Livedo reticularis

Skin | Dermatology | Livedo reticularis (Disease)


Livedo reticularis is a localized abnormality of skin blood flow. A livedo visibility translates into abnormal superficial venules, drawing most of the network or on the legs purple or red mesh more or less regular. A physiological livedo sometimes seen in the newborn, teenager or young woman fades spontaneously within a few days.

Most often livedo reticularis causes no symptoms and needs no treatment. But it can be associated with serious underlying disorders, such as lupus, anti-phospholipid syndrome or Sneddons syndrome. A rare complication of chronic renal dialysis known as calciphylaxis may first present with a livedo reticularis pattern. In addition, livedo reticularis may occur as a side effect of certain medications, such as hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea).

Causes and Risk factors

Livedo disease is caused by a disease of the arteries (periarterita nodosa, arteriopathy of lower limbs), an increase in blood viscosity (cryoglobulinemia, poliglobulie), certain medications (anti-inflammatory, anti-Parkinson). Livedo reticularis is a vascular condition characterized by a purplish discoloration of the skin, usually on the legs. This discoloration is described as lacy or net-like in appearance and may be aggravated by cold exposure.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment of livedo disease is responsible. When necessary, treatment depends on the underlying cause, if known, and the severity of symptoms.


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