How is juvenile localized scleroderma treated?

Treatment of juvenile localized scleroderma depends on how severe the disease is. The goal of treatment is to stop the inflammation, keep the disease from getting worse and reduce the formation of fibrous tissue. The available treatments have very little effect on the fibrous (scar) tissue once it is formed. The fibrous tissue is the end stage of the inflammation. Once the inflammation has gone, the body is capable of reabsorbing some of the fibrous tissue and the skin can soften again.

Treatment usually lasts 2-3 years and includes some combination of the following options:

  • Corticosteroids: topical cream, oral or intravenous drugs.
  • Topical cream: calcipotriene (Dovonex®), tacrolimus (Protopic®, Prograf®), pimecrolimus (Elidel®), and imiquimod (Aldara®, Zyclara®)
  • Immunomodulating agents: methotrexate (Otrexup®, Rasuvo®), mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept®, Myfortic®)
  • Skin creams containing lanolin to help relieve dryness and itching
  • Phototherapy using ultraviolet (UVV/UVB) rays to help soften plaques. This must be done carefully, as it can prematurely age the skin or lead to skin cancer.
  • Physical therapy and massage to improve muscle strength and maintain joint mobility

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/18/2019.


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