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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 1.

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 1.

The rash is caused by panniculitis (inflammation of the subcutaneous fat) and is thought to be due to a type IV hypersensitivity 1.

Multiple causes of erythema nodosum have been described 2:

Typically the lesions are self-limiting and resolve within a few weeks. Underlying disorders however should be investigated for and treated 1.

Article information

rID: 61992
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • erythema nodosum
  • EN

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: sarcoidosis
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