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Help please

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#1 summer


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Posted 18 March 2009 - 06:11 PM

Hi, I saw my Rheumatologist yesterday, for a 3 monthly check up. I did mention to her that I was currently at the end of a flare.

For the last couple of years, I have been experiencing constant itching of my skin, which seems to happen when I have a flare. The only thing is that I have reddish purple like welts on my trunk, sides of stomach and breast area, all is symmetrical. It itches terribly, I have seen my local doctor, who has prescribed Cortisone, which hasn't helped at all.

So, I have only been putting on the skin heaps of moisturiser, which has helped some. Once the scleroderma flare is over, the itching subsides, and my skin generally fades to a lighter brown.

I have not mentioned this to my rheumatologist before, as it seemed not very important, in contrast to my other symptoms. My rheumatologist is going to refer me to a dermatologist, to try and get a skin biopsy. She is not sure, whether it could be morphea.

I have been diagnosed as Crest/Limited Scleroderma for two years now, I have no skin tightening as yet, only two swollen fingers. I have Raynaud's, which only started 6 months into my scleroderma diagnosis.

The problems I have been having are all internal at this stage, and I have been seeing various doctors for different things.

My questions are this:

1. Does Morphea make your skin itch?

2. Having being diagnosed as Crest/Limited scleroderma, is it possible to have morphea as well?

I have tried the obvious and changed soaps, washing powders etc., nothing helps. It seems to be spreading now towards my back.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.


#2 ashu


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Posted 18 March 2009 - 10:34 PM


Morphea is nothing but part of a sclerodema. It affects a particular area, meaning localized scleroderma.

Best of luck,
m/o ashu
Dr. Damayanti

#3 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 02:27 AM

Hi Summer,

Please keep in mind that I have no medical training at all, except for being fairly well trained to "sit" and "stay" when in examining rooms. :blink: And, I may be wrong (I often am!) so please advise me if I don't have my facts straight or if things turn out otherwise.

As I understand it, an itchy symmetrical rash on the trunk, which waxes and wanes, would likely not be due to morphea. The reason I venture that is because morphea can be itchy when it is developing, however, it does not tend to be symmetrical and it does not tend to wax and wane so quickly; rather it would usually wax and wane over a course of years, rather than weeks or months.

There are many other possibilities though, even including a reaction to drugs (especially things like penicillin, erythromycin or salicylates.) Since you mention you were in a flare when these occurred, if you were taking NSAIDs with salicylates, for example, you may have been experiencing a drug reaction, because you may have been taking more or different medications than usual during that time. Or, it could be due to another, co-existing skin ailment/disease.

So, be sure to keep your dermatologist appointment and let us know what you find out!
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#4 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:13 AM

Just throwing a wild guess out here, but I wonder if you could be having an attack of shingles? My husband and I both had (got?) shingles last year and they were very much like your description. (And were definitely symmetrical.)

I got lucky because my doctor put me on an anti-viral and upped the prednisone I was already taking and that combination meant I was reasonably comfortable and the shingles only lasted a couple of weeks. The Handsome Hubby's doctor recommended calamine lotion and oatmeal baths~ His shingles lingered on and on and on. We found a calamine spray which did help the itching and gave me great amusement when I was spraying down his back and ribs. :lol:

Best wishes, but no hugs till we know what you've got!! (Just joking, here's a big hug.)
Jeannie McClelland
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International Scleroderma Network

#5 summer


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Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:52 PM

Many thanks Jeannie and Shelley, I will let you both know how I get on.

Summer :)