Pyoderma Gangrenosum Treatment in Santa Monica, CA
Pyoderma gangrenosum causes large painful red or purple skin sores (ulcers). While they can develop anywhere, they frequently appear on arms, legs, face, and near surgical sites. These sores usually start with a small red bump on the skin, then grow larger and more painful within a few days.
These painful and unappealing ulcers can be treated with medication or surgical procedures. Pyoderma gangrenosum is very rare. About 1 in 100,000 people are diagnosed with this condition in the U.S. each year. To learn more about pyoderma gangrenosum treatment in Santa Monica, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Dr. Jeremy Fischer online today.
Types of Pyoderma Gangrenosum
There are several types of pyoderma gangrenosum:
- Classic: the most common type presents deep ulcers, usually in the legs, with a well-defined violet or blue border; several small red bumps can merge into one large ulcer
- Peristomal: ulcers usually appear around surgical openings near the abdomen and tend to occur with patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Atypical/bullous: blisters (bullae) form on the face and hands; usually with hematologic malignancies, or cancers that form from bone marrow cells that create blood cells
- Pustular: associated with IBD; painful bumps (pustules) on the arms, legs, and abdomen become ulcers
- Vegetative: chronic ulcers that are usually painless
Besides ulcers, other symptoms of pyoderma gangrenosum may include:
- Joint pain
- Muscle aches
- Muscle inflammation
- Skin blisters
What Causes Pyoderma Gangrenosum?
The exact cause of pyoderma gangrenosum is unknown. It is thought to be an autoimmune disease occurring when the body’s defense system attacks its own healthy tissues. In about half of all cases, pyoderma gangrenosum is accompanied by another condition, such as IBD.
If you have pyoderma gangrenosum ulcers, you may also have:
It is more common among women than men, most frequently affecting people between the ages of 40 and 50.
Pyoderma Gangrenosum Diagnosis and Treatment
Healthcare providers can use a physical exam to identify ulcers. Other tests may include:
- Blood tests to detect conditions like infection, liver or kidney problems, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Biopsies (swab samples) of the ulcer for lab examination can rule out other conditions like infections
- Colonoscopy to search for signs of IBD
- Imaging tests—like CT scans or x-rays—to look for deep infection or inflammation
While there is no single treatment for pyoderma gangrenosum, common methods include:
- Wet dressings
- Anti-inflammatory corticosteroid ointment, injections, or pills
- Pain medication in severe cases
For more serious cases, your doctor may recommend:
- Immunosuppressive drugs to suppress the immune system
- Surgery to remove necrotic (dying or dead) tissue
- Skin grafts to protect the skin from further injury
Book Your Appointment Today
Pyoderma gangrenosum can do a lot of damage to your skin. Thankfully, there are many treatments available that can heal your ulcers and protect your skin. To make an appointment with a pyoderma gangrenosum doctor in Santa Monica, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Dr. Jeremy Fischer online today.
Vitality Integrative Medicine
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