Scleroderma – Causes, Classification

Scleroderma is a disease of connective tissue and is autoimmune. It usually features spontaneous scarring, blood vessel disease, skin thickening and varying degrees of inflammation. These illness occur when the immune system attack the tissues of the body. This condition is characterized by scar formation in the organs and skin. this leads to firmness and thickness of those areas. It is also known as systematic sclerosis when, it is widespread or diffused.

The exact cause of scleroderma is not known. Some evidences have been found by the researchers about the importance of factors. However, an important role is being played by the environment. Thus, the immune system is activated and injury is caused to the tissues. This is similar to the scar-tissue formation. A pre-disposition is caused by the genes and scleroderma is caused. It is very unusual to find auto immune diseases in the families of scleroderma patients.  The disease is very frequently found in women than in men.

The classification of scleroderma can be done on the basis of location and degree of skin involvement. Thus the classification of scleroderma is done in two main groups. These include limited and diffused. However, the terms vary. For example, according to some investigators, the two main groups include systematic and localized.

Symmetric thickening of the skin is involved in the diffuse form of scleroderma. This also involves symmetric thickening of skin of the trunk, face, and extremities. The trunk includes the back, chest, flanks and the abdomen. This progresses rapidly for hardening an early inflammatory phase. The occurrence of organ disease is found to be very serious. The organs that are affected include the bowels, lungs and esophagus.