Livedo Reticularis

Livedo Reticularis: Causes, Picture, Symptoms and Treatments

Livedo reticularis is a skin disease which also known as mottled skin. This condition can be a result of a single illness or multiple disorders. It may also occur due to the medications side effect prescribed for Parkinson’s.

In this disease, skin appears reddish or purple patches. These patches appear on arms, legs, and upper body. The exact patch shape may vary such as violet web, net-pattern or reddish stains.

Causes of Livedo reticularis

According to the study of 2015, livedo reticularis as a single condition may affect middle age women and newborn babies.

Livedo reticularis also happen as a symptom of other diseases. Let’s have a detailed look at the conditions which causes mottled skin.


Lupus is an autoimmune disorder. It causes inflammation and leads to skin problems. Many people experience some skin problem during lupus disease. To classify lupus, the American College of Rheumatology has included skin conditions 4 of the 11 models.

Lupus belongs to sunlight sensitivity which causes rashes in the skin. The butterfly-shaped redness on the face is the primary sign of lupus. Therefore, lupus causes mottled skin.


Shock is a condition which can risk your life. Your body may get a shock due to trauma, accident, infection, blood loss, burn or poisons.

Mottled skin with other symptoms can be a sign of shock. It needs immediate medical attention if you get the following symptoms.

Poor Blood Circulation

Poor blood circulation causes livedo reticularis. When your body is unable to pass enough blood to a particular part, their skin gets red patches.

Poor blood circulation may occur due to high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Another cause can be a peripheral vascular disease. These conditions reduce the normal blood flow from the heart. You need to know the most affecting reasons for limited blood circulation.

  • Inactive lifestyle extended hours sitting on the desk with a computer.
  • Dehydration cause limited blood flow.
  • Vitamin deficiency decreases the blood flow in vessels such as protein, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Inflammation: It is also a cause of limited blood flow. It makes blood thicker and restricts the flow.
  • Lymphatic Stagnation is also a cause of limited blood flow, in which body unable to deliver fresh blood to tissues.
  • The damage of artery walls cause limiting blood circulation due to mercury, cadmium, and aluminum
  • Specific medication can lower blood flow.
  • These all conditions may cause skin discoloration.

Antiphospholipid syndrome

It is an autoimmune disorder. This syndrome occurs when the immune system produces antibodies which attack phospholipids. The phospholipid is a kind of fat present in living cells, blood cells. In this syndrome, symptoms may occur such as miscarriage, blood clots, chronic headaches, rashes, seizures, and dementia.

In some cases, this disorder occurs without a family history. According to some research, this syndrome causes due to the combination of gene mutations. It may happen due to the environmental exposure such as a virus. There is no permanent cure for antiphospholipid syndrome. But the treatment can prevent the blood clot formation. It also stops blood clot overgrowth.

Due to the blood clot antiphospholipid syndrome blocks blood flow and causes livedo reticularis.

Vascular diseases

Vascular disease is a disorder of blood vessels. Blood vessels should normally work to circulate the blood by itself. The increased vascular disease can cause chronic disability and develop the risk of death.

This disease can also present outside of the heart. Its causes include

  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Stroke
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Critical limb ischemia
  • Blood clot
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Varicose veins

Anybody can get the vascular disease. The people with type 2 diabetes and obesity have more chances to develop vascular disease. It can affect men and women equally. This disease starts to grow in adolescence.

In vascular disease blood flow in arteries change its path suddenly. Here are the arteries area which gets turbulence such as

  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Kidney
  • Hips and legs

Medications Reactions

Specific medication can be a cause of Livedo reticularis. Other symptoms may vary according to the type of drugs and allergies.

When any medicine enters the body, the immune system creates antibodies. Antibodies called IgE antibodies or immunoglobulin E to fight with the disease. These antibodies identify medication as foreign substances. When you retake medicine, these antibodies try to expel it out of the body. Then the body releases chemical histamine.

Histamine is a potent chemical. It affects the skin, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, and cardiovascular system.

People with allergies and without allergies also get medication reactions. This reaction results in skin rashes, skin discoloration, and redness.

Cold environment

Numb environment and cold allergies cause livedo Reticularis disease.

The cold weather can trigger a skin reaction called cold urticaria. It appears in a few minutes of cold exposure. The affected part of the skin seems itchy and reddish.

People with intense allergy experience different symptoms. The skin reaction can be minor and sever.

In some cases, cold water swimming affects people with cold urticaria. They may get faint, shock or low blood pressure.

This condition frequently occurs in adults. You can reduce this symptom by taking antihistamines to prevent mottled skin.


Any disease associated with pancreatitis may cause mottled skin and rashes. Itchy skin can indicate allergies and dryness. But itchy skin may be an indication of pancreas cancer. Multiple conditions of pancreatitis may affect skin due to blood clots. Blocked blood flow may appear as a patch on the skin surface.

In pancreatitis, livedo reticularis may cause skin problem with the following symptoms.

Skin discoloration before death

Before death heart stops pumping the blood which ends blood circulation. Therefore, blocked blood and blood clots may appear as mottled skin with specific signs given below.

  • Declining water and food
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Breathing problem
  • Extreme weakness and fatigue
  • Limited cardiac activity


There are some common symptoms of livedo reticularis you can notice if you pay close attention. Here are the vital signs you must take seriously.

The mottled skin symptoms occur such as rashes and discoloration. It appears more on people with light skin pigmentation. It happens because of blood vessels. You can easily find such symptoms.

