HomeHealth A-ZPyoderma Gangrenosum - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Pyoderma Gangrenosum – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Overview

Pyoderma gangrenosum  is a rare condition in which large, painful ulcers  develop on your skin, most often on your legs. It affects people between age 20 to 50. The cause is unknown but it is believed to be an autoimmune disease. 

About Pyoderma gangrenosum

Pyoderma gangrenosum is considered to be an autoimmune system disorder. It appears on the skin as a painful ulcer. Most people experience it on their legs. A person who already suffers from an underlying condition like arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease is at high risk of Pyoderma gangrenosum.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pyoderma gangrenosum? 

Pyoderma gangrenosum mostly appears on the skin of the legs , ankles, neck or genitals. Usually, pyoderma gangrenosum starts with a small, red bump on the skin, which may resemble a spider bite. Often, they swell into open sores with a distinct blue or violet border. Within days, the bumps can develop into  large, painful open sores. They are also characterized by  by pathergy, the appearance of new lesions after local trauma .

Atypical or bullous pyoderma gangrenosum usually occurs as a superficial blister, and it appears on the hand and face. Vegetative Pyoderma gangrenosum ulcer appears as an ulcer, but it is painless. People who suffer from pyoderma gangrenosum may also experience joint pain, fever, localized tenderness, and tiredness. 

When to see the doctor?

Speak to your doctor if you develop a painful, rapidly growing skin wound. it should be treated by a specialist as soon as possible to decrease the risk of a scar. For more info

Request an appointment at Apollo Hospital

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment

What are the treatment options for pyoderma gangrenosum?

After the treatment, some people recover within a few weeks, while some people take months or years to recover. 

Medications

  • Corticosteroids: These medicines can be applied to your skin, injected into your wound or taken by mouth (prednisone). 
  • Steroid-sparing drugs: Cyclosporine, mycophenolate , immunoglobulins, dapsone, infliximab and tacrolimus may be used . 
  • Pain medication: Wound care. Apart from applying medicine directly to the wounds, your wound care specialist (doctor) will cover them with a moist (not wet or dry), nonadherent dressing and, maybe, an elasticized wrap. You might be asked to keep the affected place elevated.

Surgery

As pyoderma gangrenosum can get worse by cuts to the skin, surgical procedure for removal of dead tissue is not generally considered as a good treatment option. 

If the ulcers on the skin are large and require help with healing, your physician might suggest a skin graft. 

Conclusion

Pyoderma gangrenosum usually gets better with treatment . You might feel depressed if the process takes lengthy time and is painful. Or you may feel stressed . It is helpful to speak to a counselor, medical social worker or other people who have or had pyoderma gangrenosum.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the causes of pyoderma gangrenosum?

Pyoderma gangrenosum has no specific cause. It can be associated with the overactivity of the immune system in the human body. 

Is pyoderma gangrenosum serious?

Pyoderma gangrenosum is a rare ulcerating disease. It is not life-threatening. However, it can be very debilitating due to large ulcers and pain.

How does pyoderma gangrenosum begin?

Pyoderma gangrenosum begins with a small red bump on the skin that looks like an insect bite. In a few days, the red bump enlarges and becomes a painful, deep and large ulcer. 

How many types of pyoderma gangrenosum are there?

Four types of pyoderma gangrenosum are as follows:

  • Ulcerative Pyoderma Gangrenosum 
  • Pustular Pyoderma Gangrenosum
  • Bullous Pyoderma Gangrenosum
  • Vegetative Pyoderma Gangrenosum 
Avatar
Verified By Apollo Doctors
At Apollo, we believe that easily accessible, reliable health information can make managing health conditions an empowering experience. AskApollo Online Health Library team consists of medical experts who create curated peer-reviewed medical content that is regularly updated and is easy-to-understand.
Quick Appointment
Most Popular