Derived from the Greek words "sklerosis," meaning hardness, and "derma," meaning skin, scleroderma literally means hard skin. Though it is often referred to as if it were a single disease, scleroderma is really a symptom of a group of diseases that involve the abnormal growth of connective tissue, which supports the skin and internal organs. In some forms of scleroderma, hard, tight skin is the extent of this abnormal process. In other forms, however, the problem goes much deeper, affecting blood vessels and internal organs, such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Scleroderma is believed to be an autoimmune disease and is more common in women but the disease also occurs in men and children. It affects people of all races and ethnic groups.
We care for a large population of scleroderma patients and are known nationally and internationally for our expertise in this area. Our patients have access to the latest clinical trials in this relatively rare but serious disease.