Patient Comments: Erythema Nodosum - Experience

Please describe your experience with erythema nodosum.

Comment from: ND21, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

A few weeks before Christmas 2015 I started to get lumps on my shins. It began with one huge bump on my left shin. It felt like a bruise so I assumed I had hit my leg pretty badly, but I didn't remember. I started to get more little lumps, red, itchy and so I thought maybe it was hives! They were so painful! Just to wear pants/skinny jeans/pajama bottoms hurt! I went to the doctor who knew what it was straight away and assumed it was from the pill! She prescribed me melfen which I took for 9 days and nothing happened! I kept getting more and more lumps, the pain got worse and I could barely walk! So I went to a different doctor who again, knew straight away that it was erythema nodosum, but he seemed very confused as to why the melfen hadn't worked! He told me to get my blood tests done and get a chest x-ray. He seemed very worried about whether I had a sore throat or cough or even if I smoked (I don't). He then prescribed Naprosyn which did the trick for about 5 days. But then I started to get new fresh red lumps! I currently have erythema nodosum still after 7 weeks! I am now on my week break from the pill (Logynon) but I don't think I'll be going back on it! I also looked up erythema nodosum and apparently these lumps can grow on your lungs (which would explain the x-ray).

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Comment from: Lauren S., 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

I have not been formally diagnosed with erythema nodosum (EN), but after having a third identical flare up in the past 5 years, I suspect this is the culprit. The first time, I thought it was a severe reaction to mosquito bites. However, I live in Texas and get bitten every summer by mosquitos and am usually fine, just itchy. The second time it happened was about a year later and I went to two different doctors who had no idea what it was and just called it cellulitis. I'm currently experiencing my third flare up. It started in one spot and felt like a swollen bruise under the skin on my thigh/quadriceps muscles. Over the next few days more tender spots started cropping up on my calves, shins, and other thigh. Luckily I haven't experienced the extreme swelling and redness that others here have mentioned, but it's still painful and my legs feel achy; like I've been through a strenuous workout. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and am going to mention erythema nodosum to see if they can properly identify it or any underlying factors that may be causing it. I am trying not to worry myself too much and keep reminding myself that this has happened before and it went away on its own. However, when you read some of the underlying causes are sarcoidosis and other such diseases it can definitely get the worried thoughts going!

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Comment from: judomom, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 02

I was first diagnosed with erythema nodosum (EN) in March 2014 after visiting the Yucatan peninsula. I first thought it was bug bites from the Mayan ruins. After many months of tests and visits to different specialists I received the diagnosis of EN without any underlying cause. The original outbreak of red itchy bumps over my entire body has decreased and now it is limited to my lower left leg. No solution was given to me by the many specialists I visited. However, I have found relief from my chiropractor using the same low lever laser therapy used to reduce my aches related to arthritis. I still get flare ups but the weekly light therapy has reduced the bumps and there is no need for medication with all the side effects.

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Comment from: JC, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I am 54 years old and have ulcerative colitis (UC). I had a pretty bad flare with my ulcerative colitis that went on for a couple of months. I started feeling like I had the flu and the next day a big red bump appeared on my ankle and over the weekend several more popped up. They are very painful and swollen. I went to my doctor and luckily she diagnosed me correctly with erythema nodosum. I also went to the dermatologist and they confirmed. I had flu symptoms and extreme pain for about 10 days and finally started prednisone and potassium iodide. I also got Vicodin for the pain so I could at least walk. I'm currently at week 8 and a lot of the bruising is gone, but both ankles still hurt and continue to swell. They think this was brought on by my UC and the flare I was having. I have had UC for 10 years and never gotten this stuff and I wouldn't wish it on anybody. The pain is horrible and it totally interrupts your life.

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