Scleroderma (also called systemic sclerosis) is a rare disease characterized most often by skin thickening. Scleroderma also may involve internal organs and often leads to intestinal, kidney, lung and heart problems. It is a chronic disease, which means it lasts a long time.
When scleroderma only involves the skin, it is called localized or linear scleroderma or morphea. When there is internal organ involvement, it is called generalized scleroderma or systemic sclerosis. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to help prevent many of the complications of scleroderma.