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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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Hi all. I'm from Trinidad and Tobago and I have just been diagnosed with PG. My ulcers are not as big as what I see online but they are painful. I only get them on my lower legs. I use a drug called Divon for the pain it does completely numb it out but it makes it bareable enough to sleep and do light things around the house. I have also used steroids and it helps healing. Once healed I get a break for a little while before it comes back. My doctors are great and took no time in giving me a diagnosis. I currently have signs of rheumatoid arthritis and have HS under my arms and have a endoscopy scheduled in a few weeks. My doctors have informed me of a biological treatment that would take care of all my problems but getting the treatment would be based on the results of the scope. I see some of you are looking for doctors I would recommend mine but we are in different countries. I can try to keep y'all posted in terms of what treatments I get and how it works so maybe u can asked your doctors about it. But for now I'm using fucidin ointment and fucitul for dressings. Also I found that salt water helps dry it and encourage healing. Once I went to the beach with one that we still ozing and paining and spent like an hr in the water and by time i reach home it was dry and clean. by the next day it had scared over no more pain. So now i make salt water to clean it before I dress it. Hope this info helps someone.





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TL;DR: Try HYDROFERA BLUE moist dressings, they're amazingly good. Hi all, I've had PG twice now (once in 2009, once atm) on both arms, face, back and chest, with no known underlying cause. I've been on oral steroids (prednisolone), topical steroids (dermovate), and cyclosporine. The pain is excruciating, and I can't tolerate pain relief, though I found that my initial high dose of prednisolone took it down hugely in the first two days to a point where I could just about sleep again. From my own experience, I've learned to keep them moist as opposed to dry (learned the hard way using Potassium Pomanganate solution; it soothes if in warm water, keeps things clean and does help to debride, but it rips tissue right off your skin to the point where I find the remaining scars unbearably painful), and most importantly, discovered a dressing made in the US called HYDROFERA BLUE. It's been wonderful; it provides pain relief, it's antibacterial, it promotes healing (apparently steroid free healing, though I've had prednisolone, topical steroids, and cyclosporine as well), and it's honestly the only dressing/material I've ever been able to tolerate putting over the top of them. The NHS weren't helpful to me in obtaining them (tried to explain to me that the company had stopped producing them for some reason), but they're available to buy on Amazon or I contacted the Hollister company directly and they've been incredibly kind and supportive to me. Look them up, it's worth it! And feel free to comment if you have any questions I could help with.





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My fiance has pg his whole right leg is just a open sore almost deep to the bone in some parts. Been to so many drs they don't know what to do even afraid to touch him. He goes to a wound care clinic which only put him on prednisone and clindimicin fora whole one week. Every Dr refuses to give him pain relief it got so bad we had to put him in a suboxone clinic cause it's the only relief he can get. He's only 30. And has been battling this since he was a teenager. He also has bone cancer in remission and is neutropenik. I'm at a loss and don't know what to do I need a Dr in the Pittsburgh area who can help





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I just got diagnosed with PG I feel like I'm in hell im only 3 weeks in and my entire left lower leg has ulcerated and began sloughing off skin. The pain is completely unbearable and to hear you all talk of how you have ulceration a for years how do you do it. I was an active person I've lost my job I can't pursue my passions what's the point is this all I have to look forward to. I get temporary relief from topical lidocaine which they're going to stop and now I don't know what to do. I honestly feel like ive lost my life.





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I have PG and can't get help- does anyone know a good dr. in CA for this?





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I have been waiting several months to see a specialist, and many do not understand this condition. It is not a cure all, but I have found relief by applying dandelion tea bags, after steeping) directly to the sore. Then wraping the site to secure in place. It helps drie them out and shrink. I am also applying hydrogen peroxide when removing the tea bags. Another great help is nasal decongest spray. It pulls the infection and pus out, which you must then clean off with a wet q-tip. The issue with that, is it is painful, and too much of the decongestant can cause sleeping problems. No advice on a doc, but this may help you while you're searching

Maeve, I also have an ileostomy. Mine is due to Crohns. I never experienced PG before. I've had it since July 2014 and it is healing slowing with steroid shots and clobatesol cream under my ileostomy appliance. I am just starting prednisone pills as well. As you are aware, it's hard to keep them sticking to your skin let alone when you have a wet weeping wound. I have been putting the ointment on the wound, a dry dressing on top of that, and then then my ostomy appliance. Alot of skin barrier tape to hold it on. Crossing my fingers and praying that the tape will hold. Please be extremely vigilant if the slightest skin irritation occurs around your stoma or skin under your appliance as mine started with just a little spot of redness. I wish the best for you and everyone else that is struggling with this disease. And to all the caregivers of someone with PG, continue what you are doing. You are blessing to those you are helping.





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There was a man from Scotland I think. Who was on the show maybe a year back , becaurse of pyoderma. I cant find the episode, is there anyone who can help me find that episode ?





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My mama is suffering from PG.she is 61.i really dont know how to help her pain even though she took pain med, i thought my mam is the only paitiant i m glad to find u peaple.my mam is diagnosed for PG seans october 2014, its really pain full sweelling opening of skin docters recognize it after they done several sergery on her right leg. She is in steroid and cyclosporine seems to help but after we decrease the cyclosporine it come again in her right hand she seems disscuraged i would like to find peaple like her, that she can share her pain with some one who experience the same kind, she share her feeling with i am glad to find u peaple.





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Hi! Thank you all for sharing your stories and spreading encouragement to all of us who are struggling!! :-) So many of your stories really touched my heart and made me feel, I'm really now alone! As, you do when you have such a rare terrible disease. So here's a little of my story... I am a 23 yr old female. I live in Cleveland, Ohio. I have been struggling with this horrific disease PG for 5 years now, but was just recently diagnosed within the past year! I have seen over 20 doctors and none of them knew what was wrong with me and flat out told me they have never seen anything like my case and didn't even want to start! Then, finally I found a good dermatologist at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. We have tried close to 20 treaments and not one has worked yet!! But, she kept working with me and trying and never gave up on me, which any other drs. have never done! As, of right now, I inject 40 Mg Humira weekly and 1 take 15 Mg of Methotrexate every week. And so far has made very little, if any progress. I am on a total of 15 medications all due to illnesses caused from this disease. Including I have to go see a pain management dr because my pain is so unbearable from the time I wake up, to the time I got to bed! I also, have several other medical conditions I have on top of this terrible disease alone such as, asthma, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, polysistic ovarian syndrome, etc. My diagnosis of PG is only 80%. I was also, told I could have a disease that may not have ever been diagnosed, which results in no treatment. To all you suffering from PG, I just wanted to tell you I am so sorry what you all are going through and it's not fair! I understand what's it's like to go to the drs and get stared down like you are an alien because they have no clue what you are going through! I know how bad the pain is, when you just cry all day cuz the pain is so overbearing. I know the feeling of hopelessness, when treatment after treatment fails or you have lapse in treatment and your heart is split in two! I understand when your so depressed, you just don't want to get out of bed or don't do the stuff u love to do because you don't have a passion for them anymore or maybe hoped you never woke up cuz things felt so bad! I understand all this because I have these feelings and even more feelings everyday of my life!! I have a beautiful 5 year old daughter and she is the only thing that keeps me going! I made a promise to her, that mommy was going to try her best to get better and I'm going to keep that promise, till the day I die! I want to make that girl proud and have her look back and see her mother is a survivor!!! Thank you all for letting me share and those, who read my story! :-) Good luck to all and take care!! -Amy-





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Omg I'm reading these comments with flash backs ... I honestly think the only cure for PG is to have a total bowel removal !! I had ulcerative for many yrs until suddenly I fell very ill with PG, ulcers covering nearly 50% of my body !! This was 14 yrs ago when we had no internet and no answers for a diagnosis ... Until a biopsy proved to be PG . I had no choice only to have a complete bowel removal and to be left with an ileostomy... My PG Stopped growing and I total healed up after a few months .. 14 yrs later I still have the scars & a bag stuck to my tummy ... But I'm a mammy to a 9 yr old boy x x Good luck everyone

hello amy, i know what you are going through, our daughter Tracy has pg and has had for four years. We were told she is one of the top 5 severe cases in Australia.definatly not something we wanted to hear. Both legs and both arms, yes very very painful too much for anyone to endure, but endure she does. Every time we think we have got on top of it, it comes back two fold with new wounds.at present we are trialling an injection of a drug called stellar a so far so good.for the first time we are not getting new wounds every other day. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are going. We also have no contact with any other sufferer

HI I HAVE HAD TREATMENT FOR ?OSTEOMYELITIS ?ULCERS ON MY LEFT LEG FOR 4 YEARS 7 MONTHS 6 WEEKS AGO I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PG.I STARTED IN DAPSONE AND DERMOVATE OINTMENT I HAVE SEEN 4 CONSULTANTS AND NOT ONE SEEMS TO BE ABLE TO HELP ME WITH THE DREADFUL PAIN THAT I HAVE. I HAVE A HIGH PAIN THRESHOLD BUT I CAN NOT SLEEP AND FIND MYSELF CRYING WITH THE PAIN DAY AND NIGHT, CAN ANYONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT ANALGESICS WOULD HELP I DO NOT FEEL THAT I CAN COPE WITH THE PAIN MUCH LONGER AND IT IS SO MISERABLE FOR ME AND MY FAMILY TO BE IN SO MUCH PAIN





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Try diet.. I cut out everything for two months. All I ate was I blended up vegetables and fruit with water and ice... I couldn't walk I was so bad and I know the pain of feeling like your foot is going to explode just by your heart beating.. Keep your leg elated NEVER use polysporin!!! And if your desperate try the diet... I did it for 3 months and had a complete heal.. it comes back but I eat every well know and never had a bad breakout. .. when I feel it coming back on I cut out all processed foods and watch my meats because we eat what they eat... let me know if you try it and how quickly it heals :) feel better soon I know the pain &don't wish it on anyone


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