Scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the immune system is attacking healthy tissue in your body.

Overview and Symptoms
Caused by the body producing too much collagen, scleroderma causes thick, tight skin and/or scar tissue to build in certain areas of the body. Localized scleroderma affects only the skin. Systemic sclerosis may affect the digestive tract, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and kidneys.


There are many different types of scleroderma. Although there is no cure, treatment plans are custom-designed to address patients’ specific symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. They include:

  • Blood pressure medications to open hardened blood vessels
  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers
  • Medications that suppress the immune system
  • Acid-reducing medications to relieve digestive symptoms
  • Medications and vaccinations to prevent infections
  • Physical and/or occupational therapy

Learn More

The Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology provides leading-edge, compassionate care to patients with rheumatic diseases

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