What is scleroderma
An introduction to this challenging condition
The impact scleroderma has on everyday life varies enormously from person to person. In some cases it can be very mild and easy to live with. For others it can cause serious physical disability and be life-threatening.
With the right treatment, most people live long and productive lives with scleroderma. Find out more about managing scleroderma here.
There is currently no cure for scleroderma, but the condition can be managed well for most patients through a combination of drug therapy, physical therapy, surgery and self-management techniques.
At SRUK we support the latest research into treatment and a cure for scleroderma.
The cause of scleroderma is unknown. It is not contagious, so you can't catch it from someone or give it to anyone else.
There is some evidence of a genetic link to systemic sclerosis, although most people will not have a family member with the condition.
The condition is four times more common in females than males and during childbearing years, the percentage rises to ten females to one male.
Scleroderma usually begins between the ages of 25 and 55 and in most cases, it is preceded by Raynaud's.
It occasionally occurs in children and the elderly, but fortunately most types of childhood scleroderma are localised and only involve the skin. More information on localised scleroderma in children can be found here.
Although more than 95% of patients with scleroderma have Raynaud's, the chances of someone with Raynaud's developing scleroderma is very small - it is less than 2% in females and 6% in males.
The condition does not appear to be related to race, ethnicity or where you live.
A diagnosis of a rare disease like scleroderma can be frightening and isolating. But it doesn't have to be. At SRUK, we strive to give support and advice to everyone who is diagnosed with the condition, and their family.
Find out more on our page for people who are newly diagnosed, or speak to someone today on our helpline – 0800 311 2756.