What Is Nodular Fasciitis?
Nodular fasciitis is a type of skin infection caused by bacteria called Staphylococcus epidermidis. The most common site where it occurs are the hands or feet. Other sites include the armpits, groin, and genital area.
The name “nodules” refers to the appearance of these infections in which there are small white bumps (nods) on your skin. These nodules may look like little pimples or they may appear as large red spots. They are usually painless and do not require treatment with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, nodular fasciitis can cause scarring and sores that will prevent you from using your hands properly.
Symptoms Of Nodular Fasciitis:
Painful nodules (painful boils). Painful bumps (redness) on your skin. Red bumps (pimples) on your face. Scars from nodules.
Sores from nodules.
How Common Is Nodular Fasciitis?
There is no exact number of cases of nodular fasciitis but it is estimated that up to one third of the population have some form of skin disease related to this bacterium. Most people don’t even realize that they have it because the lesions heal without causing any problems.
Most people who get nodular fasciitis are either middle-aged or elderly. Other people at risk are those who have diabetes or a suppressed immune system. Some medical conditions, such as liver disease or cancer can also increase your risk of getting nodular fasciitis.
How Is Nodular Fasciitis Spread?
Nodular fasciitis is not contagious. It cannot be spread from person to person, even from direct contact. Nodular fasciitis is not an infection that you can catch from animals, either. It is caused by a bacterium that lives harmlessly on your skin and in your nose and throat without causing problems.
Infections happen when the bacterium penetrates your skin and gets inside your body. Once inside, the bacteria multiply, causing inflammation that forms into nodules (bumps that are red and swollen). Anything that causes your skin to break down or damage can cause an infection, including cuts, scrapes, bug bites, or other skin conditions.
Nodular fasciitis tends to occur more often in places where you have a lot of friction or pressure, such as under a shoe, on a fingernail, or between fingers. The bacterium only causes problems when it gets inside your body. This is why you can have a lot of nodules on your skin without getting sick.
What Are The Symptoms of Nodular Fasciitis?
The most common symptom is painless nodules (pimples) on your skin. You may see small red or purple spots where the nodules are beginning to form. Sometimes, these nodules break open and ooze pus. Other symptoms include:
Swelling or redness of the skin.
Burning or itching skin.
Worsening of your symptoms when you touch the area.
Does Nodular Fasciitis Affect Other Organs?
Nodular fasciitis is not a life-threatening illness. It usually affects the skin and subcutaneous tissue (the layer of fat under the skin). It rarely affects other organs, such as your joints or tendons. Nodular fasciitis does not pose a risk of spreading to other parts of your body.
What Happens if Nodular Fasciitis Is Left Untreated?
If nodular fasciitis is left untreated, it can result in scarring, which can cause contractures (when the scar forms a rigid band that restricts movement) and contracture (a fixed position of a joint). However, this is rare.
How Is Nodular Fasciitis Diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history to see if your symptoms match those of nodular fasciitis. For example, they will ask you when you first noticed the pain, whether it gets worse when you touch the affected area, and whether it is better or worse at different times of the day.
Your doctor may recommend that you get an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to confirm a diagnosis of nodular fasciitis. This test uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of your organs and tissues. This allows your doctor to see if you have nodules forming under your skin.
How Is Nodular Fasciitis Treated?
The best way to treat nodular fasciitis is to remove or drain the infection. Your doctor will most likely perform a small incision to drain the pus from your skin. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic cream or ointment to help fight the infection.
It is also important to avoid any activities that cause friction or pressure on your skin, like using harsh soaps or wearing tight clothing. In rare cases, surgery may be required to remove damaged nerves or tissue.
Can Nodular Fasciitis Be Prevented?
Nodular fasciitis is rare, and there is currently no known way to prevent it. However, the following tips may help you reduce your risk of skin infection or any other skin condition:
Wash your hands after touching animals or animal waste.
Keep your pets current on vaccinations.
Avoid walking barefoot in public areas.
Always wear shoes in public areas.
Wear protective clothing when working outdoors.
Moisturize your skin on a regular basis.
Take measures to avoid insect bites if you are prone to them.
Treat any skin injuries as soon as possible.
Avoid over-the-counter medicated creams without the advice of a medical professional. Many of these contain ingredients that can damage your skin over time.
Does Nodular Fasciitis Go Away?
In most cases, nodular fasciitis heals on its own and goes away within weeks or months. However, it can sometimes lead to permanent scarring or skin discoloration if left untreated. In rare cases, it can also lead to other serious illnesses if left untreated. It is best to seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of nodular fasciitis or other skin conditions.
Do I Need to See a Doctor?
It is always a good idea to see your doctor if you notice any new or unusual symptoms. If nodular fasciitis is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications or infections in other parts of the body. Your doctor will most likely be able to treat your condition with medicated creams or antibiotics, and may also recommend preventing the condition from returning by changing your hygiene routine or wearing protective clothing.
Your doctor may refer you to a specialist if the affected area is large or if the condition does not get better with treatment. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove damaged tissue.
Tips for Living With Nodular Fasciitis
While there is no sure way to prevent nodular fasciitis from returning, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. See your doctor immediately if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned earlier in this article. It’s also a good idea to keep any wounds or injuries clean and covered until they heal. Avoid wearing clothing that is too tight and protect any wounds with bandages.
Moisturize your skin on a regular basis to keep it hydrated, and avoid walking barefoot in public areas to avoid contracting an infection.
Nodular fasciitis is a painful skin condition that can lead to serious complications if left untreated. If you notice any of the symptoms of this condition, contact your doctor immediately.
Always see a medical professional if you have any concerns about a skin condition.
Sources & references used in this article:
Nodular fasciitis by PW Allen – Pathology, 1972 – Taylor & Francis
Nodular fasciitis: its morphologic spectrum and immunohistochemical profile by EA Montgomery, JM Meis – The American journal of surgical …, 1991 – journals.lww.com
Nodular fasciitis: an analysis of 250 patients by S Shimizu, H Hashimoto, M Enjoji – Pathology, 1984 – Elsevier
Nodular fasciitis a correlative cytologic and histologic study of 13 cases. by I Dahl, M Akerman – Acta cytologica, 1981 – europepmc.org
Nodular fasciitis, a lesion of myofibroblasts. An ultrastructural study by JA Wirman – Cancer, 1976 – Wiley Online Library