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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Morphea


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Overview

Morphea (mor-FEE-ah) refers to localized patches of scleroderma. The first signs of the disease are reddish patches of skin that thicken into firm, oval-shaped areas. The center of each patch becomes ivory colored with violet borders. These patches sweat very little and have little hair growth. Patches appear most often on the chest, stomach, and back. Sometimes they appear on the face, arms, and legs.[1] In most cases, morphea improves spontaneously over time (typically 3 to 5 years); however, affected people are often left with patches of darkened or discolored skin and, in rare cases, muscle damage.[1][2] The cause of this condition is unknown.[3] Management is based on the signs and symptoms present in each person and includes the use of corticosteroids.[4]
Last updated: 2/10/2016

References

  1. Scleroderma. National Institute of Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). 2006; http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Scleroderma/default.asp. Accessed 1/28/2010.
  2. What is Scleroderma?. Scleroderma Research Foundation. 2006; http://www.srfcure.org/for-patients/what-is-scleroderma. Accessed 1/28/2010.
  3. Morphea. MayoClinic.com. 2008; http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/morphea/DS00718/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print. Accessed 1/28/2010.
  4. Localized morphea. Orphanet. 2010; http://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/Disease_Search.php?lng=EN&data_id=12000.
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Basic Information

  • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Morphea. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles

Related Diseases
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.