Scleroderma is a rare chronic connective tissue disease that is part of a class of autoimmune rheumatic conditions. Fortunately, there are various treatment options available to manage symptoms and prevent further complications. Our experts at ArthritisCARE are committed to providing the best possible care to help our patients manage their symptoms, improve their quality of life, and achieve their goals.

What is scleroderma (sclerosis)?

The word “scleroderma” means “hard skin.” Scleroderma is a rare chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin and connective tissue of your body, leading to hardening and thickening of the skin and internal organs.

Scleroderma Specialist Brisbane

Scleroderma connective tissue diseases are rare autoimmune disorders resulting in thickening or hardening of the skin and internal organs.

What are the different types of scleroderma?

Sclerosis connective tissue diseases present two different types:

Localised Scleroderma

Localised scleroderma, or limited scleroderma, affects only the skin and sometimes the tissues beneath it. It causes discoloured, thickened patches of skin and may lead to stiffness and difficulty moving the joints in the affected area.

Systemic Scleroderma

Systemic sclerosis affects connective tissue, impacting blood vessels, joints, the digestive tract, and occasionally the lungs, heart, kidneys, and muscles.

Systemic sclerosis is further classified into limited scleroderma and diffuse scleroderma.

Limited Scleroderma

About 70% of people diagnosed with systemic sclerosis have limited scleroderma. This form causes hardening of the skin on your hands and Raynaud’s phenomenon, where your blood vessels spasm and cause your extremities to turn white in cooler weather.

Diffuse Scleroderma

30% of people diagnosed with systemic scleroderma have this diffuse form. This type of illness can be very serious, affecting most of your skin and usually your organs and other connective tissue.

Scleroderma treatment

Sclerosis can be localised to patches of skin, causing only very minor problems, or it can be systemic, causing more health issues.

What causes scleroderma?

The exact cause of scleroderma is unknown. Like all autoimmune diseases, a trigger results in an otherwise healthy immune system attacking healthy tissue. For scleroderma patients, this causes their bodies to produce excess collagen, resulting in hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues in the affected areas.

Although the exact cause is unknown, there are some indications that genetics and environmental factors play a role in triggering your immune system to malfunction.

Who gets scleroderma?

Scleroderma can affect anyone; however, it is more common in women, and onset typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50.

Experience Personalised Rheumatology Care That Puts Your Needs First

What are the signs and symptoms of scleroderma?

The signs and symptoms of scleroderma vary widely between patients, depending on the type and severity of the disease as well as what part of the body is involved. Common symptoms include:

  • Hard, thickened skin, especially on the arms, fingers, and face.
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon, where your fingers or toes turn white in cold weather.
  • Joint and/or muscle pain and stiffness.
  • Calcium deposits under your skin show as small white chalky lumps.
  • Gastrointestinal tract and digestive issues such as indigestion, heartburn, diarrhoea, or constipation.
  • Fatigue, malaise.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Reduced exercise tolerance.
Scleroderma Treatment

Raynaud’s phenomenon, where your extremities turn white due to the restriction of your blood vessels in cold weather, is a symptom of scleroderma.

How is scleroderma diagnosed?

While there is no specific test for scleroderma, the team at ArthritisCARE is skilled at diagnosing it based on other methods. We use a combination of medical history, physical examination, assessment of your overall health, blood tests, skin biopsy, and imaging studies. Sometimes it takes several visits before we can confidently diagnose scleroderma, especially as many of the symptoms overlap with other diseases and types of arthritis.

What does a diagnosis of scleroderma mean for me?

A diagnosis of scleroderma means you are living with a chronic disease. With proper treatment and management, you may find you have few or minimal symptoms and are able to lead a normal, or near-normal, life. However, in severe cases, people may have issues that impact their organs and require more intense treatment and monitoring.

What options are there for scleroderma treatment in Brisbane?

While there are ways to control your symptoms, there is no current cure for scleroderma. Treatment, instead, aims at managing your symptoms and preventing complications. Options for treatment in Brisbane include:

  • Medications to control inflammation and pain.
  • Physiotherapy to improve mobility, strength, and flexibility.
  • Occupational therapy to develop adaptive strategies for daily living.

