Morphea or localized scleroderma is an uncommon autoimmune and inflammatory disease which affects patients of any age. Even if morphea lesions present systemic symptoms as myalgias or arthritis, it is distinct from systemic sclerosis because it does not associate Raynaud’s phenomena or sclerodactyly, which are encountered in systemic scleroderma. The most common form of morphea in children is `en coup de sabre`, which can alter the local anatomy by deep tissue involvement. In contrast, the most frequent form that affects adults is represented by circumscribed morphea. The initial lesions present an inflammatory phase that manifests in the form of erythematous plaques, sometimes accompanied by edema. In later stages, the inflammation decreases and the lesions become sclerotic to atrophic. Therapy is most beneficial when initiated in the inflammatory stage. Topical application of high potency steroids along with phototherapy demonstrates the best results in the active phase of the disease. Localized superficial morphea can be treated with the excimer laser (using ultraviolet type B light, in range of 308nm) if topical steroid administration shows no significant clinical improvement. Phototherapy with ultraviolet light is capable of decreasing inflammation and may also have immunomodulatory effects.
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Tatu, Alin Laurentiu; Radaschin, Diana Sabina; Constantin, Vlad Denis; Stana, Paunica; and Ardeleanu, Valeriu
"Laser therapy in superficial morphea lesions – indications, limitations and therapeutic alternatives,"
Journal of Mind and Medical Sciences: Vol. 7
, Article 9.
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/jmms/vol7/iss1/9