2. Are There Different Types of Systemic Scleroderma?
Systemic scleroderma is not a singular condition. There are three types of scleroderma, and they are defined by the affected tissues. Limited cutaneous systemic scleroderma is the first form of the disease and affects the face, hands and arms. Researchers have named this condition CREST syndrome because of the five commonly presented features: calcinosis, Raynaud phenomenon, esophageal motility dysfunction, sclerodactyly and telangiectasia.
The second form of this disease is called diffuse cutaneous systemic scleroderma. This version of the condition involves fibrosis of the skin, typically resulting in the hardening of large areas of the torso, upper arms and legs. Beyond affecting the skin, this form of the disease also affects the internal organs. Organ damage is often a serious concern with this type of systemic scleroderma.
The third form of the disease, systemic sclerosis sine scleroderma, is likely one of the most life-threatening. This version leads to fibrosis of one or more internal organs, but it does not affect the skin.