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Disease Profile

Diffuse dermal angiomatosis

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable



Skin Diseases


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]


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.[2] Two patients with this condition improved after treatment with the medication isotretinoin; another patient improved after taking corticosteroid medication.[2][3] One patient underwent a breast reduction surgery, and her diffuse dermal angiomatosis did not return following surgery.[4]

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

In-Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Diffuse dermal angiomatosis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


  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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14576670. 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16549710. Accessed 11/29/2011.
  3. 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11511849. Accessed 11/29/2011.
  4. 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18490610. Accessed 11/29/2011.

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