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Treatment question for Scleroderma/Morphea

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Good morning,


I was diagnosed at the age of 9 with Scleroderma/morphea with patches on both sides of my neck and below the neck on my collar bone. The spot on my collar bone was very thick and had a scar tissue appearance. A biopsy confirmed the diagnosis and I was treated with cortisone tape and Vitamin E for maybe 7 years. After a few years of using the cortisone tape, the front spot thinned out completely and remained a discolored mark on the skin. I am now 55 years old. For the past few years I had a small lump where the biopsy was done and it hurt when I touched it. My dermatologist removed it and I believe that it was a pre basal cell.  


My question is, should I be routinely following up regarding my scleroderma/morphea with anyone?  Over the years when I have mentioned it to my primary care physician or dermatologist and they have said nothing. 


I definitely have some arthritis in some fingers, jaw, back,  but always attributed to age. Could any of this be related to the scleroderma?


Thanks much,   Anne H


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Hi Anne,


Welcome to Sclero Forums!   Morphea often subsides, even on its own, within 3 to 5 years.  It can recur, but it's not like a chronic illness that is expected to recur.  In about 25% of cases, there might be one or two other symptoms along with the morphea. 


You'd probably like the page on our main site about Conditions Associated with Morphea


Osteoarthritis is caused by overuse and aging and is by far the most common type of arthritis.  So you might be questioning whether your arthritis diagnosis is correct.  To look into that, see Diagnosing Arthritis by the Arthritis Foundation.  If your symptoms fit the inflammatory arthritis profile better, then you should seek a referral to a rheumatologist.  If it's deemed to be inflammatory arthritis, then you may want to see a scleroderma expert, but that's highly unlikely without other bothersome symptoms, such as Raynaud's, tight skin, etc.  See Diagnosis of Scleroderma


I'm only a patient with no medical training at all, but it's my understanding that follow-up would not be required for morphea that is in remission and without any recurrence or complications, beyond the usual skin surveillance by you, your primary doctor and/or your dermatologist. 



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Hi Anne,


Welcome to these forums!


I'm sorry to hear that you've been suffering with morphea and have arthritis complications as well. I have some arthritic changes in my joints, so I can sympathise with you.


Shelley's given you some good advice and I've included a link to our medical page on morphea, which I hope you'll find helpful and informative.


Kind regards,



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