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Scleroderma. View of shiny toughened skin on hands suffering from scleroderma (systemic sclerosis). This is a rare autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks its own cells, resulting in the persistent hardening of the body's connective tissues. It can affect any part of the body, although the skin, arteries, kidneys, lungs, heart, digestive tract and joints are most commonly affected. While symptoms vary widely, Raynaud's phenomenon, the painful whitening of fingers and toes if they are exposed to the cold, is often present. There is no treatment and death can result.
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