Systemic Sclerosis or Systemic Scleroderma: What is it? Symptoms and Causes

Systemic sclerosis is a systemic organic disease that affects the body’s connective tissues.

Systemic sclerosis’s characteristics include essential vasomotor disorders; fibrosis; subsequent atrophy of the skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles, and internal organs (e.g., the digestive tract, lungs, heart, kidney, central nervous system); and immune disorders accompany these findings.

One of the most visible symptoms of this disease is characterized by the skin’s change of appearance and texture. This occurs due to the excessive collagen production in the body, which is a component of the connective tissues.

Although it dramatically affects the tissues of the skin, in turn, it can affect the digestive system, blood vessels, kidneys, muscles, and heart.


Some of these symptoms can also manifest in other autoimmune body disorders. When this happens, it is called a mixed connective disorder.

Some of the symptoms of this condition are:

  • Bloating after meals.
  • Esophageal reflux
  • Short of breath.
  • Hair loss.
  • Bloating after meals.
  • Constipation.
  • Dilated blood vessels on the surface of the skin.
  • Pain in the joints.
  • Dry cough.
  • Deposits of calcium or white lumps under the skin.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Difficulty in swallowing.

Its causes?

Doctors are still not sure why the body produces too much collagen. The exact cause of this condition is unknown.


It is known that this occurs when the body begins to produce an excess of collagen, and it accumulates in the tissues. Collagen is the main structural protein that makes up all of your tissues. To improve the conditions of this condition, doctors usually follow the following treatment:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunosuppressants, such as methotrexate or Cytoxan.

While medications can be a relief against symptoms, they are not the definitive cure. A regular medical evaluation can guarantee that the symptoms do not aggravate the patient’s health conditions.