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Kristy C: Generalized Morphea

It is still hard to deal with people singling me out in public and asking me what happened to my skin, but somehow you just learn to accept it and move on.

Candied Ice Cream by Shelley EnszMy battle with morphea started nine years ago when I was thirteen. I had noticed a small white, lumpy spot on my stomach but thought nothing of it. When my grandmother noticed it when I was trying on bathing suits, she took me to my doctor. Three dermatologists and one biopsy later, I found out I had morphea.

I was transferred to a pediatric dermatologist where we tried just about everything: skin bleaching creams for burnt out brown spots, and creams and pills for the active white spots. Nothing stopped the new spots from showing up and by the time all was said and done it had spread from just my stomach to my entire right arm, entire left leg, both ankles, upper back, and both hands. The only place where I do not have any morphea is my face, which I am very thankful for.

Some of the spots, especially those on my ankles, were very painful to touch and apply medication to while they were active.

Once I turned eighteen I was transferred to another dermatologist who also referred me to a rheumatologist because my morphea was so widespread that she was worried about joint problems.

Right now I am on methotrexate to stop the morphea from spreading to my joints, and I apply taclonex daily to the few active spots I have left. I go to both doctors every six months, and have blood drawn every three months to make sure the methotrexate hasn't affected my liver.

It was very emotional trying to spend my adolescent years covered in morphea plaques. It is still hard to deal with people singling me out in public and asking me what happened to my skin, but somehow you just learn to accept it and move on.

The one thing that I am worried about now is not new active spots, but the possibility of getting more autoimmune diseases since I have heard that having one increases your chances of getting new ones. In the end I am thankful that it is just a cosmetic problem, and am trying everyday to accept it as best I can.

To Contact the Author

Email: [email protected]
Old Email: [email protected]
Story edited 10-23-08 JTD
Story posted 11-13-08 SLE
Email updated 10-22-15 SLE

Story Artist: Shelley Ensz
Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin
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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!

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