Erythema Nodosum

  • Débora Sarzi SartoriEmail author
  • Lara Mombelli
  • Natalia Sarzi Sartori


Erythema nodosum is a panniculitis characterized by the abrupt appearance of painful nodular lesions on the lower extremities, mainly in young women. It is the most common clinical presentation of all panniculitis types, featured in a histologic study by septum inflammation (septal panniculitis) without vasculitis. Currently it is considered a reaction pattern that demands investigation for triggering underlying diseases. Erythema nodosum is a self-limited condition, lasting approximately 8 weeks. The majority of cases are idiopathic (up to 55%), but it can be the first sign of serious systemic diseases such as tuberculosis, deep fungal infection, sarcoidosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and, rarely, malignancies. Of all identifiable causes, the most frequent is streptococcal pharyngitis, prevailing in younger patients. The treatment is directed to the etiologic factors. Painful symptoms have a good response to rest and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.


Erythema nodosum Panniculitis Acute panniculitis Septal panniculitis Inflammation of subcutaneous fat Delayed type 4 hypersensitivity Subcutaneous nodule Painful nodules of anterior tibial surface Contusiform nodules Skin manifestations of systemic disease 




Solid formation characterized by nodules that liquefies in its central portion, and may ulcerate. Typical lesion of tertiary syphilis. Common in skin, but may occur in other organs such as liver, bone, and testis.


Inflammation of the adipose tissue. Also called hypodermitis.

Punch biopsy

Skin biopsy performed with cylindrical instruments that can range from 2 to 8 mm.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Débora Sarzi Sartori
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lara Mombelli
    • 2
  • Natalia Sarzi Sartori
    • 3
  1. 1.Service of DermatologyUFCSPAPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Service of DermatologyUFCSPAPorto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.Service of RheumatologyFederal Univesity of Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

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