Erythema Multiforme

Erythema Multiforme is a medical disorder, in which patches of raised, red skin frequently appear like targets and are commonly distributed symmetrically over the person’s body.

Possibly, more than 50% of cases are resulted from the herpes simplex. In the remaining cases, possible causes may include any medications (for example, barbiturates, sulfa antibiotics, and penicillins), and other infectious diseases, such as histoplasmosis, psittacosis, pneumonia, and echovirus or sackievirus infection. In rare cases, specific vaccines may result in Erythema Multiforme.

Generally, the disease appears abruptly with patches which are redden and blisters erupting mostly on the face, or on the soles of the feet or palms of the hands. Blisters on the mouth Erythema Multiformelining and the lips, may ooze blood. Red, round, flat marks located equally on both body sides; such red areas can produce dark concentric rings with gray-purple centers. The reddened regions sometimes cause itching. The individuals, who have Erythema Multiforme, can have fever, joint pain, feel tired, or have cold sores. Such attacks can last two to four weeks and can repeat in the spring and fall for few years.

The severe form of Erythema Multiforme is Stevens-Johnson syndrome, where blisters break out on the eyes, mouth lining, genital area, anus, and throat. Reddened regions can progress on the remaining skin. The damage to the mouth lining makes eating difficult, and mouth closing can be painful, so, an individual can drool as a result. The eyes can be very swollen, painful, and become filled with pus. The cornea may be scarred. Urination may be painful and difficult, because the urine opening can also be affected.

Generally, Erythema Multiforme heals by itself, but Stevens-Johnson Syndrome may be life threatening. A dermatologist tries to eliminate any medications, which cause the disease or treat any infectious causes. If erythema multiforme is caused by herpes simplex, the prescription drug Acuclovir is usually given. Skin sores or blisters generally are covered with tap water compress; corticosteroid can be prescribed in persistent or severe repeated cases.

If the disease is caused by infection, an antibiotic is prescribed. If Erythema Multiforme makes drinking or eating impossible, fluids and nutrition are administered intravenously.

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