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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Diffuse dermal angiomatosis

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What is diffuse dermal angiomatosis?

What is diffuse dermal angiomatosis?

Diffuse dermal angiomatosis is a rare condition in which purplish patches develop in the skin, most often on the legs, though they may occur in other areas of the body.[1]  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 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 (such as in atherosclerosis) or large amounts of fatty tissue under the skin.[2][1]  Diffuse dermal angiomatosis is usually treated with surgery on the blood vessels to restore normal blood flow to the affected area of the skin.  Two medications - isotretinoin and steroids - have been used to successfully treat this condition in a small number of patients.[2][1]
Last updated: 11/30/2011

  1. Rongioletti F, Rebora A. Cutaneous reactive angiomatoses: patterns and classification of reactive vascular proliferation. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2003; 49:887-896. Accessed 11/29/2011.
  2. 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.