Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by having the antibodies attack their own tissues, which is contrary to their main purpose of protecting it. That in turn would cause the affected area to thicken and its functions to be limited. The more common form of scleroderma which is limited scleroderma or CREST would tend not to be fatal, although it can cripple a patient. The severe from of it which it systemic scleroderma is the more fatal type.
Scleroderma is quite rare as it only affects 14 out of every 1 million people worldwide. Scleroderma affects women more than it affects men and is usually develops within the ages 30 and 50. This illness is inherent in African-American women and the Native American Choctaw tribe. It rarely occurs in northern Asians and in children.
What Are The Causes Of Scleroderma?
As of now, there is no accurate cause of scleroderma although medical experts suspect some factors to cause it. One of those factors is genetics; they say that scleroderma is in the genes and those with genetic defects are more susceptible to the disease. Another is an unhealthy environment that could expose a patient to some factors that may cause it such as bacteria, viruses and similar factors. Hormones could also play a role as to why it happens to more women than it does on men.
Another theory made by medical experts is that the fetal matter that is left over after pregnancy that is still circulating in the mother’s system can cause scleroderma even after years of giving birth. This is why the most common category for patients with scleroderma are women between ages 30 and 50. While these theories may be reasonable and logical, none of these are proven yet and they still remain as theories.