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Morphea
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Morphea

I have a rash (brown pigmentation)on my upper right arm.  I had this rash for 3-4 years (or longer).  Recently, (month or so) I developed another rash on my left buttock.  It is red (faint) and doesn't itch.  Covers about 1/2 of left buttock.  I went to my PCP for both rashes and he didn't think they were a big deal.  So I went to a dermatologist.  Well she shocked me.  Scared me to death.  She had me take a ANA test and told me it was morphea.  My test came back negative.  I got so scared I went back to my PCP and he ran other basic blood test, which also came back normal.  I had a biopsy done on both rashes and have to wait 2 weeks for the results.  In the meantime, I have read about morphea scleroderma, which too me sounds deadly.  I have no symptons.  I can't eat or sleep just thinking about it.   The rash on my buttock is getting faint.  I also had my hep B shot not too long ago (around the same time I noticed the rash on my left buttock), could this have caused this?  Does it help that my ANA test came back negative and other blood test? Please answer me, I am going crazy just thinking about it.  Oh and the dermatologist told me that she wants me to see a rheumotologist after I get the biopsy results.  I thought I was healthly.  I am somewhat active.
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Morphea is localized scleroderma.  It is not the same as generalized scleroderma and is not a stage on the road to generalized scleroderma.  An ANA should be negative in morphea, as yours apparently was.  The biopsy may or may not be clear-cut, but your doctor should be able to make the diagnosis on clinical grounds.  However, morphea is a localized annoyance, not the beginning of the end.  Please ask your dermatologist for clarification.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I just want to tell you that I can relate to your situation. I was diagnosed with eosinophilic fasciitis a year and a half ago which my doctor said was a variant of morphea. Like you, I read up on scleroderma and was frightened by what I saw.  What made it worse is that many doctors don't know what to do with this diagnosis because it is seen so infrequently. You'll be fine. My condition has been gone for over a year and the doctors said it won't return. Trust your doctor when he tells you it will be allright. Take care.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your kind words.  The docs comments made me feel better.  I am still waiting for the biopsy results and I will go from there.  Best to you!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have darkened skin in my torso area.  I went to a dermatologist
and specialist 4 years ago.  I had the area biopsied and said
the tissue biopsied was consistent to morphea.  However, morphea
is the hardening and darkening of the skin.  I just have darkening of the skin.  It is not raised at all. My dermatologist said it should eventually just go away in about 5 years and not to worry since I didn't have true morphea (hardening of the skin).  I also tried
some different types of steriod creams to rule out say fungus of
the skin.  My concern right now is that after 4 years, it doesn't
seem to be going away and it is actually larger than it was 4 years ago.  I also get a wierd spider like pain every now and then in one spot near that area.  I went to my PCP and he said it must be nerves because the only thing you have there is ribs.
Should I be concerned that my darkening patch is still growing after 4 years ?
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Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, Do you Ever think morphea will go away??? was started.
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