Home » Your Health » Scleroderma: 6 Things You Need to Know

Scleroderma: 6 Things You Need to Know


If you’ve never heard of it, scleroderma is an autoimmune and rheumatic disease that can negatively impact the body through the hardening of the skin and underlying connective tissue. It’s also a chronic ailment, meaning it can be hard to completely cure those afflicted by the disease.

Not all scleroderma cases are the same. Some patients will experience only the hardening and tightening of the skin, while others will experience the hardening of connective tissue and even major organs. Left untreated, scleroderma can leave a patient in constant discomfort and pain. That’s why it’s so important to understand the basic rules behind scleroderma.

1. It’s an autoimmune disease

Contrary to popular opinion, an autoimmune disease is not necessarily a disease that attacks the immune system. In actual fact, most autoimmune diseases like scleroderma result in the autoimmune system functioning but not in the interest of the body as a whole. In the case of scleroderma, the immune system views the patient’s own skin and tissue as a foreign invader to be attacked and removed from the body.

The result: the cells begin to harden and tighten in an effort to repair damage — even though there’s no clear damage to the body or its cells. In turn, this leads to the overproduction of collagen, which can result in general discomfort and even malfunctioning organs.

Next »
ADVERTISEMENT

We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat
  • 12 Things To Know About Bipolar Disorder vs. Schizophrenia
    Some people may get bipolar disorder and schizophrenia mixed up, as they both can be marked by sudden personality changes.
    Your Health
  • 15 Biggest Myths About Sunscreen and Sun Safety
    When it comes to safe tanning, there seems to be a major block in the truth about sunscreen.
    Your Health
  • 17 Best Treatments For Sunburns
    No matter how much we warn you against the damaging effects of UV sun exposure, you’ll still probably get at least one sunburn this summer.
    Your Health
  • 14 Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke
    Heat stroke is a very serious and potentially dangerous heat injury that requires medical attention immediately.
    Your Health
  • Pay Attention to These 12 ADHD Signs and Symptoms
    The number of diagnosed cases of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be on the rise – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 5-percent...
    Your Health
  • 12 Health Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
    Most of us know that getting roughly 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each week is an important part of staying healthy. But so few of us actually reach that goal. Why?
    Your Health
  • 12 Effective Ways to Treat Sun Poisoning
    No, sun poisoning doesn't mean that you've been poisoned by the sun. This condition, also referred to as sun-spotting, is caused by prolonged ultraviolet (UV) radiation...
    Your Health
  • 13 Common Myths About Tourette Syndrome
    Tourette Syndrome gets a bad rap in the media and films – it's usually shown as people who shout obscenities in public without control.
    Your Health
  • 13 Things to Know About Graves' Disease
    There are many conditions that can affect the thyroid gland, which is commonly described as the butterfly-shaped gland in the neck.
    Your Health
  • The Top 16 Signs of Dehydration
    The human body is made up of approximately 70-percent water. So it makes sense that fluids are vital for the majority of our bodily functions—protecting our joints, maintaining...
    Your Health
  • Breaking Through 12 Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments of a Pulmonary Embolism
    A pulmonary embolism is as bad as it sounds – it can restrict blood flow to the lungs and cause damage, and in some cases it can be fatal, according to Healthline.com.
    Your Health
  • 12 Signs and Risk Factors of Gallstones
    If you're having unexplained abdominal pain, it could be traced to a number of culprits – including gallstones, which are crystalline masses in the bile ducts from cholesterol,...
    Your Health
  • 12 Most Common Thyroid Disorders
    The thyroid gland (located in the front of the neck) is very important to metabolic processes in your body, but if it produces too much or too little of a hormone (called T4), it...
    Your Health
  • 12 Incredible Health Benefits of Flaxseeds
    The flaxseed: it's one of the world's oldest superfoods. Consumed by humans for roughly 6,000 years, the flaxseed has long established itself as a source of important vitamins and...
    Your Health
  • The Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
    According to mental health professionals, post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) is a mental condition that results in a series of emotional and physical reactions in individuals...
    Your Health