Background

“Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is an inflammatory skin disorder that is characterized by small, red bumps or blisters that may form swollen open sores (ulcerations). Size and depth of the ulcerations vary and are often painful.  Often times, PG occurs secondary to another disorder such as inflammatory bowel disease. The exact cause of PG is currently unknown. Many researchers classify PG as an autoimmune disorder.”

Prevalence

  • Affects women slightly more often than men
  • Often occurs in ages 20 to 50 years
  • Infants or adolescents account for fewer than 4 percent of cases
  • Affects approximately 1 in every 100,000 people in the United States

Medical Management

  • Topical
  • Bandaging to protect skin
  • Immunosuppressive medications
  • Pain management
  • Surgery

Occupational Therapy Considerations

Sleep – PG often occurs in the lower legs, and an occupational therapists can help promote ways to protect the skin and comfort at night.
OTs may consider Sheet and Blanket Supports, as seen in hospitals.

Dressing – occupational therapists can work with you to find types of clothing for comfort including sleepwear. Clients may find shorts more comfortable but this may pose body image issues in public.

Bathing – occupational therapists can help you find the best way to shower or bathe, either by standing or while seated.

Bed mobility – can be extremely painful to mobilize, occupational therapists can help you find ways to get in and out of bed.

Community mobility – occupational therapists can find ways to continue riding in cars, taxi, public transportation to find ways to get to appointments, shopping, etc.

Sex – occupational therapists can promote ways to participate in sexual activities with considerations for skin protection and positioning with your partner.

Physical activities – occupational therapists may help clients to find ways to participate in sports, exercise, and physically involved hobbies.

Psychosocial – clients may develop body image issues, depression, chronic pain management. Occupational therapists can help you live fulfilling lives and manage psychosocial barriers.
OTs may consider: CBT, alternative therapies (aromatherapy), support groups (real or virtual)

Contraindications

  • SCDs

References:
https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/pyoderma-gangrenosum/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17825-pyoderma-gangrenosum-pg/management-and-treatment

OTDUDE
Jeff is the lead writer for OTDUDE.com and covers all things Occupational Therapy. Buy me a Bubble Tea: Venmo @otdude