Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: panniculitis | leg | causes | Weber | Christian | diseas | cold

Doctor Stumped by Panniculitis

Friday, 24 February 2012 09:24 AM

Dear Dr. Hibberd:
I have had panniculitis in my leg for five years and my doctor seems to have no idea what is causing it. Can you explain what this condition is and how to treat it?

Answer: Panniculitis refers to a group of conditions that involve inflammation of the fat under the skin. Despite having very different causes, most forms of panniculitis look alike, are irregular, and under the skin. Cold injury to fat tissue can also result in a type of panniculitis, called cold panniculitis. It can also be due to abrupt withdrawal of high dose of steroids. Severe panniculitis can result from the deficiency alpha1-antitrypsin inhibitor, a form of inherited disorder. Since your lesion is in your leg, it is likely to be an idiopathic nodular panniculitis, also known as Weber-Christian disease, which has no known cause. You could also have associated fever, malaise, arthralgia, and myalgia.
The diagnosis is established by a skin biopsy as there are characteristic microscopic features depending on the cause. Have you had a skin biopsy done? You might want to discuss this with your doctor at the next visit.

© HealthDay

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Panniculitis refers to a group of conditions that cause inflammation of the fat layer under the skin. It can have a variety of causes.
Friday, 24 February 2012 09:24 AM
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