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Doctor insights on: Allergy Erythema Multiforme Herpes

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Dr. Stuart Rhein
38 doctors shared insights

Erythema Multiforme (Definition)

Erythema multiforme is a type of hypsersensitivity skin reaction in response to medicines (sulfa, phenytoin, barbiturates, penicillin), infections (herpes, mycoplasma) , or illness. Symptoms are fever, ill feeling, joint ache and symmetric itchy rash on the trunk, extremities, palms, hands, feet, that starts quickly as a macule, papule, blister or hive. There can be bull's ...Read more


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I've had erythema multiforme for 20 months now. Doctors not being very helpful. Likely not herpes simplex. What should I do?

I've had erythema multiforme for 20 months now. Doctors not being very helpful. Likely not herpes simplex. What should I do?

Still maybe herpes: As you seem to know, erythema multiforme can be triggered by recurrent HSV infections. But "likely not" is pretty vague. If there is no other explanation, ask your doctor about anti-HSV treatment (e.g. valacyclovir) to see if it helps. The drug is harmless, so why not try? You also should have an HSV blood test, even though such testing is (wrongly) deemphasized in Canada. See a dermatolgist. ...Read more

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Is erythema multiforme a serious condition?

Is erythema multiforme a serious condition?

Can be.: Em is usually minor but can be fatal. The minor form is much more common and self limited. The major form involves mucous membranes, is much more extensive and includes systemic symptoms. ...Read more

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What kind of tests can detect erythema multiforme?

Biopsy of lesion: Biopsy of legion and immunoflorescent stain helps. Can be diagnosed clinically. See pmd. ...Read more

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Has anybody ever had erythema multiforme? What cures it?

Has anybody ever had erythema multiforme? What cures it?

Figure out the Cause: Erythema multiform can have many causes, but the most common in herpes simplex virus infection (cold sores). Treat the cause and give supportive care (rest, fluids) and it will get better. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: erythema multiforme?

What is the definition or description of: erythema multiforme?

Erythema multiforme: Erythema multiforme is a type of hypsersensitivity skin reaction in response to medicines (sulfa, phenytoin, barbiturates, penicillin), infections (herpes, mycoplasma) , or illness. Symptoms are fever, ill feeling, joint ache and symmetric itchy rash on the trunk, extremities, palms, hands, feet, that starts quickly as a macule, papule, blister or hive. There can be bull's eye or "target" lesions. ...Read more

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Compare steven johnson syndrome/erythema multiforme?

Degree: Erythema multiforme is an allergic skin condition usually due to a medication or an infection. It may be mild but can also have a severe life-threatening form called erythema multiforme major or stevens-johnson syndrome. ...Read more

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Is erythema multiforme a symptom of cancer?

No: Erythema multiforme ranges from a few days of target skin lesions after taking a medicine to which you're allergic to a nasty rash after a chest cold to a lifelong nuisance skin-and-mucosal disease that flares at inconvenient times. If the latter, i hope you're able to find a good dermatologist with whom you can work over the years, and that you keep an eagle eye on what triggers flareups. ...Read more

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Will my Erythema Multiforme flare up if I get a tattoo?

Probably not: The reports are flares or local EM-like reactions to henna and to some of the bright colors. Ordinary black tattoo ink is less likely to be a problem. Wait on getting inked, though, especially at your age. I'm a buff and have two, but you need to wait several years and if after that time it is STILL exactly what you want, go for it. Erythema mul ...Read more

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I've had erythema multiforme before and now I have red spots that itch?

I've had erythema multiforme before and now I have red spots that itch?

Target Lesions: If the new red spots are target like, you have a recurrence of the erythema multiforme. Many patients have repeat episodes that coincide with herpes simplex of the lip. Prevention of the herpes will often reduce the incidence of the erythema multiform. ...Read more

Herpes (Definition)

There are different types of herpes infections; herpes simplex infection of mouth (gingivostomatitis) and lips (labialis) are the most common. Others include genital herpes, and herpes zoster. Herpes infection could very mild to very dangerous depending on the type and location of the body affected. I ...Read more


Red Skin (Definition)

Red skin is a symptom in which part or all of a person's skin is redder than normal. Redness is usually caused by increased blood (red colored) in the reddened area. Increased blood flow can be due to allergies, inflammation, infection, hormonal changes, nerve problems, ...Read more