Skin Conditions, Immune | November 18, 2020 | Author: Naturopath
Some people, when cold, can experience a mottled effect on their skin of varying degrees of red, blue or purple colour. The appearance is that of a net-like pattern with distinct edges, occurring particularly on the legs and resolving when the area becomes warm. This anomaly is usually benign, but it can also be a symptom of more serious health concerns - such as vascular disease, autoimmune disease or a reaction to medication.
Blotchy skin with a net-like pattern coloured in a purple/reddish-blue is a characteristic of a condition known as Livedo reticularis (LR). Its appearance is mainly seen on the legs and is often worse in colder temperatures. This condition occurs due to spasms or an abnormality in venous blood circulation.
The skin discoloration pattern of LR is a result from veins in the skin that are filled with more blood than normal causing enlarged veins or blocked blood flow leaving the veins.
The diagnosis of LR can be based on the duration, livedo pattern and temperature association.
Physiological LR, also known as cutis marmorata, occurs commonly on the legs of young women on exposure to cold temperature and resolves on warming. The mottling effect is considered an impairment of blood flow in the vessels of otherwise normal skin.
Idiopathic LR is persistent and non-resolving with diagnosis reached when no other pathological signs are found.
Amantadine-induced LP (amantadine is a prescription drug prescribed to treat disorders of movement caused by Parkinson’s disease, drug-induced movement disorders, and influenza A viral infection.
Livedo reticularis can be seen as primary (livedo reticularis) or secondary disorder known as livedo racemosa (LRC).
Livedo racemosa (LRC) appearance is similar to that of LR but differential diagnosis is obtained by its location (generalized and wide-spread – found on limbs, trunk and buttocks), and its shape (irregular, broken pattern with circular segments) and through biopsy.
The occurrence of livedo reticularis may be due to many other reasons. These might include:
In most cases this condition will resolve without the need for intervention. But if the skin appearance does not resolve when skin is warmed, or other signs or symptoms appear (nodules, ulcers for example), if you suffer from peripheral vascular diseases or autoimmune disease is suspected, or you are on medication, a doctor should be consulted.
In most cases of primary Livedo reticularis, it is self-resolving, but there are some lifestyle changes which may help avoidance and resolution. These include avoiding tobacco, cold temperature and minimising stress.
Smoking affects the body in so many ways – none of them good. Smokers will often use tobacco to alleviate perceived stress, but on the contrary, tobacco can actually increase anxiety levels. It does this due nicotine has stimulating the release of adrenaline - which causes the heart to pump blood faster. Adrenaline is the hormone that is necessary during emergency situations.
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Smoking can increase the formation of plaque in blood vessels, causing narrowing and restriction to blood flow. Chemicals in in cigarette smoke can cause blood to thicken and clot formation in veins and arteries.
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Blood is transported throughout the body via blood vessels delivering oxygen and nutrition, transporting hormones, protecting from external harmful substances and removing the waste products of cellular metabolism. The circulation is also important for proper temperature control.
Eat foods high in antioxidants support blood vessels and circulation. These include: red grapes, berries, pomegranate, kiwi fruit and citrus fruits (high in bioflavonoids to strengthen blood vessels).
The bottom line – physiologic livedo reticularis will usually resolve on its own and with secondary livedo reticularis, it is important to identify and treat the underlying condition.
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Systemic lupus erythematosus https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2013/october/systemic-lupus-erythmatosus
Amantadine-induced livedo reticularis--Case report https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26560223/
A dermatologic manifestation of COVID-19: Transient livedo reticularis https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32283229/
Ginseng berry extract increases nitric oxide level in vascular endothelial cells and improves cGMP expression and blood circulation in muscle cells https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6199483/
Ginseng Berry Extract Prevents Atherogenesis via Anti-Inflammatory Action by Upregulating Phase II Gene Expression https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23243449/
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