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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Diffuse dermal angiomatosis

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Your Question

My doctor told me that I have diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breast and I can find very little information on it. Can you please tell me about it and what treatments there are for this condition.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breast?

Diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breast is a condition in which purplish patches develop in the skin of the breast.  Sometimes these purple patches can become open wounds in the skin (ulcerations), which may be painful.  This condition occurs when cells that line blood vessels grow into the surrounding skin tissue and rapidly increase in number. The exact cause of diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breast is unknown, but it is thought to result from a lack of blood flow to the skin.  It has been suggested that the lack of blood flow may be due to blocked blood vessels or large amounts of fatty tissue under the skin.[1]  Diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breast is quite rare; only four cases have been reported in the medical literature.[1][2]
Last updated: 11/30/2011

How might diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breast be treated?

As this condition is quite rare, there are no established guidelines for the treatment of diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breast.  Several treatments have been tried and seemed to be effective.  The goal of these treatments was to restore normal blood flow to the affected skin.  One woman was found to have a blocked blood vessel near the location of the diffuse dermal angiomatosis.  Surgery was performed to open this blood vessel, and the diffuse dermal angiomatosis healed following this surgery.[1]  Two patients with this condition improved after treatment with the medication isotretinoin; another patient improved after taking corticosteroid medication.[1][3]  One patient underwent a breast reduction surgery, and her diffuse dermal angiomatosis did not return following surgery.[2]
Last updated: 11/30/2011

  • Yang H, Ahmed I, Mathew V, Schroeter AL. Diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breast. Archives of Dermatology. 2006; 142:343-347. Accessed 11/29/2011.
  • Villa MT, White LE, Petronic-Rosic V, Song DH. The treatment of diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breast with reduction mammaplasty. Archives of Dermatology. 2008; 144:693-694. Accessed 11/29/2011.
  • McLaughlin ER, Morris R, Weiss SW, Arbiser JL. Diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breast: response to isotretinoin. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2001; 45:462-465. Accessed 11/29/2011.