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 be affected. Although much rarer in children, the manifestations of systemic scleroderma 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.