Erythema nodosum: Introduction
Erythema nodosum is an uncomfortable, rash-like condition that occurs in conjunction with a variety of diseases and infectious processes or with a sensitivity to certain drugs.
Erythema nodosum looks like red nodules under the skin that typically form on the shins. Theses nodules are painful and change over time and may be accompanied by fever, malaise, and other symptoms. For more details on symptoms, refer to symptoms of erythema nodosum.
There are generally no serious complications with erythema nodosum, but it often occurs with serious diseases or conditions, such as streptococcus infection, hepatitis B, mononucleosis, tuberculosis, leukemia, rheumatic fever, and ulcerative colitis. It may also be associated with a sensitivity to some medications, such as aspirin, iodides, oral contraceptives, penicillin, and sulphonamides. It occurs most often to young adults in their late teens to early 30s.
Making a diagnosis of erythema nodosum begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and performing physical examination. Diagnosis is usually made based on the look of the skin nodules. A biopsy may be performed to examine a sample of the nodule under a microscope to check for typical characteristics of erythema nodosum. Tests will also be performed to diagnose any underlying disease or condition.
It is possible that a diagnosis of erythema nodosum can be missed or delayed because symptoms may be attributed to other rashes or conditions with similar symptoms. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of erythema nodosum.
The treatment for erythema nodosum involves a multifaceted approach. Treatment plans vary depending on the severity of the symptoms and an individual's medical history, but generally includes medications and rest. Treatment also involves addressing any underlying diseases or conditions, such as streptococcus infection or hepatitis B. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of erythema nodosum. ...more »
Erythema nodosum: Allergic skin condition usually on the legs.
More detailed information about the symptoms,
causes, and treatments of Erythema nodosum is available below.
Erythema nodosum: Symptoms
The types and severity of symptoms of erythema nodosum vary between individuals depending on a variety of factors. These include age, general health, medical history, and the type of underlying disease that is present.
Erythema nodosum generally begins as painful, red nodules on the shins. These lesions are not open, ulcerated, or draining but can feel warm to the touch. After ...more symptoms »
Erythema nodosum: Treatments
The goal of treatment of erythema nodosum is to relieve the pain and discomfort of the skin nodules until they resolve, generally within a couple of weeks.
Treatment generally includes medications to control pain and inflammation, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Potassium iodide may help to heal the nodules. Corticosteroids may ...more treatments »
Erythema nodosum: Misdiagnosis
A diagnosis of erythema nodosum may be delayed or missed because some symptoms, such as skin nodules, fever, malaise, and joint pain and swelling can attributed to other conditions. These include rheumatoid arthritis, influenza, or other skin rashes. It is important to seek prompt medical care if you experience any symptoms of erythema nodosum because serious diseases ...more misdiagnosis »
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Definitions of Erythema nodosum:
An erythematous eruption commonly associated with drug reactions or infection and characterized by inflammatory nodules that are usually tender, multiple, and bilateral. These nodules are located predominantly on the shins with less common occurrence on the thighs and forearms. They undergo characteristic color changes ending in temporary bruise-like areas. This condition usually subsides in 3-6 weeks without scarring or atrophy.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
Skin condition characterized by tender red nodules on the shins and legs
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)
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