DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rheumatoid arthritis nodule. Hard swelling (nodule) on the thumb of a 63-year-old woman due to rheumatoid arthritis. Such nodules develop under the skin and are usually painless. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The antibodies of the immune system attack the lining of the joints, causing inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. This results in stiffness, pain and swelling. There is no cure, but rest and anti-inflammatory drugs may relieve the symptoms.
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