Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.

Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Erythema nodosum, idiopathic


Other Names for this Disease
  • Idiopathic erythema nodosum
  • Erythema nodosum of unknown etiology
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

Erythema nodosum (EN) is a skin condition in which red bumps (nodules) form on the shins. Less commonly, the nodules form on other areas of the body such as the thighs and forearms.[1][2] The lesions begin as firm, hot, red, painful lumps and progress to a purplish color.[1] EN is a type of inflammatory disorder affecting the layer of fat under the skin (panniculitis).[2][3] Other symptoms that may accompany the skin findings include the following: fever, a general feeling of being ill. joint aches, and swelling of the affected area.[1] In many cases, EN is presumed to be a delayed reaction to antigens associated with various infections, drugs, and certain systemic diseases.[3] In many cases, however, EN has no identifiable cause (idiopathic); in these cases, clinical follow-up is needed to rule out certain conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, sarcoidosis, lymphoma, and Behcet's disease.[3] Treatment may include rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), steroids, hot or cold compresses, potassium iodide solution, and supportive bandages or compression stockings.[1][2] Symptoms usually resolve within six weeks, but EN may become a chronic disorder lasting for months and, occasionally, for years.[1][2] Approximately 30% cases of idiopathic EN may last more than 6 months.[4]
Last updated: 9/24/2015

References

  1. Erythema nodosum. MedlinePlus. October 18, 2013; https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000881.htm. Accessed 9/24/2015.
  2. Erythema nodosum. DermNet New Zealand Trust. August 1, 2015; http://www.dermnetnz.org/vascular/erythema-nodosum.html. Accessed 9/24/2015.
  3. Shojania, Kaveh. Erythema nodosum. UpToDate. November 27, 2013; http://www.uptodate.com/contents/erythema-nodosum. Accessed 9/24/2015.
  4. Hebel, Jeanette. Erythema Nodosum. Medscape Reference. April 13, 2015; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1081633-overview. Accessed 9/24/2015.
GARD Video Tutorials
GARD Video Tutorials
Learn how to find information on treatment, research, specialists, and more.
Contact GARD
Contact GARD
Contact a GARD Information Specialist with your questions about this condition.
On this page

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Erythema nodosum, idiopathic. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Idiopathic erythema nodosum
  • Erythema nodosum of unknown etiology
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.