Erythema nodosum

Erythema nodosum

Erythema nodosum (say "air-uh-THEE-muh noh-DOH-sum") is a condition in which red, painful bumps suddenly appear under the skin. They usually appear on the shins, but they may also appear on the ankles, calves, and face.

This condition can be caused by a number of diseases and infections, or it can be caused by medicines. Sometimes there is no obvious cause.

It often starts with flu-like symptoms, such as fever and aches. Sometimes these symptoms come before the rash.

After about 8 weeks, the bumps turn bright red or purple and then fade to yellow or green, much like bruises. The colour changes in the skin may take weeks or months to return to normal.

Treatment is often not needed. But your doctor may do tests to try to find out what caused the problem.