Causes and risk factors
Erythema nodosum is more common in women (4:1 than in men) and at a young age (25-40 years).
May appear in other rheumatological diseases (chronic inflammatory bowel disease, spondyloarthritis and Behcet's disease).
Factors that can cause this disease:
- infections (the most common are streptococcal pharyngitis, salmonella or Yersinian enteritis; sometimes even tuberculosis);
- medications (e.g. sulfonamides, penicillin, oral contraceptives);
- rarely neoplasms, usually associated with chronic forms of erythema nodosum, and more often lymphoma.
Which are the symptoms?
From protruding erythematous nodules with a diameter of less than one to several centimeters, painful spontaneously and on palpation.
The nodules resolve spontaneously after 4-8 weeks, gradually becoming less raised and painful, acquiring a yellowish color (like a bruise at the stage of resolution).
Erythema nodosum can be associated with fever, polyarthralgia, and sometimes swelling and inflammation of the ankles and knees.
How is it treated?
In the acute phase - taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In cases where the lesions are more widespread, corticosteroids may be used.