Erythema Nodosum (cont.)

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Can erythema nodosum be confused with other conditions?

The nodules of erythema nodosum are sometimes confused with insect bites. Sometimes the inflammation of erythema nodosum is more widespread and can mimic skin infection (cellulitis).

How is erythema nodosum treated?

Erythema nodosum is initially managed by identifying and treating any underlying condition present. Simultaneously, treatment is directed toward the inflamed skin from the erythema nodosum.

Treatments for erythema nodosum include anti-inflammatory drugs, and cortisone by mouth or local injection. Colchicine is sometimes used effectively to reduce inflammation and prevent recurrence. Treatment must be customized for the particular patient and conditions present, such as the existence of any associated diseases. It is important to note that erythema nodosum, while annoying and often painful, does not threaten internal organs and the long-term outlook is generally very good.

REFERENCES:

Koopman, William, et al., eds. Clinical Primer of Rheumatology. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.

Ruddy, Shaun, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders, 2001.


Last Editorial Review: 3/8/2012


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