Skin nontumor
Dermal collagen and elastic tissue alterations, and cutaneous deposits

Topic Completed: 1 August 2011

Minor changes: 2 March 2021

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Scleroderma [title] skin

Mowafak Hamodat, M.B.Ch.B., M.Sc.
Page views in 2020: 15,420
Page views in 2021 to date: 3,540
Cite this page: Hamodat M. Scleroderma. website. Accessed March 6th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Either localized (morphea) or systemic (involving skin of face, upper trunk, hands and arms, esophagus, heart and lungs)
  • May have visceral disease without skin disease
  • May be associated with Raynaud phenomenon, Borrelia burgdorferi infection
Clinical features
  • Usually presents on trunk or extremities as one or several indurated plaques with ivory center and violaceous border (the lilac ring)
  • Also lesions confined to breast
  • May have irregular areas of hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation
  • Occasionally more than one type is present
Clinical images

Contributed by Mark R. Wick, M.D.

Breast skin, morphea

Contributed by Michael Inskip, M.B.Ch.B.

Image hosted on other servers:

Dermal sclerosis

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Thickening and hyalinization of connective tissue of deep dermis, subcutaneous fat and muscular fascia, with perivascular and focal interstitial lymphocytic and plasma cell infiltrate in subcutaneous fat
  • Frequent atrophy of adnexal structures, increased fibroblasts, thickening and luminal narrowing of small vessels, blunting of dermal-subcutis interface, diminished elastic tissue
  • Often atrophy of epidermis, mucin deposition
  • Variable dystrophic calcification of blood vessels
  • Control biopsy from adjacent normal skin is helpful
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Mark R. Wick, M.D.

Breast skin, morphea

Contributed by Joel Pinczewski, M.D., Ph.D.
Negative stains
  • Immunoglobulins
Differential diagnosis
Additional references
Back to top
Image 01 Image 02