Were you or someone you know diagnosed with panniculitis? If so, you are probably wondering what it is. Here is the basic information about panniculitis.
What It Is
Panniculitis refers to a group of conditions. They are characterized by the appearance of painful bumps underneath your skin. And, usually, they show up on your lower limbs.
The subcutaneous fat layer or panniculus, under the skin, becomes inflamed because of these bumps. This is the same fat that helps keep you warm at night.
The type of panniculitis you have, and the cause depends on a variety of things. Where you have inflammation determines the type. Although they commonly appear on legs and feet, they can make an appearance on other parts of your body. Your chest, face, arms, buttocks, and abdomen are some other places you may see the bumps.
In addition, different things can cause this condition. It can be an infection from parasites, fungi, virus or bacteria. Or it may come from complications of another condition such as diabetes. Some cancers, like leukemia, may be the cause of it. Alternatively, injury from extreme cold or exercise can cause panniculitis.
And, sometimes your doctor may not be able to establish a cause at all.
What to Do About It
If have a panniculitis diagnosis, though, there are different things your doctor will try. First, they will try to manage the symptoms. Usually, this involves prescription medications to bring down the swelling and inflammation.
In addition, at home care will involve a lot of rest and elevation of the body part that is inflamed. At times, you may even wear compression stockings, depending on where on your body the bumps are located.
Finally, sometimes the swelling and inflammation go away on its own. But, as a last resort, you may also have surgery to remove the bumps.
Panniculitis will usually resolve itself after a few weeks, especially if your doctor is addressing the underlying causes for it. And, knowing the basic information about panniculitis will give you an idea of what to expect from your doctor visits.