We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Treatment for Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis?

By B. Chisholm
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In up to 50% of leukocytoclastic vasculitis cases, the cause of the disease is unknown, which often makes treatment difficult. The choice of drug or treatment depends on the type, cause, and manifestations of the disease. Generally, however, this condition can be treated either by the use of drugs such as corticosteroids or anti-inflammatories, by removing the trigger, or by non-drug measures such as elevating the feet. Also known as hypersensitivity vasculitis, the disease may affect only the skin or also involve internal organs, most commonly the joints, gastrointestinal tract, and kidneys. The prognosis of the purely cutaneous version is good, but if the internal organs are affected, the disease may be serious and even fatal.

Vasculitis refers to inflammation of the blood vessels and may occur just once as an acute attack or recur chronically. The cause of leukocytoclastic vasculitis is often unknown. Various triggers have been described, including reactions to drugs such as antibiotics, acute infections, foods, and chronic diseases such as Crohn's Disease or HIV. The first step in treatment is to remove the trigger, if it is known.

This condition usually presents with a burning or itching sensation of the skin. A rash may then develop, which ranges from puerpural lesions to ulcerated lesions in severe cases. The rash may also be urticarial, or itchy. Various tests can be performed by a medical specialist to establish whether there is systemic involvement, and the treatment can then be decided accordingly.

Non-drug measures, such as raising the feet and compression stockings, are often recommended, as the disease may cause swelling of the extremities. There is no single drug that is used to treat the disease, and drugs are used symptomatically and chosen on a case-by-case basis. Treatment of the underlying disease and removal of any triggers is also recommended. If the rash is urticarial, antihistamines may be used.

Patients who have the more severe manifestation of leukocytoclastic vasculitis, which involves the organs, may be treated with corticosteroids. They are used either alone or in combination with immunosuppressants such as cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, or mycophenolate mofetil. Rituximab, a monoclonal antibody, is used in some subsets of the disease involving antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA).

Anti-inflammatories, such as colchicine or dapsone, are also used in patients with disease of the skin. Some may respond to non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Due to the fact that this condition may present in so many different manifestations, thorough investigation of the patient is necessary to establish the correct diagnosis and subsequent treatment. It is a disease that needs to be managed by a medical professional.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon347915 — On Sep 11, 2013

I just get this disease, and am looking for an advanced diagnosis to confirm the trigger. Hopefully I will not need to take steroids.

By dautsun — On Aug 28, 2012

@sunnySkys - That's true. I think it's really great that there are treatments for this disorder. And not only are there treatments, there seems to be a big variety of things you can try, from medications to non-drug treatments like compression stockings. And from what I understand, a lot of the milder treatments work fine for some people with this illness.

My friend's grandmother has leukocytoclastic vasculitis, and she tries to limit interaction with her triggers, take antihistamines, and uses the compression stockings. These measure are enough to keep her comfortable, so she's never needed to try the stronger drugs.

And hopefully she'll never have to, because from what some of the other commenters have said, those drugs sound pretty serious!

By sunnySkys — On Aug 27, 2012

It must be so frustrating to