Erythema Nodosum - Symptoms

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What are the signs and symptoms of erythema nodosum?

Characteristic features of erythema nodosum included raised, tender, reddish nodules, most commonly below the knees in the front of the legs. They are typically painful and can slowly come and go.

There are several scenarios for the outcome of erythema nodosum. Typically, these areas of nodular tenderness range in size from about a dime to a quarter and they may be tender and inflamed off and on for a period of weeks. They usually then resolve spontaneously, each one of the little areas of inflammation shrinking down and then becoming flat rather than raised and inflamed. They leave a bruised appearance. Then, they resolve completely on their own. Other lesions can sometimes pop up elsewhere. This may occur for periods of weeks to months, and then they eventually go away. However, chronic erythema nodosum that may last for years is another pattern. Chronic erythema nodosum, with intermittent recurrences, can occur with or without an underlying disease present.

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Comment from: Rebecca, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

The red bumps that go along with erythema nodosum feel like a bad bruise. They change, starting out small and pink, sometimes growing large, then become intensely red and extremely sore. When it is at its worst, it feels like someone hit you with a baseball bat. It even hurts to walk. It's almost like your skin is so tight, the flexing motion of walking stretches the skin over the bumps and doesn't "fit" correctly. Eventually, the bumps get better, the color changes begin, and they sometimes even go away. One time, I tried a mineral supplement and it helped, but the next time I got them, it didn't work. Allergy medicine seems to help a little. Doctors don't have a clue and just seem interested in doing more tests and prescribing steroids to "see what will happen," which is nothing, except cause you to gain weight.

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Comment from: Aretired RN, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: February 11

The redness appeared first on the inside of my right ankle and the pain which was burning and also like a hundred little needles jabbing my skin, traveled up the inside of my leg. The lesion looked very much like erythema nodosum which I had developed about 10 years ago. I believe it was a response to my long term use of Nexium. I stopped that but the leg began to swell and became more and more unsightly in appearance and also very painful. Doctors have not agreed but topical steroids have helped and the swelling and pain are about gone.

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