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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Wells syndrome


Other Names for this Disease
  • Bullous cellulitis with eosinophilia
  • Eosinophilic cellulitis
  • Wells' syndrome
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Overview



What is Wells syndrome?

What causes Wells syndrome?

How might Wells syndrome be treated?



What is Wells syndrome?

Wells syndrome is a rare eosinophilic disorder characterized by itchy, burning, red, and inflamed areas on the skin often on the lower arm or leg. The lesions may be single or multiple. They are usually red at first (looking like cellulitis) then change to brown red, to blue gray, then greenish gray. The lesions are usually painful and are sometimes associated with a fever. They typically heal without scarring within weeks to months; however they often recur. The cause of Wells syndrome is unknown; but some researchers think that Wells syndrome is an autoimmune reaction.[1][2]
Last updated: 12/14/2011

What causes Wells syndrome?

The underlying cause of Wells syndrome is unknown. Wells syndrome has been diagnosed in people with eosinophilic disorders in addition to a variety of other conditions. This condition has been associated with spider bites, parasitic infections, dental abscess, myeloproliferative disease, leukemia, eczema, Churg-Strauss syndrome, viral skin infections, herpes simplex infection, fungal infections, tetanus immunization, and drug reactions, which suggests that this condition is caused by a reactive or hypersensitivity phenomenon.[3]
Last updated: 12/14/2011

How might Wells syndrome be treated?

In addition to treating causative factors or triggers, oral or topical corticosteroids such as Prednisone are the mainstay of therapy. Systemic corticosteroids are the most effective treatment, but they may lead to corticosteroid dependence. Other treatment options include the use of griseofulvin, H1 antihistamines, cyclosporine, and dapsone.[3]
Last updated: 12/14/2011

References
  1. Wells syndrome . DermNet NZ. September 2011; http://dermnetnz.org/reactions/wells.html. Accessed 12/14/2011.
  2. Familial eosinophilic cellulitis. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2009; http://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/1003/viewAbstract. Accessed 12/14/2011.
  3. Schwartz RA. Wells Syndrome (Eosinophilic Cellulitis). eMedicine. May 2011; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1124844-clinical#a0218. Accessed 12/14/2011.