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This information was reviewed and approved by Mehrnaz Maleki Fischbach, MD (9/1/2019).

Because scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) primarily targets the skin, its most obvious symptoms show themselves as skin problems. 

Due to the nature of the disease, however, which can also affect internal organs, other symptoms may occur.

Common skin symptoms of scleroderma include:

  • Thickening, hardening and tightness
  • Swelling of hands and toes
  • Hair loss in involved skin
  • Sores over fingertips
  • Generalized itching
  • Color changes of hands and feet with cold exposure (known as Raynaud's)


Other common symptoms of scerloderma include:

These other common symptoms may vary, depending on the organs affected. The lung disease often seen with scleroderma is interstitial lung disease (ILD). Pulmonary hypertension may also occur with scleroderma. Pulmonary hypertension refers to a condition in which high blood pressure exists within the vessels of the lungs. It is important to identify and treat the organs affected with scleroderma.