Ways to treat and manage your symptoms
Morphea is the name given to localised patches of hardened skin that are smooth and shiny. Usually they appear on the trunk, but they can affect any part of the body. They are painless and there are normally no other problems or symptoms.
Morphea usually subsides on its own over time, though recurrences are common. In the meantime, medications and therapies are available to help treat the skin dis-coloration and other effects.
Signs and symptoms of morphea vary, depending on the type and stage of the condition. They include:
Morphea usually affects only the skin and underlying tissue and, rarely, bone. The condition generally lasts several years and then disappears on its own. But it usually leaves some patches of darkened or discolored skin.
If you notice reddish patches of hardening or thickening skin, see your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment may help slow the development of new patches and allow your doctor to identify and treat complications before they worsen.
The causes of morphea are unknown. It may be due in part to an unusual reaction of the immune system. Or it may be triggered by:
The condition isn't contagious.
Certain factors may affect your risk of developing morphea, including:
Your sex and age. Females are more likely to develop morphea than are males. The condition can affect people at any age. It usually appears between the ages of 2 and 14 or in the mid-40s. As well as your race. Morphea is more prevalent among Caucasians.
Morphea can cause a number of complications, including: