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Erythema Multiforme Causes & Risks


In some cases this condition can be caused by a reaction to an infection or certain medications. Often the cause is unknown.

Erythema multiforme minor is most commonly associated with:

  • Herpes simplex virus—the same virus that causes cold sores

Other triggers connected with erythema multiforme major include:

  • Mycoplasma infection (bacterial lung infection)
  • Cocaine use
  • History of radiotherapy
  • Certain medications, such as:

Risk Factors

Exposure to any of the known causes increase the risk. The conditions more commonly occurs in:

  • Individuals who have had it before
  • Individuals with history of cold sores (orolabial herpes) or genital herpes
  • Children and young adults
  • Males more than females
  • Individuals who are HIV positive

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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