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Hi. My sister has been having some chronic cutaneous disease. At first, doctors didn’t know what it was. However, they are talking something about vasculitis livedo now. I must admit that I have never heard about it before. Some people refer it as livedo reticularis. I would appreciate if someone could give me some more info.


Livedo reticularis is a vascular condition of the skin that gives the skin a purplish netlike (reticular) discoloration.  Usually this cannot be felt, just seen.

Most commonly this is a benign skin condition with no associations with internal diseases, that occurs in young women particularly when the person is cold. This is likely due to sluggish flow of blood in the veins, and is not a particular problem.

However, in some rare cases it is associated with internal diseases, such as rheumatic diseases, blood disorders, lymphoma, and certain infections and medications among others. 

A new diagnosis of livedo reticularis does require a workup to make sure that this is not one of the internal diseases.  The workup would include a skin biopsy to determine what is going on with the blood vessels, bloodwork and a chest x-ray.  Consult with your dermatologist regarding the workup or look at the American Academy of Dermatology website to find a specialist.

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