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erythema

erythema (e-ri-theem-ă) n. flushing of the skin due to dilatation of the blood capillaries in the dermis. e. ab igne a reticular pigmented rash on the lower legs or elsewhere caused by persistent exposure to radiant heat. e. infectiosum (fifth disease, slapped cheek syndrome) a common benign infectious viral disease of children, characterized by fever and a rash, first on the cheeks and later on the trunk and extremities, that disappears after several days. e. multiforme a condition characterized by so-called target lesions that may be recurrent and follow herpes simplex infection. e. nodosum a condition characterized by tender bruiselike swellings on the shins. It is often associated with streptococcal infection.

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erythema

erythema From the Greek for ‘flush’ — redness of the skin, due to persistent engorgement of microscopic blood vessels. A descriptive term; not in itself a diagnosis. Sunburn, or sitting too close to an open fire, causes erythema; it surrounds a nettle or insect sting, or an inflamed wound. A rash, whether due to infectious disease, to allergy, or to drug reactions for example, is described as erythematous if blotches of redness are a feature. It is characteristic of such blotches that they can be emptied of their colour by pressure; this distinguishes them from actual bleeding into the skin.

Stuart Judge


See skin; sun and the body.

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erythema

erythema (ĕr´əthē´mə), more or less diffuse redness of the skin due to concentration of an abnormally large amount of blood within the small vessels of the skin (hyperemia), as in burns. Erythema nodosum is often associated with systemic diseases such as tuberculosis and rheumatic fever. Tender, bright red, slightly elevated nodules develop along the shins. Erythema multiforme can have a number of causes, including viral and bacterial infection, chronic disease of the visceral organs, or allergic reactions to drugs.

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erythema

er·y·the·ma / ˌerəˈ[unvoicedth]ēmə/ • n. Med. superficial reddening of the skin, usually in patches, as a result of injury or irritation causing dilatation of the blood capillaries. DERIVATIVES: er·y·the·mal / -məl/ adj. er·y·them·a·tous / -ˈ[unvoicedth]emətəs; -ˈ[unvoicedth]ēmətəs/ adj.

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erythema

erythema inflammation of the skin. XVIII. — Gr. erúthēma, f. eruthaínein be red, f. eruthrós RED.

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