This pathology presented itself when I was five years old. It began like a textbook example, with a lesion with reddish edges that for a year was treated as a fungal infection, and I was prescribed antibiotics.
I was diagnosed when I was seven or eight years old, after a series of specialists and a biopsy. That was my worst childhood memory, particularly since I was old enough to understand that doctors were baffled by my illness. Furthermore, I found older people with other types of dermal pathologies which disfigured the face.
Also, when I became a patient, doctors looked at me like a weird case, and they did not allow my father to be present during the biopsy. While my parents could they took me to dermatologists, witch doctors and miraculous priests.
I experience morphea in my abdomen, where it left a hyperpigmented area. I also have it on the inside of my right leg, but it has not affected either muscle or fat tissue, it looks like a mole. I was always treated with vitamin E and some topical treatments, but I did not get any better.
The prognosis of the doctors back then was that I would age prematurely and that the illness would reappear by age 30. After I turned 12 I did not want to return to the specialist. I still took vitamin E because my parents forced me to. The skin where the lesions are located was hardened, around my abdomen. Where the hyperpigmented area is, I do not have muscle or fat tissue. Also, when I make a movement that requires the muscle to work in that area, I can really feel the movement, unless I begin warming up the muscle.
I have observed that since I was thirteen I have varicose veins and I find hematomas on a regular basis. A dermatologist told me it was due to the lowering of collagen. In any case, I am now twenty-six years old. I have gone back to the dermatologist, but I have hit a wall. My insurance does not cover the specialist, because the general practitioner considers specialists unnecessary as this is a pathology which does not affect my systemic health.
I went to the specialist on my own cost, because I have a million doubts, and he stated that there was no treatment, adding that I should be grateful that my face had not been affected! I would like to find answers to my queries. Can I apply or take collagen? Is there a problem during gestation, taking into account that both muscle and skin have lost elasticity? Is there research done in Colombia? I would like to take part in it, if possible. What about early aging? What can I do? Is there a specialist in Colombia who can help me? If someone can help me I will be very grateful.
Story edited 05-19-11 SLE
Story Artist: Shelley Ensz
Story Translator: Alba León
Acerca de la Esclerodermia
Asociación Colombiana de Esclerodermia
Juvenile Scleroderma Stories
Medical: Diseases and Symptoms
Scleroderma Experts (Worldwide)
Symptoms of Systemic Scleroderma
Types of Scleroderma
What is Scleroderma?
Alba León is the ISN Translator for this page. She is studying international relations in Mexico City.
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