Erythema nodosum commonly causes reddish, painful lumps that eventually turn purple and then brown, according to MedlinePlus. The condition may also result in painful joints, skin irritation and swelling, leg inflammation and high body temperature.
It is advisable to seek immediate medical care when the symptoms of erythema nodosum appear for early diagnosis and treatment to avoid deterioration of the condition, notes MedlinePlus. To diagnose erythema nodosum, a doctor performs a physical examination on the patient's body and orders further tests, such as a throat culture, chest X-ray and biopsy, to determine the exact underlying cause of the condition. In treating erythema nodosum, the doctor focuses on addressing the underlying cause of the symptoms. Depending on the cause, the doctor may recommend steroid and salicylate to relieve inflammation, analgesics to relieve pain and hot compresses to relieve discomfort.
Erythema nodosum is an inflammatory condition that attacks the skin's fatty layer, states WebMD. Women are more prone to the condition than men. Although causes may not be clear in some cases, certain infections, including Hepatitis B, tuberculosis, syphilis, mycobacteria and streptococcus, may cause erythema nodosum, according to MedlinePlus. Other possible infectious causes include chlamydia, cat scratch disease, leptospirosis, mononucleosis and coccidioidomycosis. Additionally, the occurrence of erythema nodosum may be due to a reaction to medications including sulfonamides, sulfones and antibiotics, such as penicillins.