7th April 19:48
scleroderma and Lyme disease (eosinophilic fasciitis)
The following is of interest because syphilis was treated with quicksilver and
arsenic before the discovery of antibiotics.
from: Harvard Health Letter May 1994
by Peta Gillyatt
"In June 1752 a 17-year-old girl was admitted to the Royal Hospital in
Naples. Her skin hardened and tightened all over her body and she could barely
open her mouth or bend her neck. Her physician, Carlo Curzio, prescribed warm
milk, vapor baths, bleedings from the foot, and small doses of quicksilver.
After 11 months of treatment, her skin softened and her flexibility returned.
In 1753 Dr. Curzio published a detailed account of her illness, which is
thought to be one of the first descriptions of the disease now called
There are many journal articles that
refer to Sclerodermatous Lesions and
in late Lyme disease.
lesions were first reported in association
with acrodermatitis chronic atrophicans"
[another term for skin manifestations of late Lyme disease]
'in the 1930's (13). The best described
lesions are those that are both clinically
identical to morphea [localized scleroderma].
Even morphea lesions that occur in
patients without a history of Borrelia
lymphocytoma or acrodermatitis chronica
atrophicans may be of spirochetal origin......."
Breakthrough Study Shows Antibiotics Reverse Effects of Deadly Scleroderma
CAUTION -- ADVANCE FOR RELEASE AT 12:00 NOON EDT FRIDAY, MAY 8/
ADVANCE/ COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A just-released Harvard study
shows that a treatment already proven safe and effective for rheumatoid
arthritis is equally effective for treating scleroderma. Long considered
incurable, scleroderma has no generally accepted successful treatment. Speaking
in Boston at the 6th Biennial Congress of the International Society for
Rheumatic Therapies, David E. Trentham, M.D., principal investigator of the
study, announced that minocycline had dramatic effects on 11 patients with
early but severe disease. In just one year, 82% of participants improved
significantly, with 66% of those who completed the study in complete remission
-- free of all disease activity.
"We suspected the study would result in remissions," explained Dr. Trentham.
"We did not expect the complete reversal of symptoms observed in these
patients. These results are highly, highly significant."
In 50% of cases, Scleroderma is fatal within ten years. No prior treatments
have proven successful and for patients with systemic scleroderma there is no
known cure. Typically, patients suffer a slow, painful death as the disease
destroys lungs, kidneys, heart and liver. The disease also thickens the skin
and disfigures facial features and body parts. As a result of the study,
sponsored jointly by The Road Back Foundation and The National Institutes of
Health, a new treatment now offers hope to patients who have previously had
Released concurrently with the Harvard study, a new book by Henry Scammell,
"Scleroderma: The Proven Therapy That Can Save Your Life," is published by M.
Evans & Co., Inc. New York.
Having provided information to thousands of people worldwide, The Road Back
Foundation offers educational materials, protocol for medical professionals and
support to patients. Information is available by calling 740-881-5601 or by
writing The Road Back Foundation, 4985 North Lake Hill Rd., Delaware, OH
43015-9249. Information is also available via the World Wide Web at
from: Annals of Internal Medicine--Vol. 114--Number 6--March 15, 1991 pg.
title: Diagnosis of Lyme Disease Based on Dermatologic Manifestations
authors: Malane, MD, et al
".......Morphea (Localized Scleroderma) and Other Scleradermatous Lesions
"Various types of sclerotic lesions, which are characterized by a thickened
dermis, develope in about 10% of... patients with acrodermatitis chronica
atrophicans and Borrelia lymphocytoma........Sclerodermatous lesions were first
reported in association with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans in the 1930's.
The best described of these lesions are those that are both clinically and
pathologically identical to morphea (localized scleroderma). Even Morphea
lesions that occur in patients without
a history of Borrelia lymphocytoma or acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans may
be of spirochetal origin;..........
"Plaque-type morphea" ( from Mosby's Medical, Nursing and Allied Health
Morphea--localized scleroderma consisting of patches of yellowish or
ivory-colored, rigid, dry, smooth skin. It is more common in females. Also
called Addison's keloid, cir***scribed scleroderma localized scleroderma.)
"manifests as a well-demarcated, indurated, round or
oval plaque with two stages. It begins as an edematous, erythematous lesion
that may have a violaceous or lilac tinged border. As the lesion ages, it
becomes a sclerotic plaque with a smooth and shiny surface that is white or
yellow in the center. The lesions can expand in size and are found on the
trunk or extremities. Although they are often painless, they have been
associated with dysesthesias, hypoesthesias, and hyperesthesias. Biopsy
specimens taken from the early lesion, especially from the violaceous border,
show a mixed superficial and deep perivascular lymphohistiocytic infiltrate
with plasma cells and occasional eosinophils. The dermis is thickened with
sclerosis and hylanization of collagen bundles. As the lesion ages, the dermis
becomes more sclerotic, and the inflammatory infiltrate begins to disappear.
Morphea may resolve spontaneously after months to years, leaving pigmentary or
atrophic changes, or both. Data about treatment are inconsistent. Early
lesions and lesions associated with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans have
responded to antibiotics, and some late lesions have STOPPED PROGRESSING when
"The diagnosis of Lyme disease is based on recognizing the characteristic
clinical presentations. Serologic testing is an adjunct to clinical diagnosis.
Primary and secondary erythema migrans, Borrelia lymphocytoma, and
acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans are characteristic dermatologic lesions
that establish the diagnosis of Lyme diseasse. Less specific cutaneous
manifestations of Lyme disease include benign lymphocytic infiltration,
morphea, lichen sclerosis et atrophicus, eosinophilic fasciitis, and
progressive facial hemiatrophy................Recognizing and treating the
cutaneous manifestations of Lyme disease is INVALUABLE for preventing
progression of this multisystem infection."