Chest x-ray to rule out sarcoidosis or tuberculosis.
The underlying infection, drug, or disease should be identified and treated.
Treatment may include:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and swelling
Stronger anti-inflammatory medicines called steroids, taken by mouth or given as a shot.
Potassium iodide (SSKI) solution to clear up the nodules.
Salicylate medications to reduce acute inflammation.
Pain medicines (analgesics)
Raising the sore area (elevation)
Hot or cold compresses to help reduce discomfort
Erythema nodosum is uncomfortable, but it is usually not dangerous.
Symptoms usually go away within about 6 weeks, but may return.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of erythema nodosum.
Schwartz RA, Nervi SJ. Erythema nodosum: a sign of systemic disease. Am Fam Physician. 2007;75(5):695-700.
Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.