Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Morphea usually goes away without treatment, though it may leave scars or areas of discolored skin. Until your condition clears up, you may want to pursue treatment that helps control your signs and symptoms.
Treatment options include:
Sept. 29, 2015
- Light therapy. A special treatment that uses ultraviolet light (phototherapy) may improve your skin's appearance, especially when used soon after skin changes appear.
- Drugs that fight inflammation. Your doctor may prescribe an immunosuppressive medication, such as oral methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall). This may be used in combination with corticosteroid pills for the first few months. Each of these drugs has potentially serious side effects.
- A form of vitamin D. The prescription cream calcipotriene is a synthetic form of vitamin D. It may help soften the skin patches caused by morphea. Skin generally begins to improve during the first months of treatment. Possible side effects include burning, stinging and a rash.
- Physical therapy. This type of treatment uses exercise to prevent joint deformity and maintain movement.
- AskMayoExpert. Morphea. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Morphea. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012.
- Ravelli NF, et al. Interventions for morphea. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://ovidsp.tx.ovid.com/sp-3.16.0b/ovidweb.cgi. Accessed Aug. 6, 2015.
- Tolkachjov SN, et al. Progressive hemifacial atrophy: A review. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. 2015;10:39.
- Sartori-Valinoitt JC, et al. Updates on morphea: Role of vascular injury and advances in treatment. Autoimmune Diseases. 2013;2013:467808.
- Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/nd/PrintVersion.aspx?cs=MAYO&s=ND. Accessed Aug. 6, 2015.
- Valanclene G, et al. Pathogenesis and treatment modalities of localized scleroderma. Medicina (Kaunas). 2010;46:649.