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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Treatment


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How might pyoderma gangrenosum be treated?

Although antibiotics are often prescribed prior to having a correct diagnosis (and may be continued if there is a secondary infection or surrounding cellulitis), antibiotics are generally not helpful for treating uncomplicated cases of pyoderma gangrenosum (PG).[1] The best documented treatments for PG are systemic corticosteroids and cyclosporin A.[2] Smaller ulcers may be treated with strong topical steroid creams, steroid injections, special dressings, oral anti-inflammatory antibiotics, and/or other therapies. More severe PG typically requires immunosuppressive therapy (used to decrease the body's immune responses).[1] Combinations of steroids with cytotoxic drugs may be used in resistant cases. There has reportedly been rapid improvement of PG with use of anti-tumor necrosis alpha therapy (such as infliximab), which is also used to treat Crohn's disease and other conditions. Skin transplants and/or the application of bioengineered skin is useful in selected cases as a complementary therapy to immunosuppressive treatment. The use of modern wound dressings is helpful to minimize pain and the risk of secondary infections.[2] Treatment for PG generally does not involve surgery because it can result in enlargement of the ulcer; however, necrotic tissue (dying or dead tissue) should be gently removed.[1]

More detailed information about the treatment of pyoderma gangrenosum is available on eMedicine's Web site and can be viewed by clicking here.
Last updated: 3/5/2012

References
  1. Pyoderma gangrenosum. DermNet NZ. March 3, 2012; http://www.dermnet.org.nz/reactions/pyoderma-gangrenosum.html. Accessed 3/5/2012.
  2. Pyoderma gangrenosum. Orphanet. April 2007; http://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?lng=EN&Expert=48104. Accessed 3/5/2012.


Clinical Trials & Research for this Disease

  • ClinicalTrials.gov lists trials that are studying or have studied Pyoderma gangrenosum. Click on the link to go to ClinicalTrials.gov to read descriptions of these studies.