Cold panniculitis is a dermatological condition that involves a sudden-onset nodular rash, developing in regions of the body that have been subject to a cold temperature, due to inflammation of adipose tissue.
Cold panniculitis (CP) is a disorder that can affect both adults and children. It is caused by exposure of various regions of the body to a cold temperature and, subsequently, there is a wide range of areas on which it may appear.
Patients may present with indurated nodules in areas of the body exposed to cold. The nodules have ill-defined margins and appear approximately 1 to 3 days following the exposure. The erythematous lesions are expected to develop to painful and firm nodules over the days . Pediatric patients tend to exhibit them on the forehead and cheeks and rarely on the extremities such as the toes, with the lesions assuming a lilac/red color   . This is attributed to these two areas of the body being more constantly exposed to a cold temperature during the winter and less protected . Cold panniculitis does not lead to systemic involvement and, therefore, constitutional symptoms are not reported. Except for the characteristic dermatological manifestations, a medical history of fever is the sole complaint that may accompany a case of CP.
The induration gradually subsides and the disorder is a self-limiting one, eventually resolving in approximately two weeks . Ulceration of the nodules or plaque formation and crusting thereof may also be observed .
Several sub-categories of CP have been reported in the literature. Equestrian cold panniculitis is a type of CP that involves nodular lesions appearing in young women who engage in horse-riding . Cold is also the culprit behind these cases and the lesions are typically observed on the upper lateral part of the thigh, with bilateral involvement being a possibility. Popsicle panniculitis is a type of cold panniculitis that occurs following sucking on an ice cube or popsicle, with lesions appearing on the cheeks. Lastly, a case has been reported, concerning CP-induced by a cold therapy unit, in which the rash failed to appear until 10 days after treatment was started .
Entire Body System
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Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome
Systemic diseases are conditions that affect multiple organs and tissues or even the entire body as seen in Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome. Fatigue Affected people can also suffer from fatigue or tiredness due to this condition. [primehealthchannel.com]
Participants in the study demonstrated increased energy expenditure when their bodies were cooled with thermo-blankets. [collectivewizdom.com]
This is the first biopsy-proved case of cold panniculitis following ice therapy for supraventricular tachycardia in a newborn. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
It may occur after ice therapy, a first-line treatment for supraventricular tachycardia in neonates.  Physical Examination Pertinent physical findings are limited to the skin. [emedicine.medscape.com]
Adult cases were not reported until 1963 by Solomon and Beerman 4 and then in 1980 by Beacham et al. 5 Etiologies for children have included popsicles, ice packs applied to the face to control supraventricular tachycardia or to the lower extremities after [mdedge.com]
A targeted medical history and careful physical examination are the key steps towards achieving an accurate diagnosis, given that CP is primarily seen clinically.
There are usually no laboratory tests that can aid in the diagnosis of this medical entity, as cryofibrinogens and cryoglobulins tend to be negative ; a histopathological analysis of a biopsy sample harvested from a lesion is the sole means of confirmation of CP. A biopsy is usually ordered in diagnostically challenging cases of cold panniculitis. The following results are compatible with the disorder:
- Ferrara G, Cerroni L. Cold-Associated Perniosis of the Thighs ("Equestrian-Type" Chilblain): A Reappraisal Based on a Clinicopathologic and Immunohistochemical Study of 6 Cases. Am J Dermatopathol. 2016 Oct;38(10):726-31.
- Huang FW, Berk DR, Bayliss SJ. Popsicle panniculitis in a 5-month-old child on systemic prednisolone therapy. Pediatr Dermatol. 2008 Jul-Aug;25(4):502-3.
- Holla RG, Prasad AN. Cold panniculitis neonatorum. Indian Pediatr. 2009 Jan;46(1):75.
- Patterson JW. Panniculitis. In: Bolognia J, Jorizzo J, Rapini R, eds. Dermatology. 2nd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier;2008:1515-1530.
- Quesada-Cortés A, Campos-Muñoz L, Díaz-Díaz RM, et al. Cold panniculitis. Dermatol Clin. 2008;26:485-489.
- Page EH, Shear NH. Temperature-dependent skin disorders. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1988;18(5, pt 1):1003-1019.
- Beacham BE, Cooper PH, Buchanan CS, Weary PE. Equestrian cold panniculitis in women. Arch Dermatol. 1980 Sep;116(9):1025-7.
- Lipke MM, Cutlan JE, Smith AC. Cold Panniculitis: Delayed Onset in an Adult. Cutis. 2015 January;95(1):21-24