Last Modified on Jun 18, 2014
What Is Erythema Nodosum?
Erythema nodosum is a rare disorder that affects approximately one thousand patients per year. Typically peaking between the ages of 25 and 40, erythema nodosum is a condition that involves the inflammation of the fatty layer of the skin. It can result in sensitive, painful, red lumps or nodules that range in size from the diameter of a dime to a quarter. The erythema nodosum nodules typically go away after a period of three to six weeks without treatment; however, the nodules may leave behind slight bruises or a permanent indentation in the fatty layer of the skin.
Aside from the characteristic nodules, erythema nodosum also presents several additional symptoms. Fever, arthralgia and malaise typically appear prior to the outbreak of the nodules. Signs or symptoms of an underlying disease may also be present including gastrointestinal illness or respiratory distress.
Erythema nodosum may arise as a result of another illness or as a singular or isolated illness itself. Several factors contribute to the onset of erythema nodosum include certain medications, strep throat, fungal disease, mono, inflammatory bowel disease and a typical pregnancy. Additionally, certain individuals are more at risk for developing the condition. The common risk factors include being between the age of 25 and 40 years old, being female and having the HLA B8 genotype.
Natural Remedies for Erythema Nodosum
While erythema nodosum often heals without treatment, the symptoms can be uncomfortable and even painful. Natural remedies can alleviate the pain associated with the condition and expedite the healing process. Plant flavonoids are one of the best remedies for erythema nodosum as they are rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients. These flavonoids can be found in green tea, citrus fruits, vegetables, and rich grains like buckwheat. Likewise, many herbal poultices can be applied topically to relieve the condition. Chamomile, calendula, lemon balm, yarrow and aloe vera gel are all effective topical treatment aids.