What is hyperaemia vs. erythema?
Hyperaemia is a broad medical term that describes the movement of blood into a tissue. The increased amount of blood causes swelling or congestion. Hyperaemia can have a variety of causes and reactions.
Erythema is sometimes a symptom of hyperaemia, characterized by redness, swelling, and other less visible reactions. Erythema’s causes can range from massages to allergic reactions to medications. Symptoms of erythema can be short-lived or long-lasting.
What are symptoms and signs of hyperaemia vs. erythema?
Symptoms of hyperaemia
Hyperaemia can occur both internally and externally. Hyperaemia is a physiological response, meaning it is a symptom itself. Usually, hyperaemia is a byproduct of a more extensive medical condition.
Some symptoms of hyperaemia include:
- Redness in the whites of the eyes
- Inflammation of the skin (red marks, red rings, or any form of redness)
- Eye congestion
- Symptoms related to heart failure
- Internal heat
- Red bumps
- Blood clots
Symptoms of erythema
All the symptoms of hyperaemia can also be symptoms of erythema. However, there are some telltale signs that are specific to erythema.
For example, rashes and skin redness caused by erythema will disappear when you apply pressure. Other types of rashes caused by hyperaemia remain red when pressure is applied.
Some common symptoms of erythema include:
What are causes of hyperaemia vs. erythema?
Hyperaemia has many causes. Some are minor, like sunburns, while others are more complicated, like heart failure. There are two different types of hyperaemia: active hyperaemia and passive hyperaemia.
Active hyperaemia occurs when an increase of blood rushes to functional tissue. Erythema is a type of active hyperaemia. Some causes of active hyperaemia are:
- Hot weather
- Blockage of part of the body’s tissue
- Allergic reactions
Passive hyperaemia occurs when blood flow in one part of the body is restricted. In these cases, the excess blood leads to hyperaemia. Examples of passive hyperaemia are:
Allergic reactions or sensitivities cause erythema multiforme. Erythema multiforme is always a sign of a broader health issue, never a diagnosis. Some of the allergies or infections that cause erythema multiforme are:
- Herpes simplex
- Certain types of barbiturates
- Skin infections
How to diagnose hyperaemia vs. erythema
Hyperaemia and erythema are closely related, and both conditions are a symptom of an underlying problem. Their treatment will therefore target the cause.
In some cases, it will be clear whether you have erythema or another kind of hyperaemia. In other cases, your symptoms may be internal and not as visible.
Some of the symptoms that suggest your hyperaemia is erythema are:
Treatments of hyperaemia vs. erythema
There is no single treatment for hyperaemia or erythema. Both are natural responses to circumstances within or outside your body.
Usually, hyperaemia and erythema are resolved by treating the broader issue that’s causing them. If your hyperaemia or erythema is related to an allergy or sensitivity, you should stop exposure to your allergens.
If you notice rash, redness, soreness, swelling, or any other symptom that you can’t explain, you should seek medical care. These symptoms often mean that you’re experiencing irregular congestion or movement of the blood and should be examined.
American Family Physician: "Erythema Multiforme."
Fluids and Barriers of the CNS: "Functional hyperemia drives fluid exchange in the paravascular space."
Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Erythema Multiforme."
Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Erythema Nodosum."
Journal of Tissue Viability: "Hyperaemia."
Kids Health: "Erythema Multiforme."
Korthuis, R. Skeletal Muscle Circulation, Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences, 2011.
UMass Profiles: "Hyperaemia."
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