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Conditions

Pyoderma Gangrenosum

Picture of Pyoderma Gangrenosum

Pyoderma Gangrenosum, or PG, is an extremely rare condition involving skin ulcers. These have a blue-black edge and will discharge pus, which may have an unpleasant odour. The condition is usually very painful, to the point where it may be debilitating for the sufferer. The ulcers usually start as a small bump or blister which will spread and become ulcerated extremely fast. A speedy diagnosis is advisable if PG is suspected. PG can affect people of all ages, but is more common amongst adults, in particular those who have an underlying disease.

PG has been known to occur in places where there is trauma or previous injury to the skin (this process is known as pathergy). It most commonly manifests on the legs, but can also affect hands and other parts of the body. It is often linked with having a poor immune system and complications can arise from bacterial infections or associated diseases. Swabs and blood tests are therefore common when diagnosing PG and a skin biopsy may also be necessary.

The cure for PG often varies depending on the individual case, but will be overseen by a specialist dermatologist. The condition is managed through a combination of treatments, from dressing the wound and courses of steroids to immunosuppression, whereby the immune system is controlled by drugs. In cases where ulcers are particularly large, surgery may also be needed. The healing process is a slow one and scarring is highly likely.

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I'm a 42 yr. old female who FINALLY was diagnosed w/PG 2 yrs ago... I've had these outbreaks since the age of 30...it's good to know that I'm not alone when it comes to this... Dr's look at u like ur nuts... People stare and act like ur just a big walking infection!!! It's very embarrassing because of the scarring... I don't even wear shorts anymore!!!! My ? to my fellow PG sufferer's is this: Has anyone taken medication on a daily basis that helps the outbreaks? Any ideas on what to do for scarring besides cocoa butter,maderma etc.???





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Now after going back to the wound dr. he did something to it and it has been bleeding for almost 2 weeks. That was not a problem before. I keep putting on the clobetesol ointment one day and the collegen foam with silicone pads over it ever other day. Will see my dermatologist in a few days.. the bleelding however has me a bit worried. Anyone have that?





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Hi, I was diagnosed with pyoderma gangrenousum 7years ago after being attacked by a cat. I spent a month in the hospital, none of this I remember. During my hospital stay I had lost most of the tissue and all the skin off my right breast. I was on high doses of prednisone and cyclosporin to combat this disease. I had an alagraph as my skin would not grow back itself. I have a lot of nerve damage and am in constant pain from the injury. My daughter has been a great support for me as many times I use to wish I never made it out of the hospital. This has been and still is a difficult disease to deal with. I have tried many things to try and elevate my level of pain just to have some what of a normal life. I still get very emotional about this, so this is all I will say for now. I'm just glad their are others out there who can truly relate to what I'm going through. Thank you for letting me share.





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Hello, I have been dealing with PG since 2009. The doctors I went to thought it was a burn or infection. Recently I learned about PG. I cannot take the average medication, or use the different ointments. they all have steroids in them, and I have a stent in my heart valve. A useful treatment is a negative wound vac. Its like having a vacuum cleaner suck the fluid out of the wound. Pain medications I use are Advil, but I cant use too many. Too much Advil lowers the platelet level. everyone keep strong, and I wish for speedy recoveries for us.

Had itchy eczema on left foot. One day woke up with extreme pain in left foot. Saw umpteen GP's who had no clue. Have had this nearly a year & still no better. Sent eventually to dermatology, who diagnosed PG. Was put on steroids (no good). Have had numerous courses of antibiotics (no good). Now have severe anaemia & told I'm bleeding internally, so now have to go for colonoscopy (which I've now been told they won't do because of the risk of infection, to me,even though the foot is always covered). Am always tired & in terrible pain all the time. Nothing I take seems to help. At end of tether. Glad to know there are other sufferers out there. We should have a support group.





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I agree that there should be a support group. Just knowing there are others who understand what you are going through.

there are two on facebook and are very good

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Hi my Mum is 64 and she has had PG for almost 4 years , it is on ther head, the doctor thought is was skin cancer so she had a skin graft to cut it out and then it developed from there, it now effects nearly half of her head, she has been on and off steriods for 2/3 years and now has osteroperos, she has just factured her back and is off the steriods, her head is very bad and we are now at a loss of what to do, the doctor at the hospital says it is the worst case he has evr seen. can anyone suggest something else to try? I am am desperate for her now....





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is your doctor asking for help from specialist centre? i.e london (st thomas).has he considered infliximab.is she being seen by wound care nurse?

Hi she has been referred from Manchester to Salford royal to a specialist inflixa had been mentioned but not prescribed yet. Does it have risk of cancer coming back?

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Hi... I had a cyst that was removed. When it came time to get them out, 1/2 of the stitches seemed fine and the other part was black and blue. they took out the stitches and it dehisced. My dermatologist has been seeing me every 2 weeks now for 5 months, injecting steroids and giving me different ointments to put on it. It's not doing anything. She wanted me to go to a Wound Clinic.. and they have me using collegen foam to put on it and then bandage it up. Been only at that for a few days and went to see my dermatologist again today, she injected more steorids and wanted me to try taking CellCept. I read up on it and I won't take it, so at this point, I'm so fed up with it.. I really don't know what to do anymore... have another appt. set for the wound Dr. in 2 weeks to see how this collegen is working. This is really a painful and annoying situation. Nice though to know I'm not alone. Hope to find out what works and what doesn't from you all.





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Also have a look at: http://www.csaceliacs.info/dermatitis_herpetiformis_and_dietary_gluten.jsp about the possible link between pyoderma gangrenous , other skin diseases and celiac disease/gluten sensitivity.





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I have had pg for 5 years or so. My dog had raced around my leg and the nylon lead sliced into my lower leg. I was fighting cancer, which was bought on by the disease, Scleroderma and palmory fibrosis, which I've had for nearly 34 years. I couldn't fight the ulcer and it went down to the bone. My GP told me that I'd have to have it amputated, which worried me as I wasn't well enough to cope with and they worried that the scar wouldnt heal. I asked my dermatologist to look at it and from there I stayed in hospital for 5 1/2 months, the specialist gave me immune boosting drugs and blood transfusions then I went to a different hospital and they removed all the muscle that had died as this ulcer was gone down to the bone, then they gave me a skin graft a few weeks later.It did take except for a few egde bits, but they had left a new little ulcer on the other side of my leg which now is massive. I have had 2 more grafts done by a different Dr but through really poor after care they have failed to work. I am waiting again for another op but I know its not going to work but they won't use any new idea's. Every time they operate they make the ulcers bigger, which is a nightmare.I used to be a college lecturer, teaching hairdressing, on my feet 11 hours aday, now, I'm grossly overweight as I can't walk very far. Because of this I cannot work , my leg smells too which I cannot stand and along with huge amounts of life threatening drugs (worse being 260gm of morphine, which makes me sweat all the time!!). I have no life and worse thing of all is I have a fabuous 11yr old son who has to listen to me wincing and crying for years, even though I try to hide it he still thinks I'm going to die. I have got a few ideas off this site but I have jusy watched Embarrassing Bodies and they gave a chap a heavy antibiotic cure which has began to work. Please could someone help me find where I could go to find help like this. I am in agony so much and have no confidence to socialize. Please help !! Thanks, Tamsin.





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Hi, I am a clinical nutritionist specialising in celiac and non celiac gluten intolerance and it's many, many manifestations. Have you been tested for celiac disease or non celiac gluten intolerance www.cyrexlabs.com array 3, this could be what is undermining your immune system and will have a knock on effect leading to nutritional deficiencies that can also impair healing see:http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-230X/13/162.

Im sitting here crying as I dont feel like I am alone in my suffering ive had pg for over 3yrs had all drugs the othe people have listed also I have had infusisions of infliximab in 2012 &it resolved to leave a cribiform scar however the the skin relasped with a small ulceration in sept 2013 infliximab infusion was given 6.11 2013 & 1 week kater I had a drug induced dermatomyositis I couldnt move I thought I was going to die & since then back on steroids & protopic cream this all started by a fall down some steps in my back garden im waiting 4 an app with a tissue viability nurse as I think dermatology have run out of ideas somone must have an answer ?





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are you being seen at general hospital or specialized centre for dermotology

I go to Kingston upon Thames NHS dermatology department just got my appointment to see a tissue viabilty nurse on the 3rd of feb

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Thank you for your comments Sam and Jez. My mum went to see a dr at guys and has been so helpful he has recommended my mum some different treatment to try so fingers crossed we start to see a light at the end of the tunnel





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glad you have been seen and hopefully on right track, be patient it all takes time.meds work different for all of us, trial and error.also if it is rg seeing you then you will be going through a battery of tests.don't forget the facebook group page pyoderma gangrenosum it is closed but a lady will let you join





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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