About 12 years ago, my mother developed a condition on her right ankle. It was a series of what appeared to be abscesses or lesions under the skin – 2 to 5 at a time. They are very painful with a red-hot burning sensation. They seem like boils that never mature, open, or drain. They come and go in random fashion, often leaving a dark blue bruise-like scar. They are always confined to a narrow band around the right ankle about 4 inches from the heel. The only medication that has had any effect on the inflammation and pain is prednisone.
The lesions appear and disappear in random fashion over a period of three weeks to two months. Then they go away for a period of 6 months to two years. Then the series reappears and repeats itself, always in the same area around the right ankle.
We have been to five specialists. There have been three lab cultures and two biopsies with no results. The only indication was an inflammation of veins and tissue at those spots. Lupus or fibromyalgia were considered as possibilities, but there are no other symptoms whatsoever that usually accompany those conditions.
My mother thinks that the appearance of this condition seems to be related to increased mental/emotional stress. We have not been able to associate it with any other cause or condition. Does anyone know what this might be, what causes it, and what can be done about it?