(also known as "livedo vasculitis", livedo reticularis
, and "livedoid vasculopathy") is a vascular
disorder mostly affecting women. Typically, it involves a lace-like purplish discoloration of the lower extremities. The condition may be normal or may be related to more severe underlying pathology
. It may be aggravated by exposure to cold and occurs most often in the lower extremities. It can also be associated with the presence of anti-cardiolipin antibodies
(the Antiphospholipid syndrome
The condition's name derives from the Latin livere meaning bluish.
A number of conditions may cause the appearance of livedo reticularis:
- Cutis marmorata telangiectatica congenita a rare congenital condition
- Sneddon syndrome - association of Livedoid vasculitis and systemic vascular disorders, such as strokes, due to underlying genetic cause.
- Idiopathic livedo reticularis - the most common form of livedo reticularis and is a completely benign condition of unknown cause affecting mostly young women during the winter. It is a lacy purple appearance of skin in extremities due to sluggish venous blood flow. May be mild, but ulceration may occur later in the summer.
- Secondary livedo reticularis:
Other than identifying and treating any underlying conditions in secondary livedo, idiopathic livedo reticularis itself may improve with warming the legs, but once established the skin discolouration may become permanent.