Ulcerative Colitis Disease affects more than just your gastrointestinal tract. The same inflammation that triggers disease in your intestines can manifest all over the body — including your skin.Up to 15 percent of people with inflammatory bowel disease also experience skin problems, according to a review published in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in August 2015. Your first line of defense against these skin problems is to get your Ulcerative Colitis Disease under control, says Matilda Hagan, MD, an inflammatory bowel disease specialist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland.If you do notice any skin changes, it’s important to tell your doctor right away so you can be seen by a dermatologist, says Kally Papantoniou, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Ulcerative Colitis Disease and Your Skin
Skin conditions that you may be susceptible to along with Ulcerative Colitis Disease include:
1. Erythema nodosum. This rash consists of painful, raised bumps that are usually found on the legs, Dr. Hagan says. It tends to develop when Ulcerative Colitis Disease is active, she adds. You may also run a fever, have joint pain, and generally feel ill, according to the National Library of Medicine.Treatment options include pain-relieving medications, steroids (taken either by mouth or injection), and potassium iodide solution to clear up the bumps.“A cool compress can also help alleviate discomfort and reduce inflammation,” Dr. Papantoniou says, adding that elevating your legs may help lessen swelling and tenderness. Compression stockings may help as well, but have your doctor evaluate you for vascular disease before using them, she cautions.Symptoms usually go away within about six weeks, but they may come back.
2. Pyoderma gangrenosum. This rash, which spreads quickly, is made up of red or purple bumps or blisters. They eventually join together and form deep open sores (ulcers) with a blue or purple border, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD).The ulcers can occur almost anywhere: “People can have them on their feet, making it difficult to walk,”