Patient Comments: Erythema Nodosum - Experience

Please describe your experience with erythema nodosum.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

My erythema nodosum (EN) started with my first pregnancy. I thought I had blood clots and soon found out that the hot, red lumps on my legs were not clots. They disappeared after a few weeks. I had a few occurrences during all three pregnancies as well as with my periods. The doctor felt that they were aggravated by hormones. I was put on prednisone, and eventually, they disappeared. Since my first outbreak about eight years ago, I have had many. Usually they occur about every three to five weeks. They typically can be felt like a bruise even before the lump or redness comes. Eventually the lumps come on my hips, buttocks, legs, arms, and occasionally my stomach. I had one large lump that appeared on my neck below my ear. It did not respond to the prednisone and seemed to migrate over the course of about six months. I had day-surgery to remove it from my lymph node to discover that it was not cancerous. I wish I had more answers.

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Comment from: drk93940, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 05

I had erythema nodosum develop on both ankles in July of 2008. I visited a rheumatologist for confirmation of the diagnosis. My sed rate was only 2. The bumps disappeared after about three months, but I feel residual burning and pain in my feet. Sometimes it is so bad I cannot walk. Pain is relieved by using ice packs on my ankle or a Flector anti-inflammatory patch every 12 hours.

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Comment from: DS - Infant Mother, 0-2 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 05

Our 14-month-old son has been sick for three weeks. It started with pink eye and ear infections, followed by diarrhea, which has now lasted more than two weeks. Then about a week ago, he got red bumps all over the insides of his legs and they began moving to the top and back of his legs. I have read that erythema nodosum (EN) can be related to severe (longer than two weeks) of diarrhea, which is what he has. His pediatrician said he has a stomach virus that has caused the diarrhea as well as the EN. We just have to let it go away on its own. It's been two weeks of nightly "blowouts," daily laundering of crib coverings and clothes, frequent daily baths, and lots of painful red bumps on his legs that are now turning from red to purple.

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Comment from: lorelai, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 12

This past November, I developed high fevers and ulcers in my throat. All strep tests were negative. Exactly one week after this, my right leg developed red, painful welts that spread rapidly to my other leg, arms, and hands. My doctor diagnosed erythema nodosum and started me on indomethacin (an NSAID). Two weeks later, my legs were so bad I could not walk or have anything touch them. I could not wear socks or shoes. My doctor switched me to potassium iodide solution, and in two days, the swelling and pain started to go away. It has been two weeks, and the swelling is gone. I still have a little pain in the original spots, but it is getting better. I really hope this doesn't come back, as it is the most physically painful experience I have ever had.

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Comment from: AndysGirl, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 12

Three years ago, I noticed what I thought was a spider bite on my shin. It was hot, dry, and painful. Not long after, I slipped on my basement stairs and broke a toe, and I forgot all about the sore. The “bite” kept getting worse and worse, and my doctor could not figure out what was going on. I developed severe cellulitis, and my lower left leg and foot swelled up hideously. I was on crutches for three weeks, and every time I put my leg below the level of my hips, the blood rushing to it would cause me immense pain. When I visited my mother-in-law's doctor, he took one glance at it and said "Erythema nodosum! Here's what you need ..." I got a prescription for steroids and antibiotics, and within two weeks, I was nearly back to normal.

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Comment from: eddieg, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 12

I am a 36-year-old male. About two weeks ago, I had to be taken to the emergency room because my ankles were swollen so badly. The pain was so bad that I went into the ER. It was there the ER doctors told me that I had erythema nodosum. It has been three weeks since then and my ankles are so swollen that I can barely get my shoes on. The only thing that seems to help is lying down and ibuprofen. I have several red bumps on both legs, and I keep getting new painful bumps still after three weeks. My doctor states that this should go away on its own. I can barely even walk because of the pain.

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