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Idiopathic livedo reticularis

Definition

Idiopathic or primary livedo reticularis refers to a netlike pattern of reddish-blue skin discoloration. Usually the legs are affected. The condition is linked to swollen blood vessels. It may get worse when the temperature is cold.

Idiopathic means the cause is unknown.

Alternative Names

Livedo reticularis; Primary livedo reticularis

Treatment

The cause of primary or idiopathic livedo reticularis is not known, therefore specific treatment is usually not recommended. If the condition is due to exposure to cold, keeping the legs warm may help relieve the symptoms.

References

James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 35.

Katugampola RP, Finlay AY. Livedo reticularis. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2009:pp 399-400.


Review Date: 4/13/2013
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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