You may start by seeing your primary care doctor. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist) or a specialist in diseases of the joints, bones and muscles (rheumatologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
Before your appointment make a list of:
- Symptoms you've been having and for how long
- All medications, vitamins and supplements you take, including the doses
- Questions to ask your doctor
For morphea, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes?
- Do I need any tests?
- How long will these skin changes last?
- If the skin discoloration and hardening clears up, will it ever come back?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- What side effects can I expect from treatment?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- What can I do to improve my appearance?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed materials I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
Sept. 29, 2015
- When did you first notice changes in your skin?
- Has this ever happened before?
- Do the changes come and go or are they constant?
- What steps have you taken to treat this condition yourself?
- Have any of these measures helped?
- Have you ever been treated by a doctor for this condition?
- If so, what were the treatments? Did they help?
- Have you had any difficulty chewing food or swallowing?
- Have you experienced extreme cold sensitivity in your fingers or toes?
- Have you noticed any other changes in your general health?
- 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.