Scleroderma means “hard skin” and is pronounced skler-o-derma. Scleroderma is a disease that causes fibrosis (hardening) of the skin and sometimes the internal organs. Scleroderma can range from a form localized to the skin to a severe disease the effects the internal organs known as systemic scleroderma.
Localized scleroderma can range from just a few spots on the skin to covering almost the entire skin surface. The skin lesions of localized scleroderma feel firm and hard. The color is ivory to yellowish in color. The skin lesions of localized scleroderma are usually seen on the trunk but can also occur on the face, arms, and legs. Localized scleroderma may last for a few months to many years. The condition is four times more common in women and usually starts between the ages of twenty and fifty.
- The cause of scleroderma is unknown.
- There is not a known medication that will stop or reverse the process of scleroderma.
- Milder forms of scleroderma may be helped by topical cortisone medications or cortisone injections.
- Creams and moisturizers may help to soften the skin.
- Sunscreens may help prevent the lesions from darkening.
- Topical make-up can make the skin cosmetically more acceptable. Examples of topical make-up which provide good coverage are Dermablend and Covermark.
- Plastic surgery may be required to correct a serious deformity.
- Localized scleroderma can very from only a few spots on the skin to involving the skin over the whole body.
- Localized scleroderma may last from a few months to many years.