Morphea (mor-FEE-uh) is a rare skin condition that causes reddish or purplish patches on your skin. Morphea is a localized or limited form of scleroderma, a condition that can cause a wide variety of problems, from skin discoloration to difficulty with the function of joints and muscles and other connective tissues.

Morphea typically appears on your abdomen, chest or back, but it can affect your face, arms and legs. Morphea tends to affect only the outermost layers of your skin — the dermis and the fatty tissue just beneath the dermis. Sometimes, morphea can restrict movement in your joints.

Morphea generally subsides on its own over time. With morphea, you may be concerned about your appearance. Your doctor may recommend medications and other treatments to help with your appearance and other symptoms of morphea.

Oct. 05, 2012

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