Panniculitis is a broad term refering to inflammation of the fatty layer underneath the skin. It's usually seen in women, on the thighs and lower legs.

There are many types of panniculitis with different causes but the condition generally causes the skin to feel hard and to develop painful red lumps (nodules) or patches (plaques), making it look darker in places.

Panniculitis usually affects the shins and calves, but may spread to the thighs, forearms and chest. It tends to clear up within six weeks, fading like a bruise, usually without scarring.

When the inflammation has settled, a depression in the skin may be left, which can be temporary or permanent.

Many people get recurring bouts of panniculitis.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 23 Jun 2016