Is Morphea Rare?

Morphea is a skin disease that is marked by localized lesions of oval shape. The lesions are hard, firm and thickened areas which can be red or white. It usually does not affect the life expectancy of the patient. The skin is so thickened in severe cases that it may interfere with the movement of muscles and joints. It usually appears on the trunk, abdomen, chest or back. It can be seen on the face, neck, arms or feet. It is supposed to be caused by radiation, autoimmunity, altered genes, and others. It mostly disappears on its own in three to five years.

Is Morphea Rare?

Is Morphea Rare?

Morphea is a skin condition characterized by reddish discoloration that hardens to form oval-shaped lesions. It is a type of localized scleroderma. It affects the abdomen, back, face, neck, arms or legs. Morphea is a rare condition of the skin. It does not affect the health of the affected person. It resolves on its own in 3 to 5 years. It sometimes leaves dark spots on the affected areas and sometimes causes muscle weakness.

Morphea is a rare pathological condition of the skin that appears in 1-3 people in 100000 people. It is more common in children than in adults. It is seen more in adult women nearly three times than me that begin in childhood.

Types Of Morphea

Morphea show the different intensity of its lesions in different types.

  • Plaque Morphea– it is the commonest type of morphea that causes three or four lesions. They are painless and itchy in certain cases.
  • Generalized Plaque Morphea– it causes widespread large lesions that join together. They extend to deep tissues and may cause disfigurement.
  • Pansclerotic Morphea– it is fast progressive morphea that involves the skin of the entire body except for hands and feet. It is treated with aggressive medical intervention.
  • Linear Morphea– it spreads as a single band and seen in leg, or arm or forehead as discolored or hardened skin. It is the most common type in school children and it may extend to muscles and bones causing deformities.

Symptoms Of Morphea

Morphea represent the following symptoms-

  • The lesions are localized and circumscribed.
  • They are usually oval shaped.
  • They are limited to the skin.
  • They do not extend to other organs.
  • They appear on the skin of face, neck, arms legs, abdomen or back.
  • They are hardened and firm to touch.
  • They are discolored usually reddened or white.
  • The lesions have a light colored center.
  • The lesions cause loss of hair in their area.
  • They become so hard that restrict the movement of the muscles and joints under the skin.

Causes Of Morphea

The exact cause behind the appearance of morphea is not clearly understood. Several theories are suggested to the reveal causes of the morphea. The autoimmunity, genetic inheritance, infections, radiations, trauma or injury or environmental exposures can cause morphea.

Prognosis For Morphea

Morphea is a benign and self-limited condition. It does not affect the life expectancy of the patient. Lesions that are superficial and circumscribed go on its own. It takes 3-5 years to go. The lesions may relapse again and again. Some people may have new lesions throughout their life. Even after the resolution of morphea, the skin color that has changed remains for a few more years. Linear and deep morphea may cause deformity and disability due to the development of contractures in the joint or facial atrophy. It is seen more commonly in children. In severe cases of morphea, the limbs become stiff and weak due to wasting of the muscles. It may cause eye damage, even death. However, it is rare.


Morphea is a rare disease of the skin. It is a type of localized scleroderma. Its incidence is rare. It occurs in 1-3 persons over 1 lakh people. It affects children most. Females are more affected by this condition than males that may begin in their childhood.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 8, 2019

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