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Treatment of postsurgical pyoderma gangrenosum with a high-potency topical steroid

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June 1, 2010
by Elena Balestreire Hawryluk, PhD, Sara Kaprove Penn, MD, Mary-Chester Wasko, MD, Jonas T. Johnson, MD, and Laura Korb Ferris, MD, PhD


Pyoderma gangrenosum is a rare disease characterized by chronic, nonhealing, noninfectious ulcers that can become exacerbated by trauma or manipulation, including surgical treatment. We describe the case of a 30-year-old woman who presented with a large ulcer at the site of an excisional cervical lymph node biopsy; she also had a smaller ulcer at the site of an earlier biopsy that had been previously well healed. The ulcers persisted despite local care, and the larger ulcer was exacerbated by surgical debridement. Histopathology revealed the presence of intense neutrophilic infiltrates with sterile microabscesses-a finding consistent with pyoderma gangrenosum. With 9 weeks of treatment with a high-potency topical steroid, both ulcers gradually healed.

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