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Pyoderma Gangrenosum

What is Pyoderma Gangrenosum?

Pyoderma gangrenosum is an unusual but treatable condition that causes the formation of large and painful ulcer like sores on your skin, usually on the legs. The condition is not associated with gangrene and it is not communicable. Causes behind pyoderma gangrenosum are not quite certain but apparently it is a disorder of the immune system. People with inflammatory bowel diseases or rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to be affected by the problem.

This skin disorder typically affects young adults and middle aged people but the symptoms differ from one person to another. It begins with a little pimple, red spot, boil or blood blister and the skin later breaks down causing an ulcer that oozes pus. Such ulcer may get bigger. Pain and discomfort are common but pyoderma gangrenosum is not cancerous.

What are the symptoms of this condition?

With pyoderma gangrenosum, you generally get just a single and large ulcer but at times there may be several of them and they slowly grow to merge together. Other signs of the condition include:

  • Red bumps on the skin resembling an insect bite
  • Ulcer(s) getting enlarged, infected and oozing pus or fluid with foul odour
  • Pain or discomfort in the affected area
You must visit a dermatologist if your skin develops an unexplained blister or an itchy rash that does not heal with topical medications.

What causes pyoderma gangrenosum?

The reason for development of this uncommon disease is not known but it usually begins after slight skin trauma or injury. At times there may be other conditions linked to pyoderma gangrenosum – these include arthritis, blood disorders, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. However, this does not imply that on developing this skin disorder you also get other related diseases.

Skin traumas like cuts and puncture wounds can result in formation of new ulcers and worsen the condition. This tendency is called pathergy. In some people pyoderma gangrenosum develops around site of a surgical wound. The condition is not hereditary and cannot be transmitted from parents to their off springs.

Am I at risk of developing pyoderma gangrenosum?

This condition is rare and affects young adults and some people in their 40s and 50s but can also affect others. There are some inflammatory conditions that increase your chances of developing this skin disease and these include:

  • Ulcerative colitis - This is a disorder that causes chronic inflammation of your large intestine.
  • Crohn's disease - Crohn's disease also triggers long-term inflammation that may attack any part of the digestive tract.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – It is a condition wherein the thin membranes around the joints get inflamed and irritated.

How to prevent this condition?

It is not possible to prevent pyoderma gangrenosum completely but you can take precautions to avoid injures and traumas to your skin. Skin injuries cause formation of ulcers that may worsen and develop into this disorder. Wherever possible, try to control the conditions that cause the formation of skin ulcers. Visit a dermatologist if you see a new and abnormal growth on any part of the body.

Treatment at Skin Alive

The treatment and healing period for pyoderma gangrenosum depends upon the depth and size of lesions on skin. It may take a few weeks or several months to get cured completely.

Local applications and Oral Medication is prescribed as per the severity of the condition.

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A wide range of dermal problems are treated at Skin Alive centres. We use the best of technology and products to speed up your recovery and help you get rid of nasty skin concerns for a better lifestyle.

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