Table of Contents
Definition of Erythema Nodosum
Erythema Nodosum – The eruption of red nodules along the top surfaces of the lower legs (shins). Erythema nodosum is nearly always a symptom of an underlying condition, often a streptococcal infection, and represents inflammation of the fatty tissue at the foundation of the skin.
Other symptoms include fever, pain and swelling in the joints, and generalized discomfort and malaise. Erythema nodosum occurs most commonly in young adults between the ages of 18 and 30.
Symptoms and Treatment
The initial eruption of nodules may clear in six to eight weeks, though outbreaks tend to recur over months to years. Over the course of healing the nodules change color from their original bright red to bluish red and ultimately yellow, resembling bruises, before fading completely.
Treatment targets the underlying cause and may include antibiotic medications when there is infection or anti-inflammatory agents such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to relieve swelling, pain, and fever.
Conditions Associated With Erythema Nodosum
|CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH ERYTHEMA NODOSUM|
|strep throat||rheumatic fever||scarlet fever|
|Hodgkin’s lymphoma||Hansen’s disease||bacterial infection|
|fungal infection||adverse reaction to sulfonamides||pregnancy|
|Adverse reaction to sulfonylureas||oral contraceptives||histoplasmosis|
|inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)||non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma||sarcoidosis|
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