Rare Ophthalmology News

Disease Profile


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.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

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


Other names (AKA)

Acute lipodermatosclerosis; Hypodermitis sclerodermaformis; Sclerosing panniculitis


Lipodermatosclerosis refers to changes in the skin of the lower legs. It is a form of panniculitis (inflammation of the layer of fat under the skin). Signs and symptoms include pain, hardening of skin, change in skin color (redness), swelling, and a tapering of the legs above the ankles.[1][2] The exact underlying cause is unknown; however, it appears to be associated with venous insufficiency and/or obesity. Treatment usually includes compression therapy.[2]


Lipodermatosclerosis refers to changes in the skin of the lower legs. One or both legs may be involved. Signs and symptoms vary but may include:[1][2]


The exact cause of lipodermatosclerosis is unknown; however, it may be related to certain vein abnormalities and/or obesity. Lipodermatosclerosis often occurs in people with venous insufficiency. Approximately two thirds of affected people are obese.[1][2]


Lipodermatosclerosis is usually diagnosed based on the presence of characteristic signs and symptoms. A skin biopsy and/or blood tests are usually not required to confirm a diagnosis but may be performed in rare cases. Ultrasound scans and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to obtain more information regarding the severity of the condition and to determine the best treatment approach.[2]


Lipodermatosclerosis is primarily treated with compression therapy to improve venous insufficiency.[2] Other strategies for managing venous insufficiency include leg elevation; not sitting or standing in one place for long periods of time; regular exercise; and weight loss if overweight or obese.[3] Some affected people may require medications to prevent blood clotting; reduce pain and inflammation; and/or increase blood flow. Depending on the severity of the condition and the response to initial treatments, vein surgery may be recommended.[2]

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.

Where to Start

  • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.

In-Depth Information

  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Lipodermatosclerosis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles


  1. Bruce AJ. et al. Lipodermatosclerosis: Review of cases evaluated at Mayo Clinic. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;
  2. Mark Duffill. Lipodermatosclerosis. DermNet NZ. December 2013; https://www.dermnetnz.org/vascular/lipodermatosclerosis.html.
  3. Venous Insufficiency. MedlinePlus. May 2014; https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000203.htm.

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