Patient Comments: Erythema Nodosum - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with your erythema nodosum?

Comment from: Looking for a answer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 14

I was at work and noticed that I had small red itchy bumps on the lower parts of both of my legs and ankles. One of my co-workers thought that I had been bitten by fleas or ants. Then I noticed a small tender area on my right leg and I didn't recall bumping it. The next morning it was hurting and very hot like a fever. I went to the doctor and they said that I had cellulitis but they were confused as to what the bumps were. I went to 3 more appointments before they figured out that it was erythema nodosum. I've never heard of this before and it's very painful. I am still experiencing pain and swelling in my ankles, which makes it too hard for me to even walk around the house. I'm also a lupus patient and I'm taking steroids along with more antibiotics for the infection. I've been out of work because of this and I just am looking for answers.

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Comment from: Zweifel78, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 09

I first came down with a bad case of strep. By the end I had gone to the urgent care, hospital and had 3 rounds of antibiotics, plus a few steroid shots to get rid of it. It was awful. Several weeks later I got a large swollen bump on the knuckle of my right hand. The urgent care said spider bite even though I disagreed. My whole body ached and I was having trouble moving and walking. I even went to a chiropractor with no luck. Then the nodules started showing up on my legs. My doctors were stumped at first, but finally diagnosed me with erythema nodosum and referred me to a rheumatologist. The first specialist I saw gave me prednisone for the symptoms and was kind of done with me. Months later I got strep again. I went to the doctor immediately to start on antibiotics. They prescribed the Z-Pak as they usually do (I'm allergic to penicillin). That didn't work and I was back in there within 2 days. When I have gotten strep these past 2 times, it takes me down for a week. I mean, can't get out of bed and I need help going to the restroom. And it takes 2 to 3 rounds of antibiotics to cure it. I have had strep before, pretty often as a child actually. Never like this though. And then a few weeks later, the nodules and joint pain started back up. I am back on prednisone and seeing a different rheumatologist. This one has prescribed 2 weeks of levofloxacin (500 mg) and 3 weeks of prednisone. She said the strep virus may still be hiding somewhere. She also said that my body is, in essence, now allergic to strep and this will happen every time I get it. Crazy!

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Comment from: DEM867, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 18

I was diagnosed with erythema nodosum (EN) in the summer of 2011. It started in July with feeling feverish everyday around midday. Shortly after the first symptom a red bump appeared and I thought it was an insect bite, however it got harder and bigger. Other nodules soon began to appear all on the lower half of my legs, also under my big toenails, which looked like a blood clot. By mid-August my legs were getting stiffer and stiffer, along with the bottom of my feet. My menstrual cycle changed from red to all brown and since Sept 2011, has remained at 2 days. The doctor subscribed prednisone and said that it would run its course. The stiffness in my legs quickly went away. It took about 6 months for things to return to normal, especially the color of my menstrual cycle. All tests came back negative, except a vaginal bacterial infection, so I often wonder if that was the cause or it was the antibiotics that was initially prescribed to me in July by the first doctor who did not properly diagnose the illness.

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Comment from: mzprissy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 19

For me the erythema nodosum started out as a small red dot as if it was a mosquito bite. Then after a couple of days it was larger and red and very painful to the touch. I would sit in the sun to have the sun calm down the itching and pain. My legs would swell up so much that after a few days I could peel the skin off the red blotches. Then my legs would be normal again.

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Comment from: Jocie, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 05

I have had erythema nodosum (EN) since I was 13. I was treated for tonsillitis but it was not, I had a bad case of strep throat. One year after I started with these sore red inflamed lumps on my lower legs, some the size of grapefruits. A whole bunch of tests were done. No one knew for sure. Then finally when I was in my 30s I went to see an internist and had a biopsy done. It came back as EN. He told me that it is chronic and I'll have it for the rest of my life and might get worse as I age. Now I get this flare up every 2 to 3 years. There's really no treatment just ride the wave, rest and take Aleve; in high doses.

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Erythema Nodosum - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with erythema nodosum.
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