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Systemic Sclerosis

(Scleroderma)

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Medically Reviewed Mar 2021 | Modified Sep 2022
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Topic Resources

What is systemic sclerosis?

Systemic sclerosis causes scarring in your skin, joints, organs, and blood vessels.

  • Systemic sclerosis is rare

  • It is more common in women than in men and usually happens in people ages 20 to 50

  • Systemic sclerosis can cause tightening and hardening of the skin and damage to other organs

  • You may have problems in only one part of your body or have problems with multiple organs throughout your body

  • Systemic sclerosis gets worse over time, but treatment can lessen your symptoms

What causes systemic sclerosis?

Systemic sclerosis happens when your tissue makes too much collagen and other proteins. Collagen is a protein that helps give structure to your skin, nails, hair, tendons, and other tissue. Too much collagen can cause hardening and scarring.

Autoimmune Disorders
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Doctors don’t know what causes systemic sclerosis to happen.

What are the symptoms of systemic sclerosis?

Symptoms can include:

Systemic sclerosis can cause too much scarring to build up in other organs of the body, such as the joints, lungs, digestive system, heart, and kidneys, and stop them from working right. When it damages blood vessels, blood pressure can go up.

How can doctors tell if I have systemic sclerosis?

How do doctors treat systemic sclerosis?

Medicine can’t stop systemic sclerosis from getting worse over time, but it can help with some symptoms. Treatments include:

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Generic Name Select Brand Names
Anacin Adult Low Strength, Aspergum, Aspir-Low, Aspirtab , Aspir-Trin , Bayer Advanced Aspirin, Bayer Aspirin, Bayer Aspirin Extra Strength, Bayer Aspirin Plus, Bayer Aspirin Regimen, Bayer Children's Aspirin, Bayer Extra Strength, Bayer Extra Strength Plus, Bayer Genuine Aspirin, Bayer Low Dose Aspirin Regimen, Bayer Womens Aspirin , BeneHealth Aspirin, Bufferin, Bufferin Extra Strength, Bufferin Low Dose, DURLAZA, Easprin , Ecotrin, Ecotrin Low Strength, Genacote, Halfprin, MiniPrin, St. Joseph Adult Low Strength, St. Joseph Aspirin, VAZALORE, Zero Order Release Aspirin, ZORprin
Advil, Advil Children's, Advil Children's Fever, Advil Infants', Advil Junior Strength, Advil Migraine, Caldolor, Children's Ibuprofen, ElixSure IB, Genpril , Ibren , IBU, Midol, Midol Cramps and Body Aches, Motrin, Motrin Children's, Motrin IB, Motrin Infants', Motrin Junior Strength, Motrin Migraine Pain, PediaCare Children's Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer IB, PediaCare Infants' Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer IB, Samson-8
NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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