Scleroderma Causes: Abnormal Immune or Inflammatory Activity
Posted Sep 11 2009 4:59pm
Like many other rheumatic disorders, scleroderma is believed to be an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is a disease that occurs when the immune system, for unknown reasons, turns against one's own body.
In scleroderma, the immune system is thought to stimulate cells called fibroblasts to produce too much collagen. In turn, this collagen forms thick, connective tissue that builds up around the cells of the skin and internal organs. In milder forms of scleroderma, the symptoms of this buildup are limited to the skin and blood vessels. In more serious forms, these symptoms can interfere with normal functioning of skin, blood vessels, joints, and internal organs.