New Latin, from Greek erythēma, from erythainein to redden, from erythros
First Known Use: circa 1783
Medical Definition of ERYTHEMA
: abnormal redness of the skin due to capillary congestion (as in inflammation)
Abnormal skin redness from increased blood flow, caused by dilation and irritation of surface capillaries. It has a variety of manifestations. In erythema multiforme, a symptom complex seen in several diseases, spots appear suddenly, often with a bull's-eye pattern. It may become life-threatening in severe cases; in mild cases symptoms may recur. Hormone treatment may be effective. In erythema nodosum, a hypersensitivity reaction usually associated with strep infection (seestreptococcus), drugs, or the disease sarcoidosis, painful red nodules appear in the deeper skin layer of the lower legs. They usually disappear over several weeks and do not recur. Another form of erythema is pellagra.