Cholesterol emboli block small vessels in dependent areas of the body, here on the foot. The resulting superficial tissue may infarct, and lower vessels may dilate to try and compensate. This creates a livedo, or 'lace-like' pattern.
Update 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.