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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Pyoderma Gangrenosum
Posted by: Charlie Freeman
Date: January 16, 2002 12:15 AM

What exactly is Pyoderma Gangrenosum? My mother has it and I want to know if she will be okay.

RE: Pyoderma Gangrenosum
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: January 16, 2002 12:46 AM

Pyoderma gangrenosum is characterized by slowly developing ulcers with extensive tissue death around the edges of the lesions. The ulcers are usually on the lower extremities. While it may be an isolated finding, it is often associated with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

The lesions often start as pustules or tender nodules at the site of a trauma, perhaps a scrap or cut, and then they gradually increase in size until the wound begins to weep as the tissue dies and an irregular ulcer develops.

The ulcers are often multiple and may cover large areas of the leg. Healing tends to parallel the activity of the underlying inflammatory bowel disease, and scarring is relatively common.

I can't tell you how this will turn out in your mother's case, but it would be a good idea to look for a possible underlying intestinal disorder and treat that if found.

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