World Scleroderma Day Date in the current year: June 29, 2024

World Scleroderma Day World Scleroderma Day is celebrated annually on June 29. It was created to raise awareness of a group of autoimmune diseases that may affect the skin, muscles, blood vessels, and internal organs.

Scleroderma is an umbrella term for a group of autoimmune diseases characterized by excessive production and accumulation of collagen in the skin and internal organs. It can be localized or systemic; systemic scleroderma is also known as systemic sclerosis.

One form of scleroderma, known as CREST syndrome, is characterized by five common symptoms: calcium deposits (calcinosis), Raynaud’s phenomenon (reduced blood flow to end arterioles), esophageal motility (difficulty in swallowing and chest pain), sclerodactyly (thickening of the skin of the fingers or toes), and telangiectasia (spider veins).

The exact cause of scleroderma is unclear, but it is believed to be caused by an abnormal immune response. Like with many rare autoimmune conditions, there is no cure for scleroderma, but certain treatments may relieve symptoms. Scleroderma is most commonly managed with medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, and corticosteroids.

Although scleroderma affects all age groups, the most common onset is between ages 20 and 40. Men are much less likely to develop the disease than women. Patients with localized scleroderma usually have a normal life expectancy, whereas those suffering from systemic sclerosis may have a decreased life expectancy (depending on the subtype of the disease). Death is typically caused by complications affecting the lungs, heart, or the gastrointestinal tract.

World Scleroderma Day was created in 2010 at the 1st Systemic Sclerosis World Congress in Florence, Italy. It was decided to observe it on June 29 to honor the memory of Paul Klee, a gifted Swiss-born German artist who lived with scleroderma for five years and died of the disease on June 29, 1940, and to celebrate his resilience and determination (despite being in debilitating pain, Klee created new drawings and paintings in his last months).

The main goals of World Scleroderma Day are to raise awareness of this rare disease, provide resources and support to people with scleroderma and their families, and advance medical research to eventually find a cure for the disease. It is supported by many national and international organizations, such as the National Scleroderma Foundation (United States), Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK, the Federation of European Scleroderma Associations (FESCA), and others.

There are many ways to get involved with World Scleroderma Day. You can learn more about the condition to understand what people with systemic sclerosis are going through, help spread information about the disease, donate to an organization that helps scleroderma patients and/or funds scleroderma research, and raise awareness on social media with the hashtag #WorldSclerodermaDay. If you or a loved one is living with scleroderma, consider sharing your story to give other patients and their families hope.

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