What is cutaneous morphea?

Updated: Jan 30, 2020
  • Author: Ginard I Henry, MD; Chief Editor: Gregory Gary Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS  more...
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In cutaneous morphea, the lesions often are defined on the trunk or an extremity in a dermatome. The lesions appear to be violations that are lilac-colored and isolated. Occasionally, pruritus is associated with the disease. Morphea may be widespread and chronic, and it may involve the digits of the hand . Histologically, the significant change appears to be in the amount of collagen found. This collagen deposition is indistinguishable from normal collagen levels. The type and proportion of collagen (type 1 or type 3) are similar to those found in the healthy dermis.

When linear morphea affects the face and paramedian forehead causing hemifacial atrophy it is known as morphea en coup de sabre. It manifests as atrophy of the skin, subcutaneous tissues, muscle, and bone. Occasionally, the process resolves spontaneously, but it can be unpredictable in its clinical course. This condition is observed while it remains destructive and progressive. In its burnout quiescent phase, the treatment of choice is self-tissue augmentation.

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