People with dark skin get the red patch, but it won’t be more visible. You may get confused with dark skin. Therefore, check other symptoms such as fever, fatigue, anemia, or weight loss.

Red Patches

Red dots like patches appear when you have Livedo Reticularis. It happens because of blocked blood flow or blood clots.

Lacy Network

The purple or red color patches appear like a lacy network. They happen because of the blood flow reduction in blood vessels. This condition results in stopping the blood circulation in the entire body. Later the blood accumulation near to the skin surface appears like a lacy network.

Mottled skin is the rarest case which requires immediate medical help.

Example of the rare case,

An individual gets a mottled skin. At the same time, the individual gets certain concerning symptoms, such as breathing trouble and pain. Then it could be a sign of a shock. I have listed the causes above which you need to compare the other symptoms with mottled skin. Don’t forget to get a doctor’s help as soon as possible.

Mottled skin before death can be a symptom. It happens due to the following conditions.

Drops down of blood pressure and rapid heart rate cause to turn grey color in the following parts.

  • Lips
  • Fingers
  • Earlobe
  • Nails

When skin starts to turn reddish and blue or blotch and purple color, then these are the symptoms of mottling. All these signs occur near death of an individual.

Livedo Reticularis in Babies

The mottling skin can occur in babies. There are many causes for the occurrence of livedo reticularis in the infants and children. The good thing is that it doesn’t require any treatment and disappear on its own. As I have mentioned above, the mottled skin appears reddish due to blood vessels change. These red or purple patches are blood presence below the skin.

Mottling skin in babies occurs because of blood flow reduction. It may also happen due to the sensitive nervous system.

Another reason for mottled skin in babies is a broken blood vessel on the surface of the skin. It will give a marbled look to the baby skin. But checking with the doctor about the condition is a good idea to prevent any developing risk.


Diagnosis of Livedo Reticularis is important. Your doctor will examine the symptoms of other health conditions and analyze in detail. It also observed with lower extremities. The observation will help to know the physiologic response to a cold temperature. The cold symptoms may get normal with warm temperature. But, mottled skin relates to many health diseases. As such, mottled skin is identified based on primary or secondary classification. This classification depends on the presence or absence of underlying disorders. The term livedo racemosa indicates the presence of mottled skin in pathologic states.


Avoiding cold is the best treatment for Livedo Reticularis. Other treatments depend on the different conditions and symptoms.

The shock condition requires immediate medical help. As you get hospitalized, you will get intravenous fluids and oxygen. Later, you will have tests to determine the causes of shock and skin redness.

Lifestyle change can treat the Livedo Reticularis associated with the vascular disorder. You need to stop the medications which reduce the blood pressure and cholesterol. You need to inform your doctor if you have the following problems.

  • Obesity
  • Bad cholesterol
  • High blood pressure

Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines to prevent narrowing arteries. In some cases, you will need surgery, if you have an aneurysm. Once the underlying disease gets control, you will see changes. The redness and patches will start to reduce.

Livedo Reticularis happen by medication, need health expert advice. Explain the side effects you are getting. Your doctor may change medicine or reduce the dosage.

The treatment for an autoimmune disease such as lupus, medicines can help. Your doctor may prescribe you medication to decrease the inflammation. These medications can also control immune system response.

If you worry about skin appearance on visible part, you can do makeup. But, if the affected area has itchiness then avoids applying makeup. Your doctor may give you lotion to reduce the red patches.

Home remedies can reduce the Livedo Reticularis caused by the cold environment. You can wear layered warm clothes. You can also use heated blankets during sleep. Rubbing the affected area can also help to decrease blotchiness occurred by cold.


You can prevent Livedo Reticularis in some cases. Follow the steps to avoid mottled skin problem.

Natural Remedies for Livedo Reticularis

You can try reducing your mottled skin patches which won’t go. Here are some home remedies to remove skin patches.

Aloe Vera

It is an amazing skin healing plant. It helps to relieve redness in skin. Apply the aloe vera gel on the affected area. Keep it for 30 minutes and wash the affected area.

Baking Soda


Source :

The baking soda is a natural skin exfoliate. It helps to remove the dead skin cells. Make a paste of 3 tablespoons baking soda and water. Apply the paste directly on affected area. Wash applied baking soda after 30 minutes. Practice this home remedy once a day and 3 times a week.


The oatmeal is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory source. It helps to eliminate the mottled skin redness. It also moisturizes rough patches. Mix oatmeal with honey and water and apply to affected skin. You can have the oatmeal bath for whole body treatment.

Green Tea

Green tea can help to reduce the mottled skin patches. It removes inflammation and redness. You can make a paste of oatmeal and rice flour with green tea and apply.

You can soak a cloth in the green tea and put on the affected skin. Repeat this treatment 3 times a week.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has anti-microbial and antiseptic qualities. It helps to hydrate the dry patches. You can directly apply the coconut oil on the affected skin.

Make a paste of coconut oil, honey, and sugar and apply. You can do it twice a week.


Yogurt helps to soothe dry skin patches. Apply it on dry skin and wash after 30 minutes. Apply yogurt on skin 3 times a week.

Mottled skin is not a risky disease. It shows the problem happening in the body. If anything stops blood flow, the blood vessels react quickly.

However, the blue or purplish pattern on the skin can be a sign of a severe disorder. A discolor may occur on the face, legs, and arms skin. Therefore, the underlying disease needs to treat with a doctor help.

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