Non-healing ulcers can be caused by a number of conditions, including vascular disease, diabetes, malignancy and some infections. Drug-related ulcers are rare, and a high index of clinical suspicion is required for diagnosis, in parallel with exclusion of more sinister underlying causes.
We present a patient with a complex medical background, who had a 10-week history of a non-healing ulcer on his nasal bridge. Inflammatory, autoimmune and malignant causes for the ulcer were excluded by histopathology.
Nicorandil was deemed to be the most likely cause for the patient's ulcer. Nicorandil is an anti-anginal medication known to cause oral ulceration and skin lesions in the perianal and peristomal regions and around surgical wounds. However, there are no previously reported cases of facial ulcers. The ulcer required surgical debridement and healed completely within six months, following discontinuation of nicorandil. This case highlights the importance of having a high index of clinical suspicion regarding non-healing ulcers, and of considering drugs as an aetiological factor, especially in patients with a complex medical background who are taking numerous medications.