The skin surface of scleroderma skin becomes glossy as a result of epidermal atrophy. In this study, the skin relief was studied in 12 patients with localized scleroderma (morphea). Measurements by a stylus method showed smoothening of the skin in all plaques studied (p < 0.01). Ultrasound measurement showed increased skin thickness (p < 0.01). There was no correlation between smoothening of the skin surface and increase in skin thickness, and no correlation to the duration of the plaques. It is concluded that glossy appearance of plaques of scleroderma is an early sign, which may be useful in the clinical diagnosis of scleroderma.

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