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Livedo reticularis in Child
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Livedo reticularis in Child

Contributors: Romi Bloom MD, Susan Burgin MD, Craig N. Burkhart MD, Dean Morrell MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Livedo reticularis (LR) is a vascular reaction pattern characterized by a net-like discoloration on the skin. LR may be physiologic, indicative of capillary vascular malformation, or associated with vasculitis or obstruction of flow. LR can be triggered by cold temperatures.

Cutis marmorata (CM) is a transient, benign (physiologic) presentation of LR that may also be seen in pale, gravid females.

Congenital LR, known as cutis marmorata telangiectatica congenita (CMTC), presents with persistent LR that can involve the trunk or extremities. Generally, the mottled discoloration is limited to one extremity but can be more generalized. There may be a sharp demarcation at midline with truncal involvement. CMTC is sporadically inherited (or autosomal dominant) and can be associated with limb, facial, and spine anomalies along with cutaneous atrophy. The vascular changes of the skin may improve during the first few years of life and resolve completely in approximately 20% of children with CMTC.

Many inherited vascular malformation syndromes are associated with CM or LR. LR is also associated with a host of other factors including anticardiolipin antibodies. It is seen with collagen vascular diseases such as Raynaud disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, scleroderma, polyarteritis nodosa, and temporal arteritis. In severe cases, the extremities are cold and ulcers may form.

Sneddon syndrome is extensive LR with central nervous system disease.

LR is also seen in patients with poor vascular flow due to peripheral vascular disease and cardiac failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), vascular emboli, and vascular calcifications (in hypercalcemia). Infectious associations include syphilis, tuberculosis, streptococcemia, endocarditis, and rickettsial and viral diseases. Medication associations include amantadine, catecholamines, and quinidine; endocrine associations include hypothyroidism, pseudohypoparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, and Cushing syndrome.


R23.1 – Pallor

238772004 – Livedo reticularis

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Reviewed:07/25/2018
Last Updated:01/18/2023
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Patient Information for Livedo reticularis in Child
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Contributors: Medical staff writer


Livedo reticularis is a harmless, lacy, symmetrical skin pattern of small blood vessels. It usually appears on the legs, especially when exposed to cold temperatures. It is caused by blood pooling in the veins. It can be associated with Raynaud syndrome, antiphospholipid syndrome, Sneddon syndrome, or lupus.

Who’s At Risk

Young women (aged 20 to 40) exposed to cold temperatures, smoking, and stress may develop the distinctive lacy skin pattern of livedo reticularis.

Some medications increase the risk of developing livedo reticularis.

Signs & Symptoms

Livedo reticularis is a reddish-blue symmetrical skin pattern most commonly seen on the legs. It may appear on the arms, chest, or abdomen. It gets worse when exposed to cold temperatures, and the skin feels cold to the touch.

Self-Care Guidelines

Avoid tobacco use and wear warm clothing to protect skin from cold temperatures. If skin is cold, gradually rewarm exposed skin.

Elevating the affected leg may help impaired circulation.

When to Seek Medical Care

Check with your doctor if you develop skin ulcers or symptoms of small blood vessel inflammation, such as:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • General aches and pains
  • Night sweats
  • Numbness or weakness


There is no general treatment for livedo reticularis, but your health care provider will want to find out if it is being caused by an underlying disease.

If your livedo reticularis is caused by medication, your doctor may be able to reduce the medication or prescribe a substitute medication.
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Livedo reticularis in Child
A medical illustration showing key findings of Livedo reticularis : Reticular - netlike, Blanching patch
Clinical image of Livedo reticularis - imageId=327523. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Reticulate violaceous patches on the leg.'
Reticulate violaceous patches on the leg.
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