There is no cure for morphea; the treatment is aimed at controlling signs and symptoms of the disease and slowing its spread. If left untreated also, Morphea gets better with slowing of symptoms, but the scar will not go away. There will be fading in scar and absence of redness. The hair may regrow on the affected area. Because drugs may have side effects and also there is a proven treatment record of the medications to be used, the doctors may advice only mild moisturizers to soften the area and soothe the inflamed skin. Before prescribing the medicine, doctor analyses risk-benefit ratio.
How To Cope With Morphea?
There is only symptomatic treatment to cope with Morphea. The treatment is aimed at controlling symptoms with the use of corticosteroids, immune suppressants, phototherapy, vitamin D formulation, chloroquine derivatives, etc. A doctor outweighs the potential risks associated with the medication while prescribing the medicine for Morphea. Moisturizers and sunscreens can also play an important role in controlling Morphea.
The possible treatment options of Morphea includes:
Photo Therapy Or Light Therapy. The method uses ultraviolet. The affected area is exposed to UV radiation. This improves the appearance of the skin. Phototherapy is not effective for the deeply rooted form of Morphea
Steroids. These are the agents often prescribed to reduce inflammation. They are also responsible to reduce redness and softening of the skin by preventing thick collagen depositions. The side-effects of corticosteroids include suppression of the immune functioning, increased risk of infection, high blood pressure, bone loss, and fluid retention. Corticosteroids can be taken either orally r topically as prescribed by the physician.
Vitamin D And Its Formulation. these formulations are used in the active form of Morphea where there are redness and inflammation. Calcipotriene cream, a synthetic form of the vitamin is found to be effective in the early form of Morphea. The side-effects of this medication are burning, stinging sensation and in severe cases rash.
Chloroquine And Its Derivatives. These are antimalarial drugs which have been shown effective in reducing inflammation and slowing the progression of Morphea. The side-effect associated with chloroquine and their derivatives are headache, dizziness, diarrhea and abdominal cramping
Immunosuppressants. Morphea is associated with inflammation and is also considered as an autoimmune disease. Immunosuppressants such as methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) or cyclosporine (Neoral, Gengraf, Sandimmune) is prescribed to the patient to reduce inflammation. The side-effect of these drugs includes kidney and liver problems, and high blood pressure and most importantly infections.
Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA). There are no proven studies of PABA for use in Morphea, but it is still widely prescribed. You can discuss with your doctor before its use. PABA is found in grains, eggs, milk, and meat.
Exercise. Physical therapy improves blood circulation. A gentle stretching and motion exercise improves the mobility of hands and legs. This therapy is advised for patients with generalized Morphea.
Simple lifestyle changes can also play an important role in reducing the sign and symptoms of Morphea. Keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots and lots of water. Apply moisturizers on the affected to prevent dryness and to reduce inflammation. Apply sunscreen whenever you go outside. Try to avoid warm water baths and long showers as it can worsen the inflammation. The scars of Morphea can also be hidden under makeup to give a more natural look.
Morphea can leave scars on visible parts of your body. This may give an unaesthetic look which decreases your confidence and can affect your mental health. Such patients should seek medical attention for counseling and join a scleroderma or Morphea support group to build the lost confidence.
In order to be healthy, simple life hacks like minimizing stress, eating nutritious food, maintaining a healthy weight, good hygiene practice and no tobacco can save from a number of diseases not only scleroderma or Morphea.