Discordance of pediatric morphea treatment by pediatric dermatologists

Megha M. Tollefson, Yvonne E. Chiu, Heather A. Brandling-Bennett, Elena Pope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background/Objectives: Studies describing treatment efficacy in pediatric morphea are lacking. Subspecialists have reached no consensus on how to optimally treat pediatric morphea. The objective of the current study was to describe the most common treatment practices of pediatric dermatologists worldwide who care for children with morphea. Methods: A survey regarding topical treatment practices of pediatric morphea, with representative case-based scenarios, was distributed to pediatric dermatologists and results were tallied. Results: The survey response rate was 13.4%, with 110 respondents in the final analysis. The majority of respondents agreed on red violaceous rim (99%), increased local warmth (75%), raised borders (69%), and dermal thickening (64%) as signs of disease activity. Respondents had less agreement on sclerotic lesions (41%), scaling (43%), dyspigmentation (19%), and atrophy (13%) as signs of disease activity. Ninety-two percent of respondents used primary therapy or monotherapy with topical medications, including 45% in linear morphea of the limbs and 37% in linear morphea of the head or neck. High-potency topical corticosteroids were most commonly used (80%), although respondents did not agree on specific regimens. Sixteen different treatment regimens were selected as first-line therapy for one case scenario of active disease. Conclusion: The survey found large variation in how pediatric dermatologists treat pediatric morphea. Consensus treatment guidelines developed by pediatric dermatologists and pediatric rheumatologists are urgently needed regarding the efficacy of therapies for pediatric morphea. Prospective studies of treatment efficacy in pediatric morphea are urgently needed as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • morphea
  • pediatric dermatologist
  • scleroderma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Dermatology


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