Patient & Caregiver Stories Main Menu

(English) by First Name: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V-Z

By Language: French   German   Greek   Italian   Polish   Romanian   Russian   Spanish   Turkish

By Illness: Main List, Linear/Morphea, Systemic Scleroderma, By Symptoms

Pamela W: Morphea Scleroderma

I jokingly refer to this as my 'Catalina scar.'

Orange Flower Crosstitch for Pamela by Shelley Ensz About ten years ago, my problem started with what I thought was a bruise about the size of a dime under my arm. At first I was told it was a fungus and given cream to treat it, but it did not work. The purplish spot began to get bigger, turning white in the middle. I went to several doctors, one of whom simply said it might be scleroderma and sent me on my way. I was horrified! I thought for sure I was going to die!

Then I found a dermatologist who did a biopsy and said it was morphea scleroderma. She explained that it is caused by a buildup of collagen under the surface of the skin, which causes discoloration and hardening of the skin. She also told me that morphea stays at the surface of the skin and does not affect the organs or cause death. She said that usually morphea would lighten and sometimes even disappear in a couple of years.

She started injecting steroids into the hardened area to soften it. Once the spot was softened, she tried to get rid of the dark color. First, we used a roll-on preparation, but that did not work. Next, we tried the patches, but they only irritated my skin, making it red and very painful. We finally gave up and agreed to let nature take its course, hoping the discolored area would indeed disappear in a couple of years.

Now, ten years later, I have an enormous bruise-like thing under my arm that has also spread near my right breast. Another patch stretches about six inches across my lower back. I jokingly refer to this as my 'Catalina scar.' In case you are unfamiliar with it, Catalina is an island off the coast of Southern California.

Recently, I have noticed the entire underside of my right arm is starting to discolor. Other than the disturbing appearance, the only thing I am bothered with is incessant itching.

I was hoping that after ten years someone might have found a cure or at least a way to stop the discoloration. I am not finding anything.

To Contact the Author

Pamela W.
Email: [email protected]
Story posted 4-25-01
Story edited VH1: JTD 8-25-03

Story Artist: Shelley Ensz
Story Editor V1: Judith Devlin
Morphea Scleroderma
Voices of Scleroderma Volume 1

This Story is Featured in Voices of Scleroderma Volume 1

Voices of Scleroderma Volume 1 The story on this page is featured in the top-notch Voices of Scleroderma Volume 1 which features articles by top scleroderma experts, including Dr. Joseph Korn, as well as 100 true patient and caregiver stories from this website! The book delivers excellent information and support for scleroderma patients and caregivers. It's a great way to inform family and friends about scleroderma, too!

ISN Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin

Photo of JudithJudith Thompson Devlin is the ISN Story Editor for this story. She is also lead editor of the ISN's wonderful Voices of Scleroderma book series!

Go to Pam M: Diffuse Scleroderma, CREST and Raynaud's
Most Recent Donors

Winn Schillberg
Reading Voices of Scleroderma Books: Diana Kramer.
Sharing Scleroderma Awareness Bracelets: Deb Martin, Brenda Miller, Vickie Risner.
Thanks to UNITED WAY donors of Central New Mexico and Snohomish County!

In Loving Memory

Patricia Ann Black: Marilyn Currier, Shelley Ensz, Richard Howitt, Gerald and Pat Ivanejko, Juno Beach Condo Association, Keith and Rosalyn Miller, and Elaine Wible.
Gayle Hedlin: Daniel and Joann Pepper and Nancy Smithberg.
Janet Paulmenn: Anonymous, Mary Jo Austin, Shelley Blaser, Susan Book, Dennis and Pat Clayton, Grace Cunha, Cindy Dorio, Michael and Patricia Donahue, Shelley Ensz, Nancy Falkenhagen, Jo Frowde, Alice Gigl, Margaret Hollywood, Karen Khalaf and Family, Susan Kvarantan, Bradley Lawrence, Jillyan Little, Donna Madge, Michele Maxson, Barry and Judith McCabe, John Moffett, My Tribute Foundation, Joan-Marie Permison, John Roberts, Margaret Roof, Maryellen Ryan, Mayalin and Kiralee Murphy, Nancy Settle-Murphy, and Bruce and Elizabeth Winter.


SCLERO.ORG is the world leader for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses, such as pulmonary hypertension. We are a service of the nonprofit International Scleroderma Network (ISN), which is a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team, or Volunteer. Donations may also be mailed to:

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
7455 France Ave So #266
Edina, MN 55435-4702 USA

Email [email protected] to request our Welcome email, or to report bad links or to update this page content.

TOLL FREE HOTLINE 800-564-7099
Free to U.S. and Canadian Callers. Ask for our Free Info Packet by mail or email!
Scleroderma, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, and related illnesses.
Privacy Policy.

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is!
Donate Now
Copyright 1998-2016, International Scleroderma Network. AKA Scleroderma from A to Z and SCLERO.ORG. All Rights Reserved.