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Can pyoderma gangrenosum lead to amputation?

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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Pyoderma gangrenosum is a rare skin condition that causes painful ulcers and can be difficult to treat. It is not infectious or contagious so you cannot catch it from another person. The cause of pyoderma gangrenosum is often unknown but it can be related to overactivity of the immune system.

Pyoderma gangrenosum is frequently misdiagnosed due to its similar presentation to other skin and soft tissue infections. There is no specific test to confirm pyoderma gangrenosum and so it is usually diagnosed by exclusion. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis of pyoderma gangrenosum can lead to devastating results. Medical treatment can be provided for pyoderma gangrenosum with strong steroid creams, ointments or injections. Immunosuppressants can also reduce pain and help the ulcers to heal.

In some situations, surgical management is required but because pyoderma gangrenosum can be made worse by cuts to the skin, surgery to remove the dead tissue is not usually considered a good treatment option. It is sometimes suggested for individuals to have a skin graft if the ulcer was large, and the skin requires help with healing. This can only be done if the wound inflammation has gone down, and the ulcer has started to heal. In severe situations, amputation might be the only treatment option.

It is important to see a medical professional as soon as possible if you have an ulcer on your skin that is not getting better. Pyoderma gangrenosum is a serious condition that can progress quickly so it is very important to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the negligence of a medical or health professional, including amputation as a result of a delay in diagnosis of pyoderma gangrenosum, then we may be able to help you pursue a claim for compensation. Our leading team of experts are on hand to offer advice, so please get in touch with us on 0161 696 6165 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.