Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory condition where the immune system goes into overdrive, creating clusters of inflamed tissue called granulomas to form in different parts of the body. Though it can affect many organ systems such as the skin, eyes, heart, and nervous system, involvement of the lungs and lymph nodes is most common. Symptoms can vary depending on the organ system involved, with some individuals exhibiting no symptoms whatsoever. Symptoms can include: fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, pain and swelling in the joints, persistent cough, shortness of breath, eye irritation, dry eyes, or blurry vision. Sarcoidosis can present with varied skin findings. It can present as lupus pernio (bluish red or purplish bumps and nodules over the nose, cheeks, and ears); small bumps that can be skin colored, red, reddish brown, or purplish in color; red, tender, nodules or lumps on the shins; or as a lump or bump within a pre-existing scar, tattoo, or piercing. Though the exact cause is unknown, genetics and the environment are thought to play a role in the development of sarcoidosis. Blacks and those of Scandinavian descent are more likely to develop sarcoidosis. It is also more common in women. Treatment options vary from topical medications to intralesional steroid injections to systemic therapies.

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