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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Other Names for this Disease
  • Mitchell disease (formerly)
  • Primary erythermalgia
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Your Question

My otherwise healthy adult daughter has just been diagnosed with primary, idiopathic erythromelalgia based on extensive blood work ruling out other diseases.  Her feet become hot and red when wearing socks and closed shoes for exercise and sometimes when her feet "dangle" for an extended period of time.  She does not experience any pain. Her dermatologist has told her the cases she has seen have always had pain.  Is there any way of knowing when pain commences--months, years, how long?  Is it possible that this will just manifest with heat and redness?  Will continuing to exercise and being in a hot environment cause the flares that are now pain free to speed up the onset of pain?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Does avoiding triggers improve the long term outlook of people with primary erythromelalgia?

Avoiding triggers is key to the management of current symptoms, but little is known regarding how this affects the long-term course of an individual's condition.
Last updated: 7/5/2013

Do symptoms of primary erythromelalgia worsen overtime?

Currently it is very difficult to predict how a person's primary erythromelalgia will affect them overtime. The cause of primary erythromelalgia is not well understood. Much of the literature regarding the long term outlook for people with idiopathic primary erythromelalgia is compiled from individual case reports. Erythromelalgia is usually a chronic or persistent condition, however there have been cases that have fully resolved with time. Many people with primary erythromelalgia have stable symptoms, however cases of progressive disease (symptoms worsening overtime) have also been described. Pain is a characteristic/classic feature of primary erythromelalgia. Unfortunately we were not able to find information specific to painless cases of this disorder, and outcomes of these individuals.
Last updated: 7/5/2013