Our team of Rheumatologists at ArthritisCARE in Brisbane is dedicated to providing the best care possible for those living with scleroderma. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

How much does scleroderma treatment cost in Brisbane?​

The cost of seeing a rheumatologist at ArthritisCARE is variable, depending on your unique needs. The Frequently Asked Questions section of our website provides more information and up-to-date prices.

Why choose ArthritisCARE for your scleroderma
treatment in Brisbane?

ArthritisCARE Rheumatologists

At ArthritisCARE, our team of medical experts is dedicated to providing compassionate and personalised care to help you manage your disease and improve your quality of life. We offer state-of-the-art facilities and the latest treatments to ensure the best possible outcomes so our patients can live their lives as fully as possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you manage your Sjögren’s syndrome.

Meet Dr. Peter Landsberg

At ArthritisCARE, our team is led by founder Dr. Peter Landsberg, who has brought together a group of Rheumatologists and support staff that are highly skilled, compassionate and dedicated to providing holistic care to all patients. Dr. Landsberg has a special interest in the management of inflammatory arthritis, rheumatic diseases, ankylosing spondylitis and connective tissue diseases. He is committed to improving the quality of life for his patients by alleviating pain and providing expert care.

The ArthritisCARE team of rheumatoid specialists in Brisbane has many years of experience and offers you a choice of both male and female Rheumatologists in Brisbane. Our goal is to ensure that you feel comfortable working with us so that we can collaboratively treat your condition and significantly improve the way you feel. Each and every day.

Avoid unnecessary pain and discomfort. Contact us to set up an appointment for a comprehensive, expert medical review.

How to contact us

Find a scleroderma specialist near me:


You can find all the commonly asked questions about scleroderma below:

Scleroderma is considered a rare disease; however, the exact prevalence in Australia is not known. Estimates suggest that there are currently around 2,000 people living with scleroderma in Australia.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for scleroderma, as the symptoms vary widely between people. Treatment usually involves managing symptoms and your immune system and preventing complications through medications, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and regular follow-up by a Rheumatologist.
There is currently no known cure for scleroderma. However, researchers are actively studying the disease and working to better understand its causes, risk factors, and potential treatments.
Yes. Rheumatologists are specialists who diagnose and treat rheumatic diseases, including scleroderma. Chat with the friendly team at ArthritisCARE for more information about how we can help.
Scleroderma is a chronic disease, but it is not necessarily terminal. The prognosis for scleroderma varies depending on the subtype and extent of internal organ involvement. Rheumatologists offer specialised management and tailor therapy to your specific needs.
The survival rate for sclerosis varies depending on the subtype and extent of internal organ involvement. According to some studies, the five-year survival rate for systemic scleroderma is around 80–85%, while the 10-year survival rate is around 70%.
Scleroderma is a chronic disease, which means that it is ongoing and currently has no cure. However, treatment can help manage symptoms and prevent complications, potentially improving a person’s quality of life.
Scleroderma can start in different parts of the body, but it often begins in the fingers and hands. It can also affect other areas of the body, such as the face, feet, and internal organs.
There is no evidence that scleroderma affects fertility in either males or females. However, you will need to have discussions around family planning with your Rheumatologist, as some medications needed to stabilise and treat your symptoms may not be safe for pregnancy. It is also recommended that you wait until your disease has stabilised, usually 3 years after diagnosis, before trying to have a baby.
Women with scleroderma are at increased risk during pregnancy due to the multisystem nature of connective tissue diseases. If you wish to have a baby, we encourage you to wait until your disease is stable. You will require close monitoring and specialised obstetric and neonatal care during your pregnancy.

Trust Our Experienced Rheumatologists to
Get You Back to the Activities You Love

If you’re suffering from joint pain, stiffness, or other symptoms related to arthritis, lupus, or other rheumatic conditions, we are here to help. Our team of experienced Rheumatologists is dedicated to providing personalized care and effective treatment options that can help alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life.


rheumatologist near me
rheumatoid specialist
rheumatologist brisbane
rheumatologist near me
©2024 arthritisCARE | All Rights Reserved
Powered by powered by online marketing for doctors Online Marketing For Doctors
Book Now