What Is Nodular Fasciitis?
Nodular fasciitis (also known as “fasciculation”) is a rare form of cellulitis characterized by diffuse, erythematous skin lesions with or without fever.1 It affects approximately 1 in every 10,000 patients with cellulite and occurs most commonly in women between the ages of 20 and 40 years.2 It may also occur in men and children.3
The exact cause of nodular fasciitis remains unknown. However, it is thought to result from a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors such as stress, obesity, smoking, and poor nutrition.4
Symptoms of nodular fasciitis include:
Redness, tenderness, swelling, and warmth over the affected areas.5 These symptoms are often described as being like sunburns.6
These symptoms are often described as being like sunburns.6 Painful urination and/or incontinence due to pain in the bladder or urethra (menstrual) tract.7 The pain may be severe enough to prevent sexual activity.8
The pain may be severe enough to prevent sexual activity.8 Painful erections (in men) may be caused by pain in the genital region.9
Joint-swelling may lead to a decrease in movement and flexibility. The swelling may also occur in the lymph nodes, specifically those located in the neck.10 Itching and/or pain in these areas may also be present.11
Itching and/or pain in these areas may also be present.11 Swelling and pain in the feet or hands may cause the affected person to lose the ability to perform everyday activities such as walking, writing, holding objects, or even moving the eyes.12
The affected skin may also become reddened and warm. This may occur in those without the above-listed symptoms to a lesser degree.13
While some people do not display any of these symptoms, they may still suffer from nodular fasciitis.
Nodular fasciitis is most often diagnosed based on its symptoms. A physical examination and medical history may also be used to rule out other conditions.14 However, in some cases, a skin biopsy or the removal of a small piece of affected skin may be necessary for an accurate diagnosis.15
It should be noted that the skin condition erythema multiforme (EM) may closely resemble nodular fasciitis in some cases. While EM is typically not painful, the two conditions can be distinguished based on a physical examination and/or laboratory tests.16
The exact cause of nodular fasciitis is unknown. However, it is believed to be caused by a combination of external and internal factors. It is suspected that external factors such as smoking, excessive sunlight, and insect bites play a role in the development of this disease.
The internal factors that may contribute to the onset include a history of trauma, an infection, or a disease that affects the immune system.1
Nodular fasciitis can occur in any part of the body but most commonly occurs on the legs and arms. It tends to affect fair-skinned people between the ages of 40 and 60.
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