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Cutis marmorata

Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer, 2003.

Cutis marmorata — codes and concepts

What is cutis marmorata?

Cutis marmorata is a condition where the skin has a pinkish blue mottled or marbled appearance when subjected to cold temperatures. Rewarming usually restores the skin to its normal appearance.

Cutis marmorata

Cutis marmorata is distinct from cutis marmorata telangiectatica congenita (CMTC).

Who gets cutis marmorata?

Cutis marmorata occurs in about 50% of children and is typically seen throughout infancy. Adults may also be affected. 

What causes cutis marmorata?

The mottled appearance of cutis marmorata is caused by superficial small blood vessels in the skin dilating and contracting at the same time. Dilation creates the red colour of the skin whilst contraction produces a pale appearance. This phenomenon is most pronounced when the skin is cooled. The reasons for the reaction are not fully understood.

What treatments are available?

There is no treatment for cutis marmorata. It is generally a benign condition that improves with age.

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Related information



Book: Textbook of Dermatology. Ed Rook A, Wilkinson DS, Ebling FJB, Champion RH, Burton JL. Fourth edition. Blackwell Scientific Publications.

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