Scleroderma is a skin condition which involves hardening of skin tissue and sometimes change in the colour and texture of the skin as well. Common symptoms of this condition include patchy skin, reddishness or purple tinge on the lesions. It may also cause joint problems in growing children.
Scleroderma affects mostly children and women. In children it may affect the tissue layers and bones underlying the skin. Linear Scleroderma appears in a line or a streak on the skin and hence the term “Linear”. It appears mostly on forehead, arms, legs and affects one side of the body. Permanent cure of this disease does not exist but a successful management is possible. This condition is diagnosed by carrying out skin biopsy and physical examination. In this article we will explore common causes of Scleroderma.
Causes Of Linear Scleroderma
Genetics And Gender
This disease is mostly found amongst Caucasians and is extremely rare with not even 1% affliction. One particular gene can not be blamed for this condition but mostly a combination which makes them children carry a higher risk of developing this condition.
It is not directly carried from parents to children which simply means that if a parent has this condition then the child is at higher risk but is not guaranteed to get affected by this skin condition. It is not even contagious and does not carry the risk of passing on by any kind of contact. Women are 40% more likely to develop this condition compared to men. The reason behind women’s increased susceptibility to this condition and exact genes that are responsible for sclerosis are still subjects of research and studies.
Abnormal Immune System Response
Our body’s immune system is the defence system of our body. It fights the infections and foreign bodies that enter our body. This is called auto-immune response. However, in some cases the immune system mistakes the healthy cells of the body with the infections and begins to attack these healthy cells. In other cases, the defence mechanism refuses to shut down after fighting the infections. These conditions can also lead to Linear scleroderma.
Places that are high on dust and chemical pollution have been observed to report this skin condition far more than people living in regions that are cleaner and pollution free. Such environmental conditions also worsen and help in sustenance of this skin condition.
Repeated trauma and infections due to environmental conditions also put people at greater risk of getting this condition. Exposure to drugs is also known to higher the vulnerability to this skin disease, though not for everyone.
As mentioned under environmental factors, recurring trauma and resulting infections play a role in causing this condition. The action of immune system against these infection works by producing collagen which is required for cell repairs. It is a protein that is present in connective issue in the body. However frequent recurrence of infections can induce excessive production of this protein and cause skin inflammation and lesions. This accumulation of collagen leads to hardening of skin as in scleroderma.