Author(s): Vijaya Lakshmi Panthalla, Mayakuntla Subramanya Swamy, Y. Aruna Kumari, I. Chandra Sekhar Reddy

BACKGROUND: Erythema multiforme is an acute self-limited syndrome with distinctive skin lesions, with or without mucosal lesions, which can be precipitated by various agents. EM minor denotes mild cutaneous syndrome. EM major denotes more severe syndrome, with marked mucosal involvement.

METHODS: 50 clinically diagnosed cases of erythema multiforme attending DVL department, attached to GGH Kurnool, were studied. A detailed proforma was taken, which included 1). Detailed history including chief complaints related to skin. 2). Complete physical and systemic examination. 3). Relevant investigations were done.

RESULTS: In the present study, 50 clinically diagnosed cases of erythema multiforme were enrolled. 31-50 yrs. (40%) age group patients showed peak incidence, with slight female preponderance. Incidence of EM minor (84%) was much higher than EM major (16%). Systemic drugs are the main cause for EM minor (50%) and the sole cause for EM major. Among drugs, Sulphonamides (20%) are the commonest cause. Next come Infections (30%) among which Herpes simplex (20%) is most common; followed by Radiotherapy. All cases of EM major showed symmetrical involvement, bullous lesions, erosions over both skin and mucous membranes. EM minor presented with papular lesions, ‘Target’ lesions over extremities.
CONCLUSIONS:The present study emphasises that EM can be diagnosed clinically. Drugs are the sole cause for EM Major.