What is scleroderma?
There are two forms of scleroderma: localized scleroderma and systemic sclerosis. Localized scleroderma can be seen more frequently in children than the systemic form. It may involve patches of the skin on the trunk, arms, legs, or head. Other names for the localized form are morphea and linear scleroderma.
Systemic sclerosis is a chronic, degenerative disease that affects the joints, skin and internal organs. Scleroderma is also associated with blood vessel abnormalities. Systemic sclerosis occurs only rarely in children.
Scleroderma is considered to be a multifactorial condition. Multifactorial inheritance means that many factors are involved in causing a health problem. The factors are usually both genetic and environmental, where a combination of genes from both parents, in addition to unknown environmental factors, produce the trait or condition. Often one gender (either males or females) is affected more frequently than the other in multifactorial traits.