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How common is scleroderma in children?

Although it is much less common in children than in adults, cases of pediatric scleroderma are known to occur. Among children with the disorder, localized scleroderma is more common than systemic scleroderma, but systemic scleroderma does occur. Symptoms tend to be less severe in children than in adults, and generally include mostly skin changes and less organ damage. When organ damage does occur, it generally affects the gastrointestinal tract. Children with the disease generally have a better survival rate than adults, but skin tightness and thickening in childhood can lead to disabilities as the child grows.

Dianne Parker
Dianne Parker on behalf of MDLIVE
Pediatrics
The annual incidence of scleroderma is 4.5 to 14 per million people and is even rarer in children, with localized more common than systemic symptoms.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Juvenile scleroderma is uncommon. It typically is diagnosed in children who can drive (over 16 years of age). Raynaud’s phenomenon, the blanching or blue discoloration of the finger in response to the cold or anxiety is often the first sign of the disease. In addition, children are more likely to develop localized, linear scleroderma where bands or streaks of harden skin develop on one arm, leg, or side of the forehead.

 

 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Scleroderma can affect people of all ages. However, it is most commonly diagnosed for the first time in adults over age 25.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.