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.
Comments and Questions
You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.
The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.