What is Pretibial Edema?

Q:
What is pretibial edema?

A:
Pretibial edema, also called pretibial myxedema or Graves’ dermopathy, is a rare complication of Grave’s disease. Pretibial edema is used to describe lesions of your skin that are localized. This condition is characterized by red, swollen skin, usually on the shins and tops of the feet.

Causes:

A buildup of carbohydrates in the skin can lead to it, but the exact cause of its formation hasn’t been identified. Experts think some things may trigger pretibial edema, such as:

  • Using radioactive iodine to treat Grave’s hyperthyroidism
  • Thyroid hormone imbalance which can be too high or too low and causes the thickening of your skin
  • Smoking tobacco

Treatment:

If your condition is mild, treatment is not necessary because it will improve over time.

Treatment may include:

  • Cortisone creams to reduce inflammation
  • Cortisone injections
  • Compression stockings

In addition, doctor will advise you to quit smoking and avoid trauma to the skin.

If you have any questions, please ask your doctor for professional advice.

Keywords: pretibial edema; pretibial myxedema; Graves’ dermopathy; causes; treatment

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