Morphea refers to a skin condition, which involves patches of hardened or discolored skin on neck, face, torso, hands and feet. This is a rare condition and until now, has affected about 3 out of total 100,000 people. Morphea affects one’s skin in predominate way and it never involves any of your internal organs. In majority of cases, the problem goes away on own, while in some cases, the problem may relapse in the later years. Other than this, morphea in its severe form may cause wide range of cosmetic deformities and may affect joints, muscles and bones occasionally.
How Do You Know If You Have Morphea?
Ways to identify morphea problem:
You may identify whether you have Morphea based on the following information about different types of morphea and specific symptoms, which include-
General Symptoms Of Morphea
Symptoms of morphea in general include discoloration and thickening of skin patches, most of which are of oval shape. Even you will find the lesion’s outer edge in lilac form, while the patch in almost red color. Moreover, the morphea lesion may become yellow or white towards the central part of the oval. Accordingly, symptoms and affected areas will be-
- Lilac skin or reddish patches commonly on one’s stomach, torso and back
- Linear patches consisting of discolored skin on an individual’s legs and arms
- Skin patches, which gradually become light or come with yellowish or whitish center
- Skin patches, which gradually becomes hard and possesses a shiny and thick appearance
- Hair loss in the respective infected area
- Loss of sweat glands in the respective area
In most of the cases, morphea symptoms affect one’s skin and the underlying tissues. However, the problem may even affect bones.
Symptoms Of Morphea As Per Its Types
Now, let us have a look on various symptoms to identify morphea based on its different types, according to which-
Generalized Plaque Morphea
Generalized form of plaque morphea involves multiple lesions’ widespread of large size. This type of problem affects deep tissues, which often result in disfigurement or lesions in some cases, may join.
In case of plaque morphea, individuals have three or four different lesions in oval-shape. In this case, lesions do not cause any pain, but they are of itchy nature.
Pansclerotic morphea is a rapid and progressive form of morphea and it involves the formation of a large number of plaques, which cover almost every part of the body, while spare your feet and hand.
Linear morphea features only band consisting of discolored, pale and thick skin. Indented band in this case runs down your leg or arm, while it may even extend down towards the forehead. In this situation, your skin appears as someone struck it with a sword. Other than this, lesions in case of linear morphea extends towards the tissue present beneath your skin and even to bones and muscles, resulting in large numbers of deformities. In case linear morphea takes place in your face, it may create problems with eyes or teeth alignment.
Causes Of Morphea
A majority of dermatologists consider morphea as an immune disorder, which indicates that the immune system attacks one’s skin. Cells responsible to produce collagen become overactive and in turn, overproduce collagen. Collagen is a type of protein found usually in skin and it assist in providing structural support. Because of the presence of collagen in excessive amounts, the skin becomes too hard. Thus, radiation therapy, repeated skin trauma, exposure to external environment or infection triggers the problem of morphea. However, the positive thing in this case is that morphea problem is not contagious. Because of this, one can never get it from any other individual or may spread by touching any other individual.
To conclude, we should say that a person might easily identify the condition of morphea based on general symptoms, morphea types and respective symptoms.
- American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. (2021). Morphea. https://www.aocd.org/page/Morphea
- Medscape. (2021). Morphea (Localized Scleroderma). https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1065782-overview