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Scleroderma mouth/vertical lines

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I have started seeing a new dermatologist and so far I am much happier with his treatment of me. I feel my last one was a money making factory. If I wanted to see her I have waited as long as 1 1/2 hours, usually I would see a Physicians Assistant. I had had 2 Mohs surgeries on my scalp with no follow-up. I am not the only one dissatisfied with her, she is a leading doctor in the area but everyone complains about the same thing. My dental hygienist who had also used her switched to a new doctor and is very happy so I decided to see him.

I am on anti-rejection drugs that cause skin cancer and have had a lot of sun exposure over my lifetime. Although I love the beach and spend much time there, you will find me with sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, shirt, pants, and underneath an umbrella. Ever since I got scleroderma in 2004 the sun has hurt my skin, so I really can't sit in it. Even so, I am really tan. At the height of my illness my entire body was brown, even parts that have never seen the sun. Now I do have tan lines.

I saw the new dermatologist for a consultation several weeks ago and he found a spot on my forehead and some on my cheek that he burned off and I am completely happy with the results. I went for my total body check yesterday and am happy to say I have no skin cancer but I do have some dark brown spots on my forehead that he said he could make go away with a chemical peel. This is not covered by insurance but I decided to do it anyway as I was so happy with what he did the last time. He said they should go away in a couple of days and he will see me in 4 weeks.

He also said he could get rid of the lines around my mouth. I reminded him they are from scleroderma. He said he could do a chemical peel on them as well and they would go away. I searched the site but could not get a result on this. Since I am so immune suppressed he suggested doing just my forehead now, seeing how it goes, and giving me time to look into and think about the lines around my mouth.

Does anyone know anything about this, or had it done? Other people tell me the lines are not noticeable but we who have them know they are. I am not all that young and sort of accept them as my battle scars of this disease but they do make me look older and like a heavy smoker. I know there have been other threads on these lines but don't remember if anyone has ever had a satisfactory treatment of them. I will not do Botox, I cannot have anything else injected into my system.

Looking forward to hearing...


ISN Artist

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Hello Miocean


I know nothing about chemical peels but I thought that the vertical lines from scleroderma went deeper than a chemical peel would simply because if a peel went that deep it would be a type of surgery. Now that's my lay person's guess because as I say I know nothing...


Battle scars indeed and you won the battles girlie so you will surely win the war!


Take care.

Amanda Thorpe

ISN Sclero Forums Senior Support Specialist

ISN Video Presentations Manager

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(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Assistant Manager

(Retired) ISN Email Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi miocean,


I know nothing about chemical peels either, but would perhaps agree with your dermatologist's suggestions that you just have your forehead done for the present and see how you get on. We may have other members who've actually had the procedure you're contemplating who may be able to advise you first hand.


After my experience with my varicose veins, I'm rather weary of having any sort of cosmetic surgery!


Best wishes,

Jo Frowde

ISN Board Member

ISN Secretary of the Board

ISN Assistant Webmaster

SD World Webmaster

ISN Sclero Forums Manager

ISN News Manager

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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi miocean


Sorry, I don't have any knowledge about chemical peel that can help you either?

Sending good wishes your way!

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Hi Miocean,


Huh. Offhand, I don't recall anyone saying they tried, or succeeded, in getting their scleroderma lip lines removed. Personally, I'd be very hesitant to try it because I would be concerned that it might encourage even more collagen production or speed up skin involvement due to the inflammation it would induce. So if anyone here has already thrown caution to the wind and tried it, I wish we would hear from them and see if it worked or not, and whether or not it caused any further problems.

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.

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