DefinitionA skin ulcer is an open sore in the skin. Pyoderma gangrenosum is an uncommon form of skin ulcers. It usually occurs on the lower legs, but can occur anywhere on the skin.
|Side View of Skin Ulcer|
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CausesPyoderma gangrenosum is thought to be caused by a problem with the immune system. The immune system finds and attacks foreign items in the body like viruses. Sometimes the immune system attacks the body's own tissue. In this case, the immune system attacks an area of the skin.
Risk FactorsPyoderma gangrenosum is more likely to occur in people who have other underlying medical conditions, such as:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn's disease
- Chronic active hepatitis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Polycythemia vera
- Behcet's syndrome
- Acute myelogenous leukemia
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia
SymptomsThe main symptom of pyoderma gangrenosum is a painful skin ulcer. These ulcers may begin as small-irritated bumps from an injury. However, the ulcer can grow up to 7.9 in (inches) (20 cm [centimeters]). The ulcers often have purple edges that appear worn away.
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