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Erythema multiforme

  • Alternative Names

    Lyell's syndrome; Stevens-Johnson syndrome; Erythema multiforme minor; Erythema multiforme major


    Symptoms
    • Fever
    • General ill feeling
    • Itching of the skin
    • Joint aches
    • Multiple skin lesions:
      • Start quickly and may return
      • May spread
      • May appear as a nodule, papule, or macule and may look like hives
      • Central sore surrounded by pale red rings, also called a "target", "iris", or "bulls-eye"
      • May have vesicles and blisters of various sizes (bullae)
      • Located on the upper body, legs, arms, palms, hands, or feet
      • May involve the face or lips
      • Usually even on both sides (symmetrical)

    Other symptoms that may occur with this disease:

    • Bloodshot eyes
    • Dry eyes
    • Eye burning, itching, and discharge
    • Eye pain
    • Mouth sores
    • Vision problems

    Signs and tests

    The diagnosis is based mainly on the appearance of the skin lesion, especially if there is a history of risk factors or related diseases.

    Tests may include:

    • Nikolsky's sign
    • Skin lesion biopsy and microscopic examination of the tissue