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Patricia Barber
Patricia Barber
For the last 20 years, Pat has been helping patients and caregivers live better lives, advocate for change, and Virginia's "right hand" making sure the "i's" are dotted and the "t's" are crossed. She lives in Michigan and couldn't picture herself doing anything but helping the autoimmune community.