How Many Types Of Scleroderma Are There?

How Many Types of Scleroderma are There?

Scleroderma as an auto immune disease has different types, which we are going to look at in detail. There are two broad types of scleroderma known and they are:

How Many Types Of Scleroderma Are There?

  1. Localized Scleroderma

    The major pinpoints of localized scleroderma are hardening of the skin and inflammatory reactions caused by high levels of collagen production by the fibroblasts. This form of scleroderma is not aggressive and only occurs in few areas of the body, most notably the muscles and skin. This form of scleroderma does not usually develop into systemic scleroderma, so this benefits the internal organs to a large extent. The types of localized scleroderma include morphea and linear scleroderma.

    • Morphea occurs most times as random patches of thickened skin that can appear and disappear at any time; they are of different colors, sizes and shapes. Some forms can affect deeper tissues under the skin, but they do not normally affect internal organs. Morphea is a type of scleroderma that happens more in women than in men (3:1). Morphea can happen in children as well as in adults. Morphea is an uncommon condition that is thought to affect 2 to 4 in 100,000 individuals. More research needs to be done in this area.
    • Linear scleroderma occurs as a situation where multiple thickened bands form on the skin especially on the legs, arms or face. This subtype of scleroderma usually occurs mostly in children. These thickened bands are usually characterized as having certain colourations different from normal skin color like purple, red or even blue. On the likely event that these bands appear on the face they are called “en coup de sabre”.

    Some diseases may also be mistaken for scleroderma as they may portray strikingly similar symptoms; examples of these diseases include sclerodema and esinophilic fasciitis.

  2. Systemic Scleroderma

    • Systemic scleroderma acts on more parts of the body than its counterpart. This type of scleroderma usually entails the excessive or abnormal growing of some connective tissues in the body and sometimes damage of blood vessels supplying the skin and some internal organs may also occur. This type of scleroderma is mostly classified based on the kinds of symptoms they possess. One is known as cutaneous systemic scleroderma, or simply put can also just be called limited scleroderma. On the other hand, the other one is known as diffuse cutaneous systemic scleroderma, also referred to as just diffuse systemic scleroderma. There is also a scarce variety of systemic scleroderma which can be called sine sclerosis which does not harden the skin but can damage internal organs.
    • Limited scleroderma; this subtype is the most common occurrence of systemic scleroderma. Hardening of the skin is not as widely spread as the other types and is limited to certain areas such as the hands, face, fingers and below the elbows. Rarely, it could evolve into affecting the lungs, kidney and heart. Limited scleroderma doesn’t just show up unannounced, it takes years to slowly develop it symptoms. The word CREST is an abbreviation used to denote the conditions that occur along with LS or limited scleroderma: Calcinosis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, Esophageal dysfunction, Sclerodactyly, & Telangiectasias.

    In the diffuse systemic scleroderma, more regions of your skin grow thick. Victims have more risk of developing sclerosis.


Generally scleroderma is a broad topic that cannot be generalized into just two types but these types above are the commonest and major aspects of scleroderma and as such are given greater attention because they have the most occurrences among people living with scleroderma. Having scleroderma is not the end of the world, a lot of practices can be applied to keep its symptoms in check, but always see a health professional to guide you on how to overcome its challenges.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 7, 2018

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