Pyoderma gangrenosum is a disease that causes tissue to become necrotic, causing deep ulcers that usually occur on the legs (Jackson and Callen, 2005). When they occur, they can lead to chronic wounds. more...
Ulcers usually initially look like small bug bites or papules, and they progress to larger ulcers (Jackson and Callen, 2005).
Though the wounds rarely lead to death, they can cause pain and scarring (Jackson and Callen, 2005).
The disease was identified in 1930 (Jackson and Callen, 2005).
It affects approximately 1 person in 100,000 in the population (Jackson and Callen, 2005). Though it can affect people of any age, it mostly affects people in their 40's and 50's (Jackson and Callen, 2005).
There are two main types of pyoderma gangrenosum: (Jackson and Callen, 2005)
- the normal ulcerative form, which occurs in the legs
- an 'atypical' form that is more superficial and occurs in the hands
Though the etiology is not well understood, the disease is thought to be due to immune system dysfunction, and particularly improper functioning of neutrophils. At least half of all pyoderma gangrenosum patients also suffer from illnesses that affect their systemic function (Jackson and Callen, 2005). For instance, around 2% of Crohn's disease sufferers have the condition.
- Jackson JM and Callen JP. 2005. Emedicine: Pyoderma Gangrenosum.
Read more at Wikipedia.org