Learn About Erythema Nodosum

What is the definition of Erythema Nodosum?

Erythema nodosum is an inflammatory disorder. It involves tender, red bumps (nodules) under the skin.

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What are the causes of Erythema Nodosum?

In about half of cases, the exact cause of erythema nodosum is unknown. The remaining cases are associated with an infection or other systemic disorder.

Some of the more common infections associated with the disorder are:

  • Streptococcus (most common)
  • Cat scratch disease
  • Chlamydia
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Mononucleosis (EBV)
  • Mycobacteria
  • Mycoplasma
  • Psittacosis
  • Syphilis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Tularemia
  • Yersinia

Erythema nodosum may occur with sensitivity to certain medicines, including:

  • Antibiotics, including amoxicillin and other penicillins
  • Sulfonamides
  • Sulfones
  • Birth control pills
  • Progestin

Sometimes, erythema nodosum may occur during pregnancy.

Other disorders linked to this condition include leukemia, lymphoma, sarcoidosis, rheumatic fever, Behcet disease, and ulcerative colitis.

The condition is more common in women than it is in men.

What are the symptoms of Erythema Nodosum?

Erythema nodosum is most common on the front of the shins. It may also occur on other areas of the body such as buttocks, calves, ankles, thighs, and arms.

The lesions begin as flat, firm, hot, red, painful lumps that are about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) across. Within a few days, they may become purplish in color. Over several weeks, the lumps fade to a brownish, flat patch.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • General ill feeling (malaise)
  • Joint aches
  • Skin redness, inflammation, or irritation
  • Swelling of the leg or other affected area
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What are the current treatments for Erythema Nodosum?

The underlying infection, drug, or disease should be identified and treated.

Treatment may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Stronger anti-inflammatory medicines called corticosteroids, taken by mouth or given as a shot.
  • Potassium iodide (SSKI) solution, most often given as drops added to orange juice.
  • Other oral medicines that work on the body's immune system.
  • Pain medicines (analgesics).
  • Rest.
  • Raising the sore area (elevation).
  • Hot or cold compresses to help reduce discomfort.
Who are the top Erythema Nodosum Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
7
conditions

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

London, ENG, GB 

Stephen Walker is in London, United Kingdom. Walker is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Erythema Nodosum. He is also highly rated in 7 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Erythema Nodosum, Leprosy, Scabies, and Leishmaniasis.

Elite
Highly rated in
26
conditions
Gastroenterology

Atrium Health

Carolina Digestive Health Assoc. (Charlotte)

300 Billingsley Rd 
Charlotte, NC 28211

Tarun Narang is a Gastroenterologist in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Narang has been practicing medicine for over 23 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Erythema Nodosum. He is also highly rated in 26 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Erythema Nodosum, Bile Duct Obstruction, Bile Duct Stricture, and Cholestasis. He is licensed to treat patients in New York and North Carolina. Dr. Narang is currently accepting new patients.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
4
conditions

Institute Of Tropical Medicine

NL 

Diana Lockwood is in Netherlands. Lockwood is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Erythema Nodosum. She is also highly rated in 4 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Leprosy, Erythema Nodosum, Leishmaniasis, and Peripheral Neuropathy.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Erythema Nodosum?

Erythema nodosum is uncomfortable, but not dangerous in most cases.

Symptoms most often go away within about 6 weeks, but may return.

When should I contact a medical professional for Erythema Nodosum?

Contact your provider if you develop symptoms of erythema nodosum.

Erythema nodosum associated with sarcoidosis
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What are the latest Erythema Nodosum Clinical Trials?
A Single Center, Open Label Pilot Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of CC-11050 in Nepalese Patients With Erythema Nodosum Leprosum
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What are the Latest Advances for Erythema Nodosum?
Efficacy of cytapheresis for induction therapy and extra-intestinal skin manifestations of ulcerative colitis.
Skin toxicity after Filgrastim treatment for an Ewing's sarcoma patient.
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Erythema nodosum leprosum (type 2 reaction) in a patient with neurofibromatosis type 1.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : August 14, 2021
Published By : Elika Hoss, MD, Senior Associate Consultant, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Forrestel A, Rosenbach M. Erythema nodosum. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson IH, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 75.

Gehris RP. Dermatology. In: Zitelli BJ, McIntire SC, Nowalk AJ, eds. Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Diagnosis. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 8.

James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA. Diseases of the subcutaneous fat. In: James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 23.

Korsten P, Sweiss NJ, Baughman RP. Sarcoidosis. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Gabriel SE, Koretzky GA, McInnes IB, O'Dell JR, eds. Firestein & Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 124.

Zamore R, Bewtra M, Ogdie A. Inflammatory bowel disease-associated arthritis and other enteropathic arthropathies. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Gabriel SE, Koretzky GA, McInnes IB, O'Dell JR, eds. Firestein & Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 83.