What is systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)?
Scleroderma means 'hard skin'. Thickening and hardening of your skin is the most obvious symptom of systemic sclerosis but it can also affect your internal organs. Read more
What are the symptoms of systemic sclerosis?
Symptoms of systemic sclerosis include thickening and hardening of your skin, joint/muscle pain or stiffness and Raynaud's phenomenon. Read more
What causes systemic sclerosis?
Systemic sclerosis is caused by changes in the body's connective tissues. These tissues lie under the surface of the skin and in and around the body's internal organs and blood vessels. Read more
What is the outlook?
Systemic sclerosis is different for everyone – most people find that it affects just a few parts of their body and comes on gradually, although a small number of people have more serious complications. Read more
How is systemic sclerosis diagnosed?
There's no single test for systemic sclerosis, and the characteristic thickening of your skin is often the key factor in making the diagnosis. However, tests can be helpful in establishing whether other parts of your body are affected. Read more
What treatments are there?
While there's no cure for systemic sclerosis, medications can help to control the symptoms and treat any complications. Exercising regularly and having a good skin care routine can help you manage your condition. Read more
Self-help and daily living
As well as taking any prescribed medication, if you exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, look after your skin and always try to keep warm, it will help you to manage your condition. Read more
Research and new developments
Research is aiming to develop treatments that specifically target the causes of the most severe complications of systemic sclerosis. Read more