Scleroderma is the term for a group of chronic, degenerative autoimmune diseases that cause hardening of the skin and internal organs. Scleroderma is classified into two types: localized and systemic.
Localized scleroderma affects the skin but does not progress to the organs. Morphea appears as one or more patches of reddish and inflamed skin, usually on the back or chest.
Generalized morphea is more severe than localized morphea, according to SRFCure.org. This type of scleroderma results in large patches of dark skin on the legs, arms and torso, which can result in scarring.
Linear scleroderma usually affects children under 10 years old and appears as thick bands of tight skin. It can affect the bones and muscles and can interfere with the normal growth rate of the limbs.
Limited systemic scleroderma can affect not only the skin but also the organs of the body. It can cause chronic pain, loss of mobility and, occasionally, death.
Diffuse scleroderma causes internal inflammation and its progression can be fast, severe and fatal. Diffuse scleroderma also causes extensive skin fibrosis.
Sine sclerosis is a type of systemic scleroderma that does not manifest on the skin but only affects the internal organs.