Doctor's Notes on Erythema Nodosum
Erythema nodosum (EN) is an inflammatory skin condition (panniculitis) that causes tender, painful red or purple bumps or nodules that usually appear on the shins but may appear at other sites (ankles, thighs, buttocks, upper body and face, for example). Signs and symptoms include development over several days and raised nodules about 2-5 cm in diameter. Joint pain, redness and/or swelling may occur along with enlarged lymph nodes in the chest. However, some symptoms may develop before the nodules appear such as joint pain, fatigue, fever, malaise and respiratory infection symptoms. EN is not considered a disease but is itself a symptom of other conditions like a hypersensitivity to a drug or other medical problems.
About 50% of people that develop EN have no identified cause. However, the following conditions may commonly trigger EN; infections (strep throat, TB, Histoplasmosis and others), drugs or medications (penicillin, sulfas, oral contraceptives, for example), pregnancy, cancer and inflammatory conditions (sarcoid, ulcerative colitis and others).
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Fever in ChildrenFever is defined as a rectal temperature over 100.4 F or 38 C. Fever isn't life-threatening unless it is persistently high - greater than a 107 F rectal temperature. Fever is usually caused by an infection. Treatment focuses on controlling the temperature, preventing dehydration, and monitoring for serious illness.
Joint PainJoint pain can be caused by injury or disease affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. Pain also occurs with joint inflammation (arthritis) and infection. Joint pain symptoms can be associated with local warmth, swelling, and tenderness. Treatment depends on the cause and can include rest, cold applications, medications, physical therapy, or surgery.
Upper Respiratory Infection (URI)An upper respiratory tract infection is generally caused by a virus and treatment is directed at managing the symptoms of the infection. Viral infections are not responsive to antibiotics. The most common upper respiratory tract infection is the common cold. Upper respiratory infections are contagious thus prevention measures such as frequent hand washing and avoiding other that are ill are the most effective.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.