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Systemic sclerosis

Please note the information provided is intended to support patients and is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. We strongly recommend consultation with your doctor or health care professional, before using any information obtained from articles of this website.

This is a disorder of the connective tissue, i.e. the tissue which holds our body together. Not only the skin can be affected, but also internal organs.

The majority of sufferers have the mild form where there is limited skin involvement, usually of the hands and feet, becoming stiff and shiny. Some patients also form tiny deposits of calcium under the skin which can cause ulcers. The gullet often becomes affected making eating and swallowing difficult.

The localized form of the disease is called “scleroderma”. In the more serious form, which is called “diffuse scleroderma”, wide areas of skin and organs such as the lungs, bowel, heart and kidneys are affected.

Raynaud’s syndrome is very common (95%) in systemic sclerosis.

Last modified 22/02/2014