Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer, 2004. Updated by Dr Ebtisam Elghblawi, Dermatologist, Tripoli, Libya, and DermNet NZ Editor in Chief, A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, November 2017.
Atrophie blanche (white atrophy) is the name given to a particular type of angular scar arising on the lower leg or foot. It occurs after a skin injury, when the blood supply is poor and healing is delayed.
Atrophie blanche is due to occlusion of small blood vessels in the middle and deep dermis, which prevents normal healing. Blood vessel occlusion may be due to:
Atrophie blanche is characterised by:
Treatment is directed to the underlying disease process that leads to atrophie blanche. For example, in livedoid vasculopathy, drugs are used that halt platelet aggregation and stimulate fibrinolysis.
Compression therapy may speed up healing of wounds on the lower leg, particularly in venous disease, and thus reduce the severity of atrophie blanche scar formation.
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