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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Erythema multiforme


Other Names for this Disease

  • Dermatostomatitis, erythema multiforme type
  • EM
  • Erythema multiforme bullosum
  • Erythema polymorphe, erythema multiforme type
  • Febrile mucocutaneous syndrome
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Overview

Erythema multiforme (EM) refers to a group of hypersensitivity disorders characterized by symmetric red, patchy lesions, primarily on the arms and legs. The cause is unknown, but EM frequently occurs in association with herpes simplex virus, suggesting an immunologic process initiated by the virus. In half of the cases, the triggering agents appear to be medications, including anticonvulsants, sulfonamides, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and other antibiotics. In addition, some cases appear to be associated with infectious organisms such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae and many viral agents. Erythema multiforme is the mildest of three skin disorders that are often discussed in relation to each other. It is generally the mildest of the three. More severe is Stevens-Johnson syndrome. The most severe of the three is toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN).[1]
Last updated: 11/14/2011

References

  1. Erythema multiforme. National Organizations for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2005; http://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/280/viewAbstract. Accessed 11/14/2011.
Your Questions Answered
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Please contact us with your questions about Erythema multiforme. We will answer your question and update these pages with new resources and information.

Basic Information

  • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

General Information

  • eMedicine has two articles on this topic from the perspective of Dermatology and Emergency Medicine. You may need to register to view the information online, but registration is free. Click on the links above to view the articles from this medical reference Web site.

In Depth Information

  • eMedicine has two articles on this topic from the perspective of Dermatology and Emergency Medicine. You may need to register to view the information online, but registration is free. Click on the links above to view the articles from this medical reference Web site.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Erythema multiforme. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Dermatostomatitis, erythema multiforme type
  • EM
  • Erythema multiforme bullosum
  • Erythema polymorphe, erythema multiforme type
  • Febrile mucocutaneous syndrome
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.