Early Morphea Mimicking Acquired Port-Wine Stain

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Abstract

We report the case of a 2.5-year-old girl with linear morphea initially diagnosed as an acquired port-wine stain (PWS). She underwent three treatments to the right face using the pulsed dye laser (PDL) before sclerotic changes were observed and the correct diagnosis was confirmed with histopathology. Treatment using the PDL reduced the skin erythema but did not prevent subsequent sclerosis. The sclerosis became most prominent superior to the patient's right ear in an area not treated using the laser. A review of the English-language medical literature identified no cases of morphea triggered using a PDL, but there were several reports of early morphea misdiagnosed as an acquired PWS. Briefly, we review those cases, as well as morphea subtypes, and comment on how the pathophysiology of morphea may lend itself to an early underrecognized inflammatory presentation, delaying diagnosis.

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