The most common type of scleroderma in children is localized scleroderma. The prevalence is about three cases per 100,000 of population. Systemic sclerosis accounts for only 10% of cases of scleroderma in children.
Localized scleroderma affects only the skin and manifests itself as patches (morphea) or streaks (linear scleroderma), while systemic sclerosis affects the skin and internal organs: the digestive system, kidneys, lungs and heart may also be affected. Much rarer in children, its manifestations are similar to that of adults.
Localized scleroderma usually lasts only a few years where as SSc can last a lifetime.
It is extremely rare that localized scleroderma evolves into systemic sclerosis.
To learn more about localized scleroderma in children, please read Dr. Ronald Laxer’s paper on Morphea.