Erythema nodosum

Erythema nodosum is a painful red nodular rash that may be a manifestation of numerous systemic diseases.


Erythema nodosum is three to five times more common in female patients .

Clinical presentation

Erythema nodosum appears as painful erythematous nodules over the shins approximately 1-6 cm in size and are usually distributed symmetrically. Systemic symptoms (e.g. fever) may also be present depending on the underlying condition .


The rash is caused by panniculitis (inflammation of the subcutaneous fat) and is thought to be due to a type IV hypersensitivity .


Multiple causes of erythema nodosum have been described :

Treatment and prognosis

Typically the lesions are self-limiting and resolve within a few weeks. Underlying disorders however should be investigated for and treated .

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