Medical Definition of Pyoderma gangrenosum

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Pyoderma gangrenosum: An ulcerating condition of skin that results in heaped borders with a typical appearance. Pyoderma gangrenosum appears to be mediated by the immune system, but the exact cause is unknown. The lesion usually begins as a soft nodule on the skin that then ulcerates. The ulcer enlarges, and the skin at the edge is purple-red. The ulcers can become quite large. Pyoderma gangrenosum is associated with several other diseases, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia, and cryoglobulinemia. Pyoderma gangrenosum is usually responsive to corticosteroids.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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