ERYTHEMA MULTIFORME


I. Natural history/clinical features

  1. A self-limiting hypersensitivity reaction
  2. Often occurs in children
  3. Abrupt in onset
  4. Red papules of various sizes; some develop into "target lesions"; mostly on hands & arms; also face & legs
  5. > 50% of cases are associate with primary or recurrent infection with Herpes simplex
  6. Other infections can cause, e.g. Coccidioidomycosis
  7. Lasts about 10d on average; can recur
  8. Erythema multiforme major--a severe bullous disease, aka Stevens-Johnson syndrome

II. Treatment

  1. Prophylactic oral acyclovir may reduce recurrences (Arch. Ped. Adol. Med. 151:1014, 1997--AFP)
(Sources include Core Content Review of Family Medicine, 2012)