Skin disorders cover a wide range of conditions, some benign, some very serious, and some even a sign of another underlying illness. A skin disorder not only affects your physical health, but also your emotional well-being.
Livedo reticularis refers to a condition in which dilation of capillary blood vessels and stagnation of blood within these vessels causes mottled discolouration of the skin. It is described as being reticular (net-like) cyanotic (reddish blue discolouration) cutaneous discolouration surrounding pale central areas. It occurs mostly on the legs, arms and trunk and is more pronounced in cold weather.
Symptoms of Livedo reticularis
Symptoms of livedo reticularis include a mottled, or lace-like, appearance of reddish blue areas on the skin. The mottling is more apparent on the thighs and forearms, and sometimes the lower abdomen. The appearance is due to altered flow in small blood vessels feeding the upper skin so that other vessels dilate to compensate.
Causes of Livedo reticularis
The appearance is due to altered flow in small blood vessels feeding the upper skin so that other vessels dilate to compensate. This can arise for a variety of reasons.
Livedo reticularis treatment
There is no treatment for livedo reticularis. Rewarming the area in idiopathic cases or treatment of the underlying cause of secondary livedo may reverse the discolouration. However, over time the vessels become permanently dilated and livedo reticularis becomes permanent regardless of the surrounding temperature and rule out treatable systemic causes.
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