Idiopathic or primary livedo reticularis refers to a netlike pattern of reddish-blue skin discoloration. Usually the legs are affected. The condition is linked to swollen blood vessels. It may get worse when the temperature is cold.
Idiopathic means the cause is unknown.
The cause of primary or idiopathic livedo reticularis is not known, therefore specific treatment is usually not recommended. If the condition is due to exposure to cold, keeping the legs warm may help relieve the symptoms. Exercise to increase circulation may also help.
Livedo reticularis; Primary livedo reticularis
Katugampola RP, Finlay AY. Livedo reticularis. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 134.
Review Date 4/14/2015
Updated by: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.