Scleroderma is a chronic, often progressive, autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own body.
Scleroderma means “hard skin.” It can cause a thickening and tightening of the skin. In some cases, it causes serious damage to internal organs including the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. As scarring, or sclerosis, of these organs and organ systems progress, they work less effectively, and can lead to organ failure and death.
Some medications and treatments can help with certain symptoms, but there is no cure for scleroderma. The disease affects about 300,000 people across the U.S. In comparison, approximately the same number of people are affected by multiple sclerosis.
About Scleroderma Awareness Month
For more than 20 years, the Scleroderma Foundation, its Chapters and Support Groups have recognized June as Scleroderma Awareness Month, marking it with annual awareness and fundraising events, as well as obtaining presidential, state and local proclamations. The Scleroderma Foundation has joined the Federation of European Scleroderma Associations (FESCA), and other international scleroderma organizations in recognizing June 29 as World Scleroderma Awareness Day.
Learn more by reading the stories of those with Scleroderma.
*Information taken from the Scleroderma Foundation website: www.scleroderma.org
Links to More High-Quality Information
- Scleroderma Foundation: Frequently Asked Questions about Scleroderma (pdf)
- MedlinePlus: Health Topic: Scleroderma
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: Handout on Health: Scleroderma (Easy-to-read)
- The Scleroderma Research Foundation: