The symptoms of scleroderma vary from person to person. The most common symptom is tightening, hardening, or thickening of the skin on the fingers, arms, legs, hands, feet, and face. The skin continues to thicken during the first two to three years of the disease. Thickening usually stops and may even improve.
Scleroderma (pronounced SKLEER-oh-der-ma) is Greek for "hard skin." In scleroderma, the skin gradually tightens and thickens or hardens. It loses its ability to stretch.
Tiny blood vessels throughout the body also may be affected, causing widespread damage to internal organs. Although the disease usually affects the hands, face, and feet, it can injure the body's digestive, respiratory, urinary, and circulatory systems.
There are many types of scleroderma, and it can look very different in different...