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In Morphea, is pregnancy an issue? What about tattoos?

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At the age of 3, I developed localized scleroderma morphea, I was never really sure of what I had, or even was concerned until a couple years ago when people started laughing and pointing at me like I was abnormal.  Years passed and I started doing more research, wondering if it could one day become internal, and how common this was because no one I ever met looked like me. I have it on my hip, and all over my back. I also have vitiligo. Now getting older I'm having more grown up questions like, will I ever be able to give birth and have a child of my own, and even if I can do that, will they also have to live the life of having this immune disease? I would never want to put my child through what I have. I have had several laser treatments because of my low self esteem, and the outcome was just alot of pain and nothing ever helped. I was really looking into getting a tattoo on my skin to draw attention away but, all the research I did never showed any good news. Have you heard any successful stories about tattoos and localized scleroderma? Right now I'm really concerned about being about to carry my own child. Every woman deserves it.  I can't imagine not being able to because of my disease. Do you know anything to help?

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Hi rgmarie,


Welcome to Sclero Forums!  I'm sorry you have morphea, and vitiligo, and that you have had to cope with it all your life. You raise some excellent questions about morphea, some which many people wonder about but are afraid to ask.


Generally speaking, you should get approval from your doctor before becoming pregnant. That is because you might be on medications that need to be discontinued before conception, or perhaps there are some treatments to complete beforehand. We have a whole section on Pregnancy and Scleroderma, but most of it applies to people with systemic, which as you know is very different from morphea.


Tattoos are a great idea, from the point of creating a distraction, but you should always consult your scleroderma expert before getting one. They might make your morphea worse or trigger it to becoming more widespread. You may also need to discontinue certain treatments or take antibiotics, etc. So we have a whole section on our main site about Tattoos and Scleroderma that you will really want to read.  We even cover the topics of alternatives to tattoos, such as social considerations of tattoos, tattoo remorse, tattoo removal, and even how to compensate with temporary tattoos and even a recipe for face and body paint, as well as FDA alerts for temporary tattoos and henna.


If it was me, which I know it is not, but just, if I was in your shoes, I think what I would do if I had a strong inclination to have a tattoo, is that I would become adept at doing temporary tattoos and face or body paint.  Frankly, I think people ignore anything that they see all the time -- including even the strangest tattoo.  It is human to ignore something that is there every day and to save our brain for whatever is new, or different.  That is where I see the huge advantage in temporary tattoos.  They can provide both the attention and distraction that you crave, while remaining interesting by changing the theme or style whenever you get bored.  After all, if you are getting bored with it, so is everyone else who is looking at you!


You could also use this as a tool for making friends, by having people over for a tattoo party, or being the person who does body art for others at special events. Whereas, a regular tattoo, it just sits there, like a bump on the log, and provides only a few minutes of conversation, at best.  Plus, you can do things with temporary tattoos or body paint that you simply would never do with a tattoo!  A butterfly on your nose?  No problem!  Fun -- and the fine art of distraction -- prevails with temporary tattoos.  But you can still remove them for a more serious occasion, like your wedding or a job interview.


You might even develop a signature tattoo -- one you create especially for you -- but then put it in all sorts of different surprising places, depending on your mood and your outfit.


As for your children getting morphea, it is possible but very unlikely. Plus today there are lots better treatments for morphea, such as UVA1 Phototherapy!  And I think they use UVB Phototherapy for Vitiligo, and sometimes medium-dose UVA1 (so you might be able to treat both at once.) Anyway, because of better treatments available now, it would be a lot less of a concern for your offspring, even if they did manage to get morphea and/or vitiligo.  You may want to read about Genetics and Scleroderma, keeping in mind that most of the research is about systemic.


So now, what are your thoughts about all of this?



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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Hi rgmarie,


Welcome to the forum. They are a wonderful place to get answers and share. I have been using it for years but have noticed that there has been an increase in posts by people with morphea over the past year, especially from people your age. Although I cannot personally answer your questions as I have diffuse scleroderma I hope I can help you in searching for any topic you are interested in.


To search: At the top of the page at the right of the blue menu bar is a "search" area. Click on the gear. It will open up an advanced search. Input your topic and then where you want to search. I put in "morphea" and searched "Sclero Forums (MAIN)" and it open a page of posts about morphea.


Also, now that you have posted, at the bottom of this page are related posts.


Best wishes!



ISN Artist

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Hi rgmarie,


Welcome to these forums!


I'm very sorry to hear that you're suffering with Morphea and Vitiligo and that you have so many worrying questions about your health.


Shelley and Miocean have given you lots of advice, to which I can't really add very much, except to repeat my welcome to you and let you know that now you've found our forums and joined our community, you will find a wealth of help and support from our members. I'm looking forward to reading more of your future posts.


Kind regards,

Jo Frowde

ISN Board Member

ISN Secretary of the Board

ISN Assistant Webmaster

SD World Webmaster

ISN Sclero Forums Manager

ISN News Manager

ISN Hotline Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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