Morphea is a disorder characterized by an area of inflammation and fibrosis or thickening and hardening of skin or subcutaneous tissues due to increase collagen deposition. It is a rare skin disease causing painless, discolored oval shaped patches on the skin. It is an autoimmune disease and might be triggered by radiation therapy or repeated trauma to the affected area, surgery, extreme exercise, or any recent infection or any environment exposure.
Morphea is not contagious. Morphea lesions can be subdivided into following subtypes according to the clinical presentation and depth of tissue involvement.
Circumscribed or limited: few circle are seen on the trunk or limbs. It is limited to one or several patches. It is also called Plaque Morphea. This is the most common form with 3-4 oval lesions. The lesions are painless but might itch. The patches are 1 to 20 cm in diameter.
Generalized: Many circles are seen on the trunk or limbs. It is spread over larger areas of the body. It is more severe form of localized disease and might lead to disfigurement. The lesions may join together.
Linear: Lines of involvement on the limbs or head. It can be seen in early age of 20 years. It can affect not just the skin but underlying structures such as muscle and bone. It features a single band of thickened, discolored skin. If linear morphea occurs on the face, it might cause issues with eyes or alignment of teeth in school ages children.
Mixed: Combination of circumscribed and linear or generalized and linear.
Pansclerotic: Involvement of all of the skin. It is rapidly progressive type of morphea with many plaques. It spares hands and feet.
In this disorder, the skin changes appear on the abdomen, chest or back. It might happen on the face, arms or legs in some cases. It may also involve the inside of the mouth, genitals and the eyes. But it is mainly on the outermost layer of the skin. In rare cases, it may restrict the movement of the joints. Morphea often occurs first in childhood or middle adulthood. It affects women more than men.
Symptoms of Morphea
Symptoms of Morphea depends on the type and stage/severity of the disorder. It is mainly asymptomatic, with occasional itching and pain. The most visible symptom of Morphea is a reddish, purplish oval patch of skin. These patches gradually develop a lighter or whitish center. The skin then becomes hard, thickened, dry and shiny. Loss of hair and sweat glands in the affected area is visible.
In children, the linear morphea on arms or legs can affect the underlying bone and interfere with bone growth. If on the head, it may extend inwards to the brain and causes headaches, nerve palsies or seizures.
If morphea crosses the joints, the thickening may limit joint movement. Constriction of the chest wall leads to shortness of breath in case of pansclerotic morphea. Oral and dental problems occur in case of teeth and jaw involvement in linear morphea. It leads to difficulty in chewing, jaw locking and pain.
Other symptoms include fatigue, muscle pains. Heartburn, eye dryness, cold hands etc.
Diagnosis of Morphea
Diagnoses of Morphea is done by doing various blood tests, skin biopsy and MRI.
A complete medical history and family health history is taken by the doctor.
Treatment of Morphea
Morphea may go away without treatment within 3 to 5 years but in some cases people are left with darkened areas of skin or muscle weakness. Treatment of Morphea is focused on purification of body by removing the ama or mala from the dhatus especially rakta and ras dhatu. Along with purification, Ayurvedic treatment focuses on pacification of the doshas.
Planet Ayurveda offers very effective medicines to manage Morphea of all kinds. These products are 100% natural and safe to be used as they have no side effects. The medicines include:
Herbal Remedies for Morphea (LOCALISED SCLERODERMA)
1. Gandhak Rasayana Tablet
It is prepared from using pure Gandhak. It is useful in retaining healthy skin/complexion and texture, improving body's immunity by fighting infections. It helps in reducing inflammation. The herb Gandhak aids in absorbing moisture from the environment into the skin, thereby making the skin look healthy. It is a strong blood purifier and acts as analgesic. It controls skin patches and reduces the pain in the affected areas.
Dose: The recommended dosage is 2 tablets twice a day with plain water after meals.
2. Ashwagandha Capsules
These capsules are made from the pure extract of "Ashwagandha" herb, also known as Withania Somnifera. It enhances the physical and mental capabilities of the body. The medicine works towards balancing the doshas by eliminating excessive toxins out of the body. It works in improving circulatory, reproductive and adrenal systems too. The medicine helps in reducing the stress and anxiety levels of the patient.
Dose: The recommended dosage of Ashwagandha capsules is one to two capsules twice a day with plain water after meals.
3. Neem Capsules
These capsules are formed by the pure extract of Azadiracta Indica or neem. They act as blood purifier and immunity modulator. Neem is known to be best anti-allergic herb, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and is very beneficial in all kind of skin problems ranging from skin allergies, rashes, irritation, itching, inflammation and also for respiratory tract infections. Neem is known to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties too.Neem stimulates the production of T cells and gives a head on attack against all kinds of infections. This medicine is useful in problems like acne, eczema, dandruff, psoriasis, hives, herpes, ringworm, shingles, warts etc.
Dose: The recommended dosage is two capsules two times a day with plain water after meals.
4. Arjuna Capsules
These capsules are prepared using standardized extract of pure Arjuna herb. Arjuna is a very good antioxidant and blood purifier. The recommended dosage for Arjuna Capsules is 1 to 2 capsules two times a day with plain water after meals. It is recommended to apply moisturizers to help soften the skin. Long, hot showers or use of harsh soaps should be avoided. It is advised to apply sunscreen.
Dose: Use humidifiers to add moisture in the air and exercise regularly for better blood circulation and faster recovery.