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* Not a rare disease
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Scleroderma is a group of widespread connective tissue diseases that involve changes in the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs.[1] There are two main types. Localized scleroderma affects only the skin. Systemic scleroderma affects the blood vessels and internal organs, as well as the skin.[2] Although the cause of scleroderma is unknown, it is believed to be related to an overproduction and accumulation of collagen which results when the immune system turns against the body (autoimmune reaction).[1][3] There is no cure, but various treatments can relieve symptoms.[2]
Last updated: 10/11/2010


  1. Borigini MJ. Scleroderma. MedlinePlus. 2010; Accessed 10/11/2010.
  2. Scleroderma. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). 2010; Accessed 10/11/2010.
  3. Scleroderma. 2008; Accessed 10/11/2010.
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Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.

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