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Cutis marmorata
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Cutis marmorata

Contributors: Craig N. Burkhart MD, Dean Morrell MD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Cutis marmorata refers to the net-like, violaceous pattern seen in newborns as a result of transient shifts in cutaneous blood flow. This is a common condition, occurring more frequently in premature infants and may persist to the fourth week of life. Trisomy 18 syndrome, Down syndrome, Cornelia de Lange syndrome, and hypothyroidism have been associated with cutis marmorata that persists beyond early infancy.


R23.8 – Other skin changes

26825009 – Cutis marmorata

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Unlike cutis marmorata, cutis marmorata telangiectatica congenita is persistent on warming, asymmetric, well-localized, and often associated with cutaneous and/or underlying limb atrophy.
  • Cardiac and pulmonary disease is associated with central cyanosis (cyanosis of the lips, face, and trunk) rather than cutis marmorata.
  • In livedo reticularis, there is a prominent vascular pattern related to underlying vasculitis.

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Last Updated:02/03/2022
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Patient Information for Cutis marmorata
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Contributors: Medical staff writer


Cutis marmorata is a lacy, red-blue mottled skin appearance in newborns, especially premature infants. It is caused by small surface level blood vessels exposed to cold. It is noticeable on the legs, arms, and trunk. Once warmed, the skin coloration tends to fade, but when skin is cooled, the mottled pattern appears again. It usually disappears after the first month of life.

Who’s At Risk

Infants, especially premature newborns, may present with this skin pattern at birth. This condition may persist for up to 4 weeks.

Signs & Symptoms

Cutis marmorata looks like red-blue, net-like skin patterns on a newborn's legs, arms, or trunk. Skin coloration will lessen upon warming and increase upon cooling.

Self-Care Guidelines

Maintain a warm, safe, comfortable environment for your newborn.

When to Seek Medical Care

Your pediatrician will examine your baby at birth and at your baby's regular checkups. Contact your pediatrician if your baby's skin continues to appear mottled after 4 weeks, if the discoloration doesn't seem to decrease when warmed, or if you observe any other skin changes or abnormalities.


Cutis marmorata should go away on its own.

Your pediatrician may provide testing if the condition persists beyond 4 or 5 months (for hypothyroidism or other systemic illness).
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Cutis marmorata
A medical illustration showing key findings of Cutis marmorata : Mottled configuration, Purple color, Net-like, Hyperpigmentation, Arms, Legs
Clinical image of Cutis marmorata - imageId=264191. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Diffuse reticulate erythematous patches on the legs.'
Diffuse reticulate erythematous patches on the legs.
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