Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2017 Jul 16. Epub 2017 Jul 16.
Section of Dermatology, Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.
Scleroderma refers to an autoimmune connective tissue fibrosing disease, including three different subsets: localized scleroderma, limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis, and diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis with divergent patterns of organ involvement, autoantibody profiles, management, and prognostic implications. Although systemic sclerosis is considered the disease prototype that causes cutaneous sclerosis, there are many other conditions that can mimic and be confused with SSc. They can be classified into immune-mediated/inflammatory, immune-mediated/inflammatory with abnormal deposit (mucinoses), genetic, drug-induced and toxic, metabolic, panniculitis/vascular, and (para)neoplastic disorders according to clinico-pathological and pathogenetic correlations. This article reviews the clinical presentation with emphasis on cutaneous disease, etiopathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment options available for the different forms of scleroderma firstly and for scleroderma-like disorders, including scleromyxedema, scleredema, nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, eosinophilic fasciitis, chronic graft-versus-host disease, porphyria cutanea tarda, diabetic stiff-hand syndrome (diabetic cheiroartropathy), and other minor forms. This latter group of conditions, termed also scleroderma mimics, sclerodermiform diseases, or pseudosclerodermas, shares the common thread of skin thickening but presents with distinct cutaneous manifestations, skin histology, and systemic implications or disease associations, differentiating each entity from the others and from scleroderma. The lack of Raynaud's phenomenon, capillaroscopic abnormalities, or scleroderma-specific autoantibodies is also important diagnostic clues. As cutaneous involvement is the earliest, most frequent and characteristic manifestation of scleroderma and sclerodermoid disorders, dermatologists are often the first-line doctors who must be able to promptly recognize skin symptoms to provide the affected patient a correct diagnosis and appropriate management.