The role of skin trauma in the distribution of morphea lesions: A cross-sectional survey of the Morphea in Adults and Children cohort IV

Daniel Grabell, Clifford Hsieh, Rachel Andrew, Kathryn Martires, Andrew Kim, Rebecca Vasquez, Heidi Jacobe

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31 Scopus citations


Background Skin trauma may play a role in the development of morphea lesions. The association between trauma and the distribution of cutaneous lesions has never been examined to our knowledge. Objective We sought to determine whether patients enrolled in the Morphea in Adults and Children (MAC) cohort exhibit skin lesions distributed in areas of prior (isotopic) or ongoing (isomorphic) trauma. Methods This was a cross-sectional analysis of the MAC cohort. Results Of 329 patients in the MAC cohort, 52 (16%) had trauma-Associated lesions at the onset of disease. Patients with lesions in an isotopic distribution had greater clinical severity as measured by a clinical outcome measure (mean modified Rodnan Skin Score of 13.8 vs 5.3, P =.004, 95% confidence interval 3.08-13.92) and impact on life quality (mean Dermatology Life Quality Index score 8.4 vs 4.1, P =.009, 95% confidence interval 1.18-7.50) than those with an isomorphic distribution. Most frequent associated traumas were chronic friction (isomorphic) and surgery/isotopic. Limitations Recall bias for patient-reported events is a limitation. Conclusion Of patients in the MAC cohort, 16% developed initial morphea lesions at sites of skin trauma. If these findings can be confirmed in additional series, they suggest that elective procedures and excessive skin trauma or friction might be avoided in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-498
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014



  • Dermatology Life Quality Index
  • Morphea in Adults and Children cohort
  • localized scleroderma
  • modified Rodnan Skin Score
  • morphea
  • skin trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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