• Hand with scleroderma

    Hand with scleroderma

    The hand of a 52-year-old man with scleroderma. The skin is red, thickened and tough looking. This is an autoimmune disorder in which the body

  • Linear scleroderma

    Linear scleroderma

    Childhood-onset linear scleroderma on a man’s head. Linear scleroderma is an isolated region of hardened skin. If the bones have been affected, it can stunt the growth of the limbs in children. Photo credit: Dr. Harout Tanielian / Photo Researchers, Inc.

  • Foot with scleroderma

    Foot with scleroderma

    A foot deformed by systemic sclerosis. The hardening and tightening of the skin has caused the toes to become curled. There is no cure, but ointments and anti-inflammatory drugs can ease the symptoms. Photo credit: Dr. P. Marazzi / Photo Researchers, Inc.

  • Morphea


    The torso of a 59-year-old woman with morphea, a type of scleroderma. Morphea is characterized by hard flat white or reddish skin patches, oval to round in shape that can measure several centimeters in diameter. The disorder most often affects middle-aged women. Morphea is harmless, but may be unsightly. There is no treatment. Photo credit: Dr. P. Marazzi / Photo Researchers, Inc.

  • Knee with nonseptic monoarthritis and scleroderma

    Knee with nonseptic monoarthritis and scleroderma

    Close up of a knee with nonseptic monoarthritis, showing an acutely red, swollen joint. There is a patch of inflammation visible over the kneecap that is localized to this area. The skin over the thigh has thinned skin, a form of scleroderma characterized by the whitish patches with pale purple edges and buff colored margins that extend to the front of the knee. Photo credit: Dr. P. Marazzi / Photo Researchers, Inc.

  • Vasospasm


    Tongue with loss of color due to Raynaud disease or vasospasm. This occurs in response to cold, but it may be a symptom of the autoimmune disorder systemic sclerosis. Photo credit: SPL / Photo Researchers, Inc.

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Scleroderma is an autoimmune connective tissue disorder, characterized by a progressive hardening of the skin. The disorder can also affect the blood vessels, muscles and internal organs, including the heart, lungs, kidneys and digestive tract.

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