Systemic Scleroderma is an extremely variable disease. It is probably one of the most distressing of the Connective Tissue diseases, due to the range of organs it affects. It is considered an autoimmune disease as it causes the immune system to mistakenly attack it's own system. This has also been associated with indoor fungal exposure.
Simplistically it is scarring or inflammation followed by scarring without apparent cause, affecting most obviously the skin and circulation of the fingers, but also the lungs and alimentary tract. Other organs that can be damaged include the heart, kidneys, liver and muscles. Which organ is affected first is not always clear. 99% of all patients experience Raynaud's phenomenon, which affects the circulation in the hands and feet and sometimes the face and ears. Although it is more common in women, it can also affect men.