Subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn: Be aware of hypercalcaemia


Dr Francesco Borgia, Institute of Dermatology, University Hospital ‘G. Martino’, 98125 Messina, Italy. Fax: +39 90 2927691; email:


Abstract:  Subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn is an uncommon, self-limiting panniculitis that usually occurs in full-term infants as a consequence of perinatal asphyxia. The cutaneous involvement may be associated with metabolic complications such as hypoglycaemia, thrombocytopenia, hypertriglyceridemia, anemia and hypercalcaemia. The delayed onset of hypercalcaemia, 1–6 months after the development of the skin manifestations, imposes a prolonged follow-up to avoid its acute toxic effects on cardiovascular and renal systems and the more durable metastatic calcifications.