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Calcinosis Cutis Follow-up

  • Author: Julia R Nunley, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Feb 08, 2016


Prevention or treatment of the underlying disease process, as well as prevention of trauma and factors associated with iatrogenic calcinosis, is optimal.



Complications of calcinosis cutis include pain, cosmetic disfigurement, ulceration, and mechanical compromise.

The plaques or nodules may impinge on adjacent structures such as joints, resulting in restricted mobility, and nerves, resulting in pain or paresthesia. Destruction of synovial tissue also may result. Vascular occlusion may result in gangrene. Ulceration may be complicated by bacterial infection.



The prognosis is determined by that of any underlying disease. Calcinosis cutis alone usually is benign. Severe complications are infrequent. When present, morbidity is related to the size and location of the calcification.

Lesions may become painful, limit mobility of an adjacent joint, or compress adjacent neural structures. Ulceration and secondary infection may occur. Vascular calcification may result in ischemia and necrosis of the affected organ.


Patient Education

Patients should be educated about the underlying disease processes and natural history of their specific disorder.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Julia R Nunley, MD Professor, Program Director, Dermatology Residency, Department of Dermatology, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center

Julia R Nunley, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology, Medical Dermatology Society, Medical Society of Virginia, National Kidney Foundation, Phi Beta Kappa, Women's Dermatologic Society

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: American Board of Dermatology<br/>Co-Editor for the text Dermatological Manifestations of Kidney Disease .

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Rosalie Elenitsas, MD Herman Beerman Professor of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Director, Penn Cutaneous Pathology Services, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Rosalie Elenitsas, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, American Society of Dermatopathology, Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Received royalty from Lippincott Williams Wilkins for textbook editor.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

James W Patterson, MD Professor of Pathology and Dermatology, Director of Dermatopathology, University of Virginia Medical Center

James W Patterson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, American Society of Dermatopathology, Royal Society of Medicine, Society for Investigative Dermatology, United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Lydia M E Jones, MD Staff Physician, Department of Dermatology, Virginia Commonwealth University

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Calcinosis cutis appearing as an indurated and nodular subcutaneous plaque in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus.
Ulceration of a lesion of calcinosis cutis in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus.
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