Erythema: Types, Causes, and Treatment – Reddish spots on the skin can indicate erythema. There are several types of erythema with different causes and symptoms. Treatment for each type of erythema can also be different, depending on the cause.

Erythema is a condition of the appearance of reddish spots on the skin caused by dilation of blood vessels under the skin. The appearance of erythema can be caused by an inflammatory reaction due to sun exposure, allergic to certain types of substances or drugs, to infections.

Types and causes of erythema

There are several types of erythema, namely:

1. Erythema nodosum

Erythema nodosum is a type of erythema that arises due to inflammation in the layer of fat under the skin. Erythema nodosum can cause reddish spots on the lower limbs that feel painful when pressed. Reddish spots due to erythema nodosum can sometimes also appear on the thighs and arms.

Erythema nodosum can occur for no apparent reason. However, the appearance of erythema nodosum is often caused by the following conditions:

  • Fungal and bacterial infections, for example in leprosy, tuberculosis, and streptococcal bacterial infections.
  • Viral infections, such as mononucleosis, hepatitis B and C, and herpes simplex virus infections.
  • Behcet’s disease, which is a rare disorder that causes inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body.
  • Cancer, such as leukemia and lymphoma.
    Inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • Sarcoidosis.
    Side effects of certain drugs, such as birth control pills, antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-
  • inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), bromides, and salicylic acid.
  • Pregnancy

Erythema nodosum will usually disappear on its own within 3-6 weeks. However, in certain cases, erythema nodosum may persist or disappear for years.

2. Erythema multiformis

Erythema multiformis is an inflammatory disease of the skin that is usually triggered by infection or side effects of drugs. Erythema mutiformis is divided into two types, namely erythema multiformis minor and erythema multiformis major.

Erythema multiformis minor is usually characterized by symptoms in the form of reddish blisters on the skin.

While major erythema multiformis is characterized by the appearance of reddish spots and blisters on the skin accompanied by high fever and muscle and joint pain. Apart from the skin, blisters and patches of erythema multiformis major can also appear in the mouth, conjunctiva (inner lining of the eyelids), nose, vagina, or anus.

There are several things that can cause erythema multiformis, including:

  • Viral infections, such as the herpes simplex virus, hepatitis virus, HIV, and adenovirus.
  • Diseases caused by bacterial infections, such as diphtheria, pneumonia, leprosy, gonorrhea, lymphogranuloma venereum, and typhoid fever.
  • Fungal and parasitic infections, such as skin fungal infections, toxoplasmosis, and trichomoniasis.
  • Severe drug allergic reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
  • Certain diseases, such as inflammation of the intestine or systemic lupus erythematosus.

3. Erythema infectosum

Erythema infectosum is a disease that causes reddish spots on the skin due to B19 parvovirus virus infection. This virus spreads through direct contact with fluids or mucus from the nose or mouth of an infected person.

This disease generally attacks children aged 5-15 years, but can also be experienced by adults. Erythema infectosum can cause several symptoms, including fever, runny nose, headache, rashes or red spots on the cheeks, and swelling and joint pain.

Management of Erythema by Type

The following are some steps to treat erythema by type:

1. Management of erythema nodosum

The symptoms of erythema nodosum can often resolve on their own within 3-6 weeks. However, the disease that causes it still needs to be known in order to be treated.

To relieve the symptoms of erythema nodosum, your doctor may advise you to:

  • More rest.
  • Position your feet higher than your chest when lying down or sleeping.
  • Wear special bandages or stockings.
  • Compressing reddish spots with a cloth soaked in cold water.
  • Take anti-inflammatory drugs that can reduce pain, such as ibuprofen, colchicine, and potassium iodide. If the treatment doesn’t work, the doctor may give you a corticosteroid drug. These drugs can be obtained by prescription from a doctor.

2. Management of erythema multiformis

Just like erythema nodosum, erythoma multiformis treatment is also done based on the underlying cause. For example, if erythema is caused by a drug allergy, the doctor will advise the patient to stop taking the drug.

In addition, to help alleviate the symptoms you feel, your doctor can give several types of medicines, such as:

  • Antihistamine medication to reduce itching.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as paracetamol, to relieve pain and fever. To overcome severe inflammation, the doctor can give corticosteroid drugs.
  • Mouthwash to relieve sores in the mouth.
  • Antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral drugs, according to the underlying cause of infection.

If the symptoms get worse or the signs and symptoms of major erythema multiformis, consult a doctor immediately so that appropriate treatment can be given.

3. Management of erythoma infectosum

Erythema infectosum usually goes away by itself. Sufferers also usually recover and recover fully. Your doctor may only prescribe fever-lowering and pain relievers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

If you find reddish spots on the skin that are suspicious towards erythema, you should consult a doctor. After making sure that the spots are erythema, the doctor will find out the cause and provide appropriate treatment.