Vasculitis occurs because of damage to the blood vessels in the skin. This can appear as small red-purple spots or bumps on the lower legs. Occasionally, larger knots and ulcers can develop. Vasculitis may be hive-like or have small red or purple lines in the fingernail folds or on the tips of the fingers.

Vasculitis is defined as inflammation of blood vessels. It may result in vessel wall thickening, stenosis, and occlusion with subsequent ischemia. Necrotizing inflammation can completely destroy segments of the wall. Vasculitis can involve vessels of any size and can affect any organ system. The clinical presentation varies according to the histologic type of inflammation, the size of the involved blood vessel segment, and the distribution of the involved vessels.

Treatment

Vasculitis treatment will depend on the type of vasculitis you have, which organs are affected, and the severity of the condition.

People who have severe vasculitis are treated with prescription medicines. Rarely, surgery may be done. People who have mild vasculitis may find relief with over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.

The main goal of treating vasculitis is to reduce inflammation in the affected blood vessels. This usually is done by reducing or stopping the immune response that caused the inflammation.