Erythromelalgia (ICD-10 I 73.8)
Erythromelalgia / erythromelalgia is characterized by frequent episodes of burning pain and redness in the feet and / or hands. The reasons are several. Someone has one gene mutation that affect ion channels (reference: Bennett DLH, Lancet Neurol, 2014). Changes in the small nerve fibers affect the circulation in small blood vessels.
About 1,3 new cases per 100.000 population per year (corresponds to 65 new cases per year in Norway). Erythromelalgia is thus defined as one rare disease.
Burning pain, episodes. Most often in both feet, but can also be on hands, ears and nose. Redness and swelling. Some have Raynaud's . Symptoms are alleviated by cooling.
No special tests. Does not turn into blood tests. Specialized studies of nerve changes (thin-fiber neurography) can be done by a neurologist. Skin symptoms can be assessed by a dermatologist.
Underlying disease which can contribute to erythromelalgi:
- Blood disorders
- High cholesterol
- Rheumatic connective tissue disorders og Vasculitis
- Thin fiber neuropathy
- Fabry's disease
- Poisoning (mercury, fungus)
- Sciatica (disc hernia, usually single-sided with severe pain down the leg)
Incorrect diagnosis (similar illnesses / differential diagnoses)
- Atrophic dermatitis after tick bite (chronic skin disease)
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Raynaud's phenomenon
- Reflex dystrophy / algodystrophy / CRPS
- Restless Legs Syndrome (Restless Legs)
- Vasculitis diseases
No special medication or surgery. Relief by lifting affected feet or hands and thereby reducing blood flow. Avoid excessive cooling in water or with ice. This can cause severe damage to the skin. Symptomatic treatment with various analgesics.
- Wikipedia (English)
- Merck Manual
- Erythromelalgia Patient Organization (USA)
- Grans Compendium in Rheumatology