Erythema marginatum

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Erythema marginatum
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Erythema marginatum (individual with hereditary angioedema)
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Erythema marginatum is a type of erythema (redness of the skin or mucous membranes) involving pink rings on the torso and inner surfaces of the limbs which come and go for as long as several months.[1] It is found primarily on extensor surfaces.[2]

An association with bradykinin has been proposed in the case of hereditary angioedema.[3]

Signs and symptoms

The rings are barely raised and are non-itchy. The face is generally spared.[citation needed]

Associated conditions

It occurs in less than 5% of patients with rheumatic fever, but is considered a major Jones criterion when it does occur. The four other major criteria include carditis, polyarthritis, Sydenham's chorea, and subcutaneous nodules. In this case, it is often associated with Group A streptococcal infection, otherwise known as Streptococcus pyogenes infection, which can be detected with an ASO titer.[citation needed]

It is an early feature of rheumatic fever and not pathognomonic of it.[4] It may be associated with mild myocarditis (inflammation of heart muscle). It is also seen in conditions like allergic drug reactions, sepsis and glomerulonephritis.[4]

It often occurs as a harbinger of attacks in hereditary angioedema. In this case it may occur several hours or up to a day before an attack.[citation needed]



Some sources distinguish between the following:[citation needed]

  • "Erythema marginatum rheumaticum"
  • "Erythema marginatum perstans"


Erythema marginatum can be treated with hydrocortisone and adrenocorticotropc hormone (ACTH).[5]


  1. James, William D.; Elston, Dirk; Treat, James R.; Rosenbach, Misha A.; Neuhaus, Isaac (2020). "14. Bacterial infections". Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology (13th ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier. p. 263. ISBN 978-0-323-54753-6. Archived from the original on 2023-07-18. Retrieved 2023-07-16.
  2. "erythema marginatum" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  3. Starr JC, Brasher GW, Rao A, Posey D (October 2004). "Erythema marginatum and hereditary angioedema". South. Med. J. 97 (10): 948–50. doi:10.1097/01.SMJ.0000140850.22535.FA. PMID 15558919. S2CID 38676096.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Erythema Marginatum Pictorial CME" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-08-11. Retrieved 2021-05-30.
  5. Burke, J. B. (1955-08-01). "Erythema Marginatum". Archives of Disease in Childhood. 30 (152): 359–365. doi:10.1136/adc.30.152.359. ISSN 0003-9888. PMC 2011784. PMID 13249623.

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