Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Your doctor may diagnosis morphea by examining the affected skin and asking you about your signs and symptoms. He or she may take a small sample of the affected skin (skin biopsy) for examination in the laboratory. This may reveal changes in your skin, such as thickening of the collagen in the second layer of skin (dermis). Collagen is a protein that makes up your connective tissues, including your skin. It helps make your skin elastic and resilient.

It's important to distinguish morphea from systemic scleroderma, so if you have morphea, your doctor will likely refer you to a specialist in skin disorders (dermatologist) or diseases of the joints, bones and muscles (rheumatologist).

If your child has head and neck morphea, take him or her in for regular comprehensive eye exams, as morphea may cause unnoticeable yet irreversible eye damage.

Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be useful in monitoring disease progression and how it is responding to treatment.

Sept. 29, 2015