Morphea is a skin problem in which discolored patch or patches develop on different parts of the body like hands, torso, arms, neck & face and so on. It is a very rare skin condition i.e. one out of fifty thousand people suffer from this problem. Majorly it effects the outer layer of the skin and not the internal organs. Usually the problem is cured on its own but it leaves behind ugly scares. In some severe conditions the problem can also cause cosmetic deformities, which can affect joints, bones and muscles.
Is Morphea Contagious?
One very common misconception among people is that morphea is contagious and can spread by touch. However, this is not true because morphea is not contagious. Hence, one should never boycott the person suffering from this problem, instead; should shower love and affection on the person. This helps them in coping with the situation in a better way.
Research has revealed that the problem of morphea is more common in women as compared to men. It can be found in both children & adult and commonly diagnosed in children between two to fourteen years old. In adults it is diagnosed in people above fifty years. The problem is commonly seen in people of European origin.
Complications Of Morphea
Morphea lesions can lead to following complications.
- Interrupted joint mobility
- Joint Ache
- Cosmetic deformities
- Partial or permanent eye damage (especially in children)
- Loss of hair
Majority of people suffering from morphea often experience itching and burning sensation of skin. One should clearly inform about these symptoms to their doctors so that they can treat the problem effectively.
As such the problem is cured on its own, but its leaves ugly scares behind. Hence, it is suggested to take proper treatment for the problem for fast and safe recovery.
Types of Morphea
In morphea, oval discolored and thickened patches develop on the body. The outer edge of the patch may be light purple in color and the inner side is reddish. With time the patch turns light yellow or white in color. The symptoms vary with the type of morphea and the severity of the same.
Plaque Morphea. This is one of the most common type of morphea in which 3-4 oval lesions develop on the body of the patient. These patches are painless but may be itchy.
Generalized Plaque Morphea. In this type multiple lesions develop on the body of the patient which are bigger in size. This type of morphea can affect the deep tissues, which can later cause disfigurement. The number of lesions are more and they join together to form bigger lesions.
Pansclerotic morphea. This type of morphea develops rapidly and spreads on the entire body (except hands and feet) of the patient. This type of morphea calls for aggressive treatment for controlling the quick spread of the problem.
Linear Morphea. This in this single band of discolored skin is formed. This discolored band usually run down the arm or leg, but it may extend up to forehand also. This makes the skin look very tough and hard.
Among all the four type, linear morphea is commonly seen in young children. The lesions formed may spread under the tissues, bones & muscles and creating deformities. If this type of morphea develops on the face, then it can cause problem either in the eyes or in the proper alignment of teeth.
Causes Of Morphea
Till date the actual cause of morphea is not known. Some consider it as an immune disorder, this means that the immune system is attacking back the skin. Cells producing collagen becomes super active and starts to produce excess amount of collagen.
Collagen is a type of protein which helps in providing support to the skin. However, excess amount of collagen makes the skin hard and tough. It is believed that morphea is activated either by radiation therapy, environment expose or infection.