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How do I know if my baby has popsicle panniculitis?

Popsicle panniculitis is a real thing. Otherwise known as cold panniculitis, it is what happens when the delicate subcutaneous fat in an infant’s cheek or chin is exposed to cold. Typical triggers are teething rings or popsicles, often given to relieve the pain of tender gums.

Popsicle panniculitis is a firm, raised, red to purple mark on the cheek or chin that arises 1-2 days after exposure to cold. The lesion is often non-tender and the infant should be well, without fever or illness. It resolves without intervention over a few weeks. When teething, choose cool but not frozen objects to avoid accidental “Popsicle” panniculitis.

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, April 2019

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