Erythema Nodosum: Its Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Definition: The inflammation of the skin that is in a layer of fat the skin.

The first symptoms of erythema nodosum are the reddish color on the skin and painful, tender lumps most commonly located on the front of the legs just below the knees.

Bulges or nodules, erythema nodosum in the size of a coin. They can swell and disappear for weeks, then shrink and flatten, leaving a bruised appearance.

Erythema nodosum may disappear on its own in three to six weeks. After you are gone, you may leave only a temporary bruised appearance or chronic bleeding in the skin where the layer of fat has been injured.

It is a condition in which injuries appear elsewhere for weeks to months. However, chronic knotty erythema that can last for years is another pattern. It can occur with or without a present underlying disease with occasional relapses.

What causes erythema nodosum?

Erythema nodosum can occur with or without another medical condition. Conditions linked with erythema nodosum include medications (sulfa-related drugs, birth control pills, estrogens), strep throat, cat scratch disease, fungal diseases, infectious mononucleosis, Behcet’s disease, inflammatory diseases in the intestine, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis), and normal pregnancy.

How is erythema nodosum diagnosed?

The doctor will first perform a physical examination of skin rashes. However, a biopsy – a procedure in which a small part of the affected skin is taken to examine more thoroughly – is usually required to confirm a more accurate diagnosis of erythema nodosum.


Characteristic features of erythema nodosum include reddish nodules, most often below the knees in the front of the legs. They are usually painful and may gradually disappear.

There are several scenarios for the result of erythema nodosum. Usually, these nodular areas are tender and inflamed and disappear over weeks.

Then disappear spontaneously; each of the small areas of inflammation contract and then become injuries. They leave a bruised appearance.

How is erythema nodosum treated?

Erythema nodosum is initially treated by identifying and treating any underlying disease and skin lesions.

Treatments for erythema nodosum include anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone orally or by injection. Colchicine is used at some point effectively to reduce inflammation.

The treatment must be personalized and adapted for the patient and his symptoms. It is important to note that erythema nodosum, while it bothers and hurts, does not endanger the internal organs and the long-term prospects are generally very good.