MORPHEA

Description

Morphea is a rare skin condition that causes painless, discolored patches on your skin

Symptoms

  • Loss of hair and sweat glands
  • Linear patches
  • Reddish or purplish oval-shaped patches
  • Discoloration of skin
  • Hardening and thickening of skin
  • Ulcer formation on the fingertips or toes
  • Joint pain and painful joint movement
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Shivers
  • Headaches

Causes

  • Radiation therapy
  • Repeated trauma to the affected area
  • A recent infection, such as measles or chickenpox

Risk Factors

  • More prevalent among Caucasians
  • Females are more likely to develop morphea than are males
  • It usually appears between the ages of 2 and 14 or in the mid-40s

Diagnostic Tests

  • Physical examination
  • Skin biopsy
  • Blood tests
  • Pulmonary function test (PFT)
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram

Treatment

  • Physical therapy
  • Light therapy
  • Drugs that fight inflammation
  • Calcipotriene cream
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunosuppressive medications:
  • Methotrexate
  • Cyclosporine
  • Antimalarial drugs:
  • Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)
  • Chloroquine (Aralen phosphate)

Lifestyle Management

  • Apply moisturizers
  • Avoid long, hot showers or baths
  • Regular dental check-ups
  • Regular exercise