What is Erythema?

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What is Erythema?
Erythema refers to redness of the skin. This redness may be a result of certain inflammatory conditions or may be an immunologic response. It is usually a manifestation of an underlying medical concern. Reddening of the skin results from the inflammation of the capillaries. And this inflammation may be due to physical trauma, an infection, or some genetic type of condition.

When erythema is noticed on a body part, one must know the cause before taking action in terms of treatment or management. Some redness of the skin may occur due to prolonged exposure to the sun. In this case topical creams may be advised to ease the soreness and dryness of the skin. Insect bites may also cause a localized form of redness to the skin and this may lead to pain or itchiness on the affected part/s. For this type, the redness and inflammation may subside with anti-bacterial ointments or ice-cold compress. In cases of physical trauma, redness to the affected part is usually accompanied by swelling. If this happens, ice therapy and elevation of the affected part may be indicated. Some erythema meanwhile is not due to external causes, but may be a result of an underlying infection. In this case, one must consult with his/her family physician to determine the exact cause and to have proper treatment.

Erythema may also present itself in different forms or types. One type is erythema multiforme which is usually secondary to viral infections or allergic reactions. Another type is erythema nodosum wherein nodules develop on the skin due to inflammation of some fat cells underneath it. Erythema toxicum meanwhile is a type common among newborns. This type features a typical rash and is said to heal over time.

Redness in the skin is not alarming in itself. But every person must know that unusual reddening may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. So it is still best to have the erythema checked by qualified physicians for proper care and management.

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