Merck Manual

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Quick Facts

Panniculitis

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Apr 2019| Content last modified Apr 2019
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What is panniculitis?

Panniculitis is inflammation in the layer of fat under your skin.

  • Panniculitis has many causes, including infection, the cold, and injury

  • Symptoms include tender, red bumps under your skin

  • There's no treatment, but doctors may give you medicines to ease symptoms

What causes panniculitis?

The most common cause is:

  • Infection

Other causes include:

  • Cold temperatures

  • Injury

What are the symptoms of panniculitis?

Symptoms include:

  • Large, tender, red skin bumps, usually on your legs or arms

  • Fever

  • Joint and muscle pain

  • Feeling ill

How can doctors tell if I have panniculitis?

Doctors can tell you have panniculitis by examining you. To know for certain, doctors may do a biopsy (taking out a little piece of tissue to look at under a microscope).

How do doctors treat panniculitis?

Doctors treat panniculitis with:

  • Aspirin or ibuprofen

  • Medicine that calms down your immune system

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