Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a rare skin condition characterized by formation of deep necrotic ulcers, more often on legs. It is an uncommon form of skin ulcer disease. In the beginning the lesion looks like small bug bite, but it then progresses to become large ulcer.
No known cause is detected for development of pyoderma gangrenosum; however it is suspected that immune system of the person is at fault, it attacks its own body. Person suffering from autoimmune disease is at a greater risk of suffering from pyoderma gangrenosum. The peak incidence is between 20 and 50 years.Women are more affected than men.
Conventional treatment includes high doses of corticosteroids. Other immunosuppressive drugs are also used. The ulcers may take weeks and months to heal.
Causes Of Pyoderma Gangrenosum
Researchers are unable to understand clearly the cause of pyoderma gangrenosum. However, in many cases association of other disease is found. They are mostly auto immune inflammatory conditions. For example, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The disease is most commonly seen in elderly individuals. People of the age of 40 to 50 years are more susceptible to this disease.
Major and minor trauma also plays a part development of pyoderma gangrenosum.If a patient is suffering from pyoderma gangrenosum, and if there is a cut or a small punctured wound, the trauma may develop into a new ulcer.
Pyoderma Gangrenosum Symptoms
- The main symptom of pyoderma gangrenosum is large painful ulcer which may be deep seated. It is commonly seen on the lower leg especially on the shin of tibia bone.
- Pyoderma gangrenosum is also observed on other sites randomly. This includes trunk, head, and neck area.
- In the beginning, it may originate from a punctured wound. It usually starts as a small size red bump. It may resemble like an insect bite. After few days, this small lesion can develop into a large ulcer.
- The edges of ulcers appear purple in color. The ulcer is non infectious.
- If there are several ulcers on leg, they may merge together and form a large ulcer.
Treatment Of Pyoderma Gangrenosum
Natural and conventional treatment for pyoderma gangrenosum.
As the specific cause of pyoderma gangrenosum is not known and as autoimmune element is suspected to be the cause, doctors recommend steroid medication. Even immune suppressing drugs are useful.
- Smaller ulcers can be treated with topical creams made up of steroids.
- Alternative medicines may be beneficial many times.
- Homeopathic medicine calendula is supposed to be in the forefront in treating ulcers. Patient may apply calendula ointment or calendula tincture twice or three times in a day.
- Application of honey is also preferred by many natural medicinal practitioners for treating ulcers.