Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Risk Factors for Scleroderma

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Scleroderma

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can get scleroderma with or without the ones listed below. The chances of getting it are greater in people who have many risk factors.

Localized scleroderma is more common in women and people who are White. It can happen in both children and adults. Systemic sclerosis is more common in people who are 20 to 50 years of age.

Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Genetics—People with first-degree family members with systemic lupus erythematosus have a higher risk of systemic scleroderma.
  • The environment—Exposure to chemicals or solvents may raise the risk of systemic scleroderma.


  • Kowal-Bielecka O, Fransen J, et al. Update of EULAR recommendations for the treatment of systemic sclerosis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Aug;76(8):1327-1339.
  • Localized scleroderma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/localized-scleroderma.
  • Scleroderma. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/scleroderma.
  • Systemic sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/systemic-sclerosis.
  • What is scleroderma? Scleroderma Foundation website. Available at: https://scleroderma.org/what-is-scleroderma.


  • James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.