Panniculitis – Subcutaneous Fat Necrosis of the Newborn

February 9th, 2013

Subacute Fat Necrosis of the Newborn(SFN) is a rare type of panniculitis that I almost never encounter in my The Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology offices.  Typically, SFN occurs in the first month of life and most cases usually appear in the first week.  Clinically, the skin develops painful red nodules on the back, buttocks, cheeks and extremities.  Most nodules resolve spontaneously in a few months without any scarring.  Most newborns with SFN are healthy but 50% develop hypercalcemia (elevated levels of calcium in the blood) so frequent testing of calcium levels is recommended.  Newborns prone to SFN are those with a history of fetal distress, birth asphyxia, and meconium aspiration.