Scleroderma is a rare disease in which a person's immune system begins to destroy normal, healthy tissues. (This is called an autoimmune disease.) As a result, connective tissue of the skin, lungs, and internal organs—especially the esophagus, kidneys, and digestive tract—is replaced with scar tissue. This change causes the tissues to become stiff and the muscles to not work as well.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Peter J. Kahrilas, MD - Gastroenterology