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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