Erythema Nodosum - Experience

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What is erythema nodosum?

Erythema nodosum is a type of skin inflammation that is located in a certain portion of the fatty layer of skin. Erythema nodosum (also called EN) results in reddish, painful, tender lumps most commonly located in the front of the legs below the knees. The tender lumps, or nodules, of erythema nodosum range in size from one to five centimeters. The nodular swelling is caused by a special pattern of inflammation in the fatty layer of skin.

Erythema nodosum can be self-limited and resolve on its own in three to six weeks. Upon resolution, it may leave only a temporary bruised appearance or leave a chronic indentation in the skin where the fatty layer has been injured.

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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: 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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