Morphea is a skin condition that causes patches of reddish skin that thicken into firm, oval-shaped areas. It is a form of scleroderma. Patches most often occur on the abdomen, stomach, and back, and sometimes on the face, arms and legs. Morphea can either be localized (limited to one or several patches) or generalized (spread over larger areas of the body). While it usually affects only the outer layer of the skin, in some cases it also restricts movement of the joints. The underlying cause of morphea is unknown. It may be associated with an abnormal immune response, or be triggered by radiation therapy, repeated trauma to the affected area, or a recent infection. It usually goes away without treatment within 3 to 5 years, but some people are left with darkened areas of skin or rarely muscle weakness. Treatment may be used to control symptoms until it resolves, and may include phototherapy, prescription vitamin D creams, or corticosteroids.
Last updated: 4/13/2017
What is atrophoderma of Pierini and Pasini?
Atrophoderma of Pierini and Pasini is thought to possibly represent a late stage of morphea a type of localized scleroderma. Signs and symptoms of atrophoderma of Pierini and Pasini include multiple oval, darkened (hyperpigmented) plaques in which tissue under the skin breaks down so that there is a depression (dent) within the skin. Some findings suggest that atrophoderma of Pierini and Pasini may be associated with B burgdorferi, a bacteria that causes Lyme disease,in some cases.
Last updated: 1/21/2010
How might atrophoderma of Pierini and Pasini be treated?
No single treatment of atrophoderma of Pierini and Pasini is consistently effective. Therapies that have been tried include topical corticosteroids, antibiotics, and antimalarials. There have been reports of symptom improvement with the use of hydroxychloroquine, potassium aminobenzoate, and improvement following surgical care using a Q-switched alexandrite laser, however these findings have not been confirmed by larger studies. If a person with atrophoderma of Pierini and Pasini tests positive for B burgdorferi antibody, standard Lyme disease therapy is often recommended. Click here to visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Lyme Disease Information Resource pages to learn more about Lyme disease therapy.
Last updated: 1/21/2010
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