Erythema Nodosum - Treatments

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How is erythema nodosum treated?

Erythema nodosum is initially managed by identifying and treating any underlying condition present. Simultaneously, treatment is directed toward the inflamed skin from the erythema nodosum.

Treatments for erythema nodosum include anti-inflammatory drugs, and cortisone by mouth or local injection. Colchicine is sometimes used effectively to reduce inflammation and prevent recurrence. Treatment must be customized for the particular patient and conditions present, such as the existence of any associated diseases. It is important to note that erythema nodosum, while annoying and often painful, does not threaten internal organs and the long-term outlook is generally very good.

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Comment from: SassyLady, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

In August of 1980 at age 17 I started getting red spots on my lower legs that my mom thought were insect bites. They got larger and multiplied daily until they extended to the top of my thighs. My legs and feet swelled and hurt so much I couldn't walk. I hurt all over and they started looking black. This occurred over about 10 days. Finally, my mother took me to our doctor. I was hospitalized immediately and told I had erythema nodosum. I was put on massive doses of cortisone, prednisone, and antibiotics for strep throat. I had strep four times that spring and summer. I was put on Z-Bec vitamins twice a day. They also rubbed cortisone cream thoroughly into my skin twice daily, wrapped me in Saran-type wrap up to my bottom, and then wrapped me in ace bandages. I also had IV fluids for two weeks. Finally, I started improving and was and able to return home. I remained on cortisone cream and prednisone for months. I took the Z-Bec vitamins twice daily indefinitely. I was instructed to be very sedentary and return immediately if new spots came up. After 6 months, I was well and haven't had any new outbreaks. I still take Z-Bec vitamins as an immunity booster.

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Comment from: icepack, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I haven"t been officially diagnosed with erythema nodosum (EN) but I am sure I have some form of it. I"ve had it for probably 20 years. I finally found employment with health insurance so I was able to seek medical help of a specialist. It"s been very painful, immobilizing, and draining. For a year my doctor has treated it with acyclovir and valacyclovir, because I had a herpes outbreak once. It has helped as far as the time in between episodes. But I still get them, the bumps/ nodules; very sick with them. My last episode, I was out 2 weeks from work. I fear I will lose my job. I was sent to an arthritis specialist who put me on Colcrys. It is used to treat gout. He told me it might decrease the times in between episodes working with white blood cells. I am just starting this. Otherwise I have always been put on cephalexin 500mg 3 daily, Advil and pain pills and elevate and ice packs. I just want my life back. Doctors do not realize the extent of pain, nor do employers.

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