[Updated: March 21, 2020]
Important Information Related to COVID-19 and Juvenile Scleroderma
For patients with juvenile localized scleroderma, also termed morphea, linear scleroderma, en coup de sabre, Parry Romberg syndrome, pansclerotic morphea, or generalized morphea:
If you are on systemic medication to treat your condition, like Methotrexate or Cellcept (Mycophenolate Mofetil), the pediatric rheumatology community would urge you to continue your standard therapy as to avoid a flare of the disease if stopping therapy if not planned.
At this time we do not recommend that you have to socially isolate yourself due to the fact you are on these medications. Most children on these medications have a normal white blood cell count and immune capacity to fight infection. If you/your parent feels more strongly about staying home from school if you still have active classrooms, then it would be reasonable to call your rheumatologist’s office and discuss about a letter.
If you have fever, cough and viral symptoms while on your standard medications, then that would be the time to call your pediatric rheumatologist and consider holding the medications as well as the general COVID-19 guidelines that are in place in your area regarding viral symptoms.
The common medication we are concerned about a little more would be corticosteroids, this is prednisone, prednisolone, and methylprednisolone. If you are taking this medication, we would recommend you contact your pediatric rheumatologist to see if the dose should be adjusted (decreased).
Regardless of the current medications everyone should be practicing social distancing, hand washing, etc. that has been recommended. This is how we can stop the spread.
The Pediatric Rheumatology European Society (PRES) developed pediatric rheumatology specific recommendations, that we here in North America agree and apply across all of our diseases, such as localized scleroderma/morphea, systemic sclerosis, juvenile arthritis, juvenile lupus, juvenile dermatomyositis etc.”
Information provided by Scleroderma Foundation Medical & Scientific Advisory Board member:
Kathryn Torok, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Rheumatology
UPMC & University of Pittsburgh Scleroderma Center
University of Pittsburgh |UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh