Pediatric Panniculitis

Pediatric Panniculitis



Panniculitis is a disorder that causes painful, red bumps to form on the skin, most often on the legs and feet.

Expanded overview

Panniculitis is a condition that causes painful bumps (nodules) to form just underneath the skin. These bumps lead to inflammation (swelling) in the fat layer under the skin, which is known as the panniculus. The panniculus is the type of fat that provides insulation for the body and helps control body temperature.


Types of panniculitis that can affect children include:

  • Cold panniculitis – affects areas of the body that have been exposed to extreme cold
  • Erythema nodosum – causes painful, red bumps on the front of the lower legs
  • Lipodermatosclerosis – causes vein problems and obesity
  • Subcutaneous sarcoidosis – caused by sarcoidosis (condition that causes inflammatory cells to form unnaturally in various organs throughout the body)


There are many potential causes of panniculitis, including:

Risk Factors

A child is at a higher risk for developing panniculitis if they have an infection, an inflammatory disease or a connective tissue disorder. This condition more often affects females than it does males.


Signs and symptoms of panniculitis can include:

  • Bulging of one or both eyes
  • Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Necrosis (tissue breakdown) around the areas of the bumps
  • Oily substance that drains from the bumps
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Pain in the joints and muscles
  • Painful bumps that are often red in color and most commonly appear on the legs, feet, face, arms, chest, abdomen and buttocks
  • Unintentional weight loss

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