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27 May 2013, by BLAISE S. & PISTORIUS M.-A.


Acrocyanosis is a common vascular disease that affects the extremities. It is characterised by persistent cyanosis (blue discoloration) of the extremities (hands and feet) and more rarely, of the nose and ears. The skin is homogeneously cold and sometimes damp. The condition is often associated with hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Patients with the primary form of the condition present no abnormalities on clinical examination. Subject type is an important feature for diagnosis. Acrocyanosis occurs more commonly in young, often thin, longilineal women who are sometimes anorexic. The condition is generally first observed during adolescence and familial forms do exist. Primary acrocyanosis is diagnosed clinically and no particular examinations are required. When the symptoms presented by patients are atypical, acrocyanosis may be secondary to another disease and a vascular assessment should be conducted.

Acrocyanosis is a benign disease and the prescription of medicinal products with potential side effects should be limited to patients bothered by the disorder for functional or cosmetic reasons, all the more so given that there are no topical or systemic treatments with a MA for the indication.

Patients should essentially be encouraged:

— to protect themselves from the cold;

— to maintain an optimal weight;

— to stop smoking;

— to avoid trauma or taking medicines that may aggravate the condition.

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