Scleroderma (pronounced SKLEER-oh-der-ma) is a disease that affects your skin. When you have scleroderma, your skin gradually tightens and thickens or hardens. It can’t stretch like it used to.
Scleroderma can also change tiny blood vessels. That damages internal organs. Although it usually affects the hands, face, and feet, it can also target the digestive tract, heart and blood flow, lungs, and kidneys.
The pain and stiffness come on quickly, whether from an injury or an unknown cause; you may be experiencing the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or another arthritic condition such as gout.
The pain is accompanied by fever; you may have infectious arthritis.
You notice pain and stiffness in your arms, legs, or back after sitting for short periods or after a night's sleep; you may be developing rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or another arthritic condition.