What is erythema nodosum?
Erythema nodosum is characterized by tender, red bumps, usually found on the shins. Quite often, erythema nodosum is not a separate disease, but, rather, a sign of some other disease, or of a sensitivity to a drug.
Diseases that can cause erythema nodosum:
sarcoidosis (inflammation of the lymph nodes and other organs)
coccidioidomycosis (infection of the upper respiratory tract and lungs)
histoplasmosis (an infectious pulmonary disease)
psittacosis (a flu-like disease)
Lymphogranuloma venereum (a venereal infection)
Drugs that can cause erythema nodosum:
Antibiotics containing sulfa
What are the symptoms of erythema nodosum?
The following are the most common symptoms of erythema nodosum. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Raised bruises on the shins
Enlarged lymph nodes in the chest
Young adults are particularly susceptible to erythema nodosum. The symptoms of erythema nodosum may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
How is erythema nodosum diagnosed?
A biopsy (removal of tissue for examination under a microscope) of a bump can usually confirm the diagnosis. However, the exact cause cannot always be identified. Drug-induced erythema nodosum can usually be diagnosed by careful elimination of the drug causing the reaction.
Treatment for erythema nodosum:
Specific treatment for erythema nodosum will be determined by your physician based on:
Your age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the condition
Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the condition
Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
Treatment of underlying cause
Bed rest (to relieve pain)