Perivascular dermatitis is skin irritation associated with inflammation around the blood vessels. People with this condition develop rashes, flaking, and dry skin in areas where the irritated blood vessels run. This dermatological problem can be experienced anywhere on the body, but the face, hands, feet, and arms are common locations for this condition. Treatment options are variable and include fairly conservative choices, as well as more invasive techniques for managing the skin irritation.
There appears to be a genetic predisposition for perivascular dermatitis, although not all patients have a family history of the disease. It occurs when the area around the blood vessels becomes inflamed as a result of an allergic response, infection, or irritation like being exposed to coarse fabrics. The skin develops redness, swelling, and itching, and it may take days or weeks to resolve, especially if the patient continues to be exposed to the irritant.
Some measures for treating perivascular dermatitis can include changing the diet, wearing different clothing, and being especially alert to skin irritation in the heat and during exercise sessions. Topical and oral medications can be prescribed to reduce inflammation and swelling. Some patients find that lotion to soothe the skin helps, along with cool compresses to address the heat of the inflammation. If the problem persists, scrapings may be taken to look for infection and patients can consider options like allergy testing and an elimination diet to find out what, exactly, they are reacting to.
Patients with perivascular dermatitis may find that their skin irritation attracts unwanted attention from people around them. It can be helpful to remind people that dermatitis is not contagious, and it's not dangerous to touch someone who has this condition. Soothing creams can minimize the appearance of inflammation to keep patients more comfortable in social settings and some people may also use makeup, although makeup can increase the irritation and prolong healing times.
Patients who experience recurrent perivascular dermatitis despite taking reasonable precautions like avoiding allergens may want to see a dermatologist, as well as an immunologist, for further evaluation. There may be another underlying problem that has not been addressed, and treating that could be necessary to resolve the skin irritation. Patients with this condition should also make sure it's noted in their charts so care providers know to watch out for it and if they experience skin irritation in reaction to medications, it is important to confirm that prescriptions and over-the-counter medications do not contain any reactive ingredients.