What Is Acrocyanosis

What Is Acrocyanosis?

Acrocyanosis is a condition where your body produces too much skin cells. Skin cells are found in various parts of the body including: hair follicles, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, nails and even blood vessels. These skin cells produce hormones which regulate all bodily functions such as temperature regulation and blood clotting. When these skin cells become overactive they cause problems with normal functioning of the body.

The most common symptoms of acrocyanosis include:

Hair loss (alopecia)

Skin sagging or wrinkling (atrophy)

Dryness of the skin (dry skin syndrome)

Acrocyanosis can affect any part of the body but it is most commonly seen in areas like the scalp, face, hands and feet.

Symptoms of Acrocyanosis

There are several different types of acrocyanosis. Some of them include:

Acrosing alopecia (acropetite) – Hair loss occurs in patches throughout the body. This type of acrocyanosis usually affects men and women equally. The affected area may not be noticeable at first because the hair will grow back faster than elsewhere in the body.

Acral acrocyanosis (acrodermatitis) – This is the most common type of acrocyanosis. It mainly affects the hands and feet in the form of thickening and hardening of the skin. This can lead to difficulty in performing everyday tasks such as buttoning shirts.

Acral cyanosis – The skin on your hands and feet are blue in color rather than red. There may be a bluish hue to the lips as well. This condition is most commonly seen in newborn babies.

Acral erythromelalgi – The hands and feet of people suffering from this condition are red in color. Other symptoms may also include discoloration, thickening, swelling, peeling and even cracking of the skin. This type of acrocyanosis is also seen in people who have a compromised immune system.

Acral gangrene – In this condition, the skin on your hands and feet dies and turns black. Infection is a serious risk with this condition and may even lead to amputation of the affected area.

As mentioned above there are several types of acrocyanosis. These different types can also occur in combination with each other. Left untreated, all of them can lead to serious complications.

Acrocyanosis is a condition that is caused by an overproduction of skin cells. There are many possible causes for this condition. It can be brought on by certain drugs or even by an underlying condition such as scleroderma.

It is important to note that not all types of acrocyanosis are dangerous.

Sources & references used in this article:

Functional vascular diseases: Raynaud’s syndrome, acrocyanosis and erythromelalgia by H Heidrich – VASA. Supplementum, 2010 – econtent.hogrefe.com

Acrocyanosis in anorexia nervosa. by S Bhanji, D Mattingly – Postgraduate medical journal, 1991 – pmj.bmj.com

Acrocyanosis: the flying Dutchman by AK Kurklinsky, VM Miller, TW Rooke – Vascular medicine, 2011 – journals.sagepub.com

Acrocyanosis induced by interferon α2a by A Campo-Voegeli, T Estrach, RM Marti, N Corominas… – Dermatology, 1998 – karger.com

Chronic idiopathic acrocyanosis by HC Nousari, A Kimyai-Asadi, GJ Anhalt – Journal of the American Academy …, 2001 – Elsevier