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Erythema (from the Greek erythros, meaning red) is redness of the skin or mucous membranes, caused by hyperemia (increased blood flow) in superficial capillaries.[1] It occurs with any skin injury, infection, or inflammation. Examples of erythema not associated with pathology include nervous blushes.[2]


It can be caused by infection, massage, electrical treatment, acne medication, allergies, exercise, solar radiation (sunburn), photosensitization,[3] acute radiation syndrome, mercury toxicity, blister agents,[4] niacin administration,[5] or waxing and tweezing of the hairs—any of which can cause the capillaries to dilate, resulting in redness. Erythema is a common side effect of radiotherapy treatment due to patient exposure to ionizing radiation.



  • Erythema ab igne
  • Erythema chronicum migrans
  • Erythema induratum
  • Erythema infectiosum (or fifth disease)
  • Erythema marginatum
  • Erythema migrans
  • Erythema multiforme (EM)
  • Erythema nodosum
  • Erythema toxicum
  • Erythema elevatum diutinum
  • Erythema gyratum repens
  • Keratolytic winter erythema
  • Palmar erythema

See also

  • Flushing (physiology)
  • List of cutaneous conditions


  1. Mosby's Medical Dictionary (9th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier. 2013. ISBN 978-0-323-08541-0. 
  2. erythema, Mosby's Medical, Nursing & Allied Health Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Mosby-Year Book 1994, p. 570
  3. Jane C. Quinn; Yuchi Chen; Belinda Hackney; Muhammad Shoaib Tufail; Leslie A. Weston; Panayiotis Loukopoulos (2018), "Acute-onset high-morbidity primary photosensitisation in sheep associated with consumption of the Casbah and Mauro cultivars of the pasture legume biserrula", BMC Veterinary Research, doi:10.1186/s12917-017-1318-7 
  5. "Test niacynowy w schizofrenii". Psychiatr Pol. 24 (2): 116–20. Mar–Apr 1990. PMID 2084715. 

External links

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