Scleroderma literally means hardening and thickening (sclero) of the skin (derma).
There are two forms of the disease:
Both systemic and localized scleroderma are disorders that activate the immune system, leading to tissue damage and eventually resulting in excessive deposits of collagen (fibrosis).
Doctors have identified distinct subsets of scleroderma patients, which helps them direct treatment approaches and assess future risks.
The UPMC Scleroderma Center has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of scleroderma for more than 50 years and has evaluated and treated more than 5,000 patients. Our success at managing and treating scleroderma stems from the comprehensive care that is tailored to the needs of each patient.
Our physicians are recognized as leaders in the field, having published more than 500 articles on scleroderma in medical literature.
The UPMC Scleroderma Center offers a comprehensive approach to diagnosing scleroderma. Our physicians perform an array of tests and check for symptoms related to scleroderma to ensure a correct diagnosis.
Common scleroderma symptoms include:
Although systemic scleroderma can affect many organ systems, 99 percent of patients have at least one of the following:
A person with none of these findings is highly unlikely to have systemic scleroderma.
In addition to a physical exam, the doctor may order the following tests to help determine if a patient has scleroderma:
The UPMC Scleroderma Center offers a comprehensive treatment approach, tailored to the individual needs and disease subtype of each patient.
UPMC Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology
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