Erythromelalgia: A Review of Medical Management Options and Our Approach to Management

Janice E. Ma, Jinnee U.J. Lee, Julio C. Sartori-Valinotti, Thom W. Rooke, Paola Sandroni, Mark D.P. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Erythromelalgia (EM) is a rare disorder characterized by episodic, burning pain associated with erythema and warmth of the extremities. The feet and hands are most commonly affected. The pain can be so severe that patients may engage in behaviors, sometimes extreme, to cool the affected areas and change their lifestyle to avoid precipitating factors, such as exercise and increased ambient heat. A literature search was performed with PubMed and MEDLINE with the search term erythromelalgia. Inclusion criteria were studies on EM published after 1985 until January 1, 2022, in the English language and studies that provided information on medical treatment of EM. Studies were excluded if they were duplicates or did not include treatment data. No guidelines exist for the treatment of this complex disorder. Lifestyle modifications and pharmacologic treatments (topical and systemic) are discussed in this article, which provides a comprehensive review of published medical management options for erythromelalgia and a proposed approach to management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-149
Number of pages14
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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