5 Ways to Relieve Morphea Itch

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  • Morphea is an autoimmune disease that causes hard, tight patches—also called lesions or plaques—on the skin. Morphea is a form of localized scleroderma that can affect only the top layer of skin, or it can penetrate the fat, muscles, joints or bones. While the condition is usually painless, the patches can become dry and itchy. Some people may choose not to treat the condition because it often goes away on its own within five years. Some morphea symptoms may be bothersome and can be treated. Morphea treatment won’t cure the condition. However, some treatments can reduce symptoms and provide morphea itch relief.

  • 1
    Moisturize your skin.
    close up of woman applying moisturizer one hand

    The main morphea symptoms are tight, hard, and dry discolored patches on the skin. Keeping the lesions moisturized can help relieve itching. Choose a thick cream rather than a lotion, and apply it twice a day for best results. A moisturizer with camphor and menthol can help cool your skin and relieve itch. In addition, try a warm (not hot) bath with baby oil or oatmeal to soothe your skin.

  • 2
    Get out in the sun.
    Brother and sister having fun in dandelion field.

    Another inexpensive morphea treatment includes getting more sunlight. About 10 or 15 minutes several times a week can help reduce symptoms. Your skin makes vitamin D naturally when exposed to the sunlight which can help reduce inflammation. Be careful, though, because too much sun exposure can further damage your skin.

  • 3
    Try phototherapy.
    man with hands in light therapy machine

    Phototherapy has a similar effect to getting outside in the sunlight. Ultraviolet light, specifically long-wavelength UVA (UVA1) or UVB, penetrates deeper into the skin to treat not only the visible lesions, but also underlying tissues, such as muscles and joints. Because phototherapy can help improve the lesions, it also helps relieve the itchiness they cause.

  • 4
    Use a medicated cream.
    Close-up of tube of hydrocortisone cream

    You can request a prescription for a vitamin D cream or a corticosteroid cream that both work by reducing inflammation. By soothing inflammation, these creams offer morphea itch relief. Keep in mind, however, that sometimes these creams can cause burning or stinging as a side effect.

  • 5
    Avoid itchy situations.
    woman-spreading-out-bedsheets

    Reducing itchy skin can start with some simple changes to avoid scratchy fabrics, drying agents (such as rubbing alcohol or harsh soaps), and fabric softener, which can irritate the skin. Take warm showers and baths; hot water tends to dry out the skin and can make itching worse.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 May 13
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