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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Erythema Marginatum: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

A pale- pink rash with a red outline on your arms, legs etc. is called Erythema marginatum. It occurs in ring like form and can be big or long.

This rash itself is not a disease, but could indicate few other diseases like:

  1. rheumatic fever

  2. hereditary angioedema

  3. Lyme disease

  4. allergic reaction

How does Erythema marginatum rash appear?

Erythema marginatum pinkish rash

pinkish rash with red borders

The rash is pinkish in color with red borders. It is in the shape of a ring, either can be irregular or irregular in shape.

It is not very dark and tends to fade out with time. Erythema marginatum rash might stay on the body for few hours, days or even more. There is no pain caused by it and you may not even notice it on people with a dark complexion.

Face is not the area on which the rash appears. It would rather occur on cebtre of the body, hands, legs etc.

So what really causes this rash?

Erythema marginatum rash cause pain?

Erythema marginatum rash does not cause any pain

The conditions / diseases which lead to Erythema marginatum are listed below:

  1. Rheumatic fever

  2. Erythema marginatum occurs because of rheumatic fever. Few of the symptoms of rheumatic fever are: fever, pain in joints, damage to the heart, angioedema.

  3. Erythema marginatum is perhaps an early on indicator of hereditary angioedema.

  4. It is one of the rare diseases and only after puberty its symptoms start to show.

  5. As it could indicate that you might get infected with angioedema.

  6. Few antibiotics like amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin) are known to cause side effects and might lead to the development of a Erythema marginatum rash.

  7. Lyme disease can be associated more commonly with erythema migrans.

  8. Rarely, erythema marginatum is perhaps one of the symptoms on skin in Lyme disease.

  9. Lyme disease is a serious disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria through deer ticks. Its symptoms tend to overlap with many other diseases, hence, it is very difficult to diagnose it precisely.

Diagnosis of erythema marginatum

Erythema marginatum rash diagnosis

Erythema marginatum rash diagnosis

Although, the rash itself does not cause any damage but could indicate a serious underlying medical issue. So you have to consult your doctor right away.

A thorough medical history will be taken by the physician.

Heart tests and blood examination have to be undertaken if rheumatic fever or strep throat is suspected.

In case of inherited angioedema, a blood test may be advised by your physician. A blood test would be able to predict if c1 inhibitor is decreased, which is the causative factor of this disease.

Treatment of erythema marginatum rash

Erythema marginatum rash treatment

Erythema marginatum rash does not need any treatment and fades out on its own

Usually no such treatment is required for erythema marginatum. The rash usually dies it’s own slow death. If there is any other medical problem then take treatment for it.

If you suffer from Rheumatic fever, then take antibiotics to fight infection:

  1. salicylates for arthritic symptoms

  2. corticosteroids for heart ailments

Inherited angioedema is managed by giving Cinryze or icatibant (Firazyr) to the patient.

Lymes disease can be managed by consuming with antibiotics.

erythema marginatum rash is not very prevalent in the developed nations like the united states. There several other rashes that look like it and should be differentiated from erythema marginatum. Your doctor will check you thoroughly and give you the diagnosis. One of the conditions like rheumatic fever can show erythema marginatum rash as its symptom. But if you seem to develop angioedema then that’s a very serious attack.


Erythema mutliforme is pinkish red in color and occurs on abdomen, upper and lower limbs. It would fade on its own in few hours, days or even longer. is not a disease per se but could be occurring due to some disease like rheumatic fever etc. Your doctor will be able to diagnose and treat it better. Its occurrence is rare in the more developed nations. No treatment for it exists as such. But this rash could be associated with angioedema and an immediate form of treatment might be required for this.

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