American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Erythema Multiforme Minor: A Revision

L. R. Oliveira and S. Zucoloto

DOI : 10.3844/ajidsp.2008.224.231

American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Volume 4, Issue 4

Pages 224-231


The term Erythema Multiforme (EM) includes a wide and controversial variety of clinical expressions at the present time. This study revises the EM minor characteristics according to the most important publications found in literature. Erythema Multiforme is a distinct dermatologic hypersensitivity pathology characterized by cutaneous or mucous lesions and eventually it can also involve both. In their more severe forms, they appear with occasional visceral involvements. In the EM minor only one mucous membrane is affected and usually is the oral mucosa. When occur in the skin, the lesions usually appear symmetrically in the extremities, in a target form, could be continuous or recurrent and none additional systemic involvement is present for both cases. Nowadays, many authors separate etiologically the several manifestations of the EM spectrum. However, no clinical definition is still accepted thoroughly, making more difficult the comparisons of etiological and clinical aspects, histopathological studies and therapeutic protocols. For the present work, we tried to elucidate through an extensive literature revision some historical and current aspects of EM, focusing mainly the EM minor and its frequent association to HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus), with their diagnostic characteristics and current therapeutics, to facilitate the physician understanding and to favor future researches about this disease.


© 2008 L. R. Oliveira and S. Zucoloto. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.