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Erythema nodosum

Erythema nodosum is swollen fat under the skin causing bumps and patches that look red or darker than surrounding skin. It usually goes away by itself, but it can be a sign of something serious.

Erythema nodosum bumps on the shins

You may also have flu-like symptoms, such as:

If you're not sure it's erythema nodosum

Check other types of lumps.

The colour of the bumps and patches usually changes and fades, like a bruise.

The bumps usually heal on their own within 3 to 8 weeks without leaving a scar. But other symptoms, such as joint pain, may last several weeks or months.

If you're in pain, a pharmacist can recommend:

A pharmacist may also suggest you see a GP.

A GP should be able to tell if you have erythema nodosum by looking at the bumps and patches.

If the GP thinks a medicine you've been taking might be causing erythema nodosum, you may be advised to stop taking it. Do not stop taking your medicines without asking a GP first.

The GP might arrange some tests if erythema nodosum:

Erythema nodosum can be caused by lots of things, but often the cause is not known.

Common causes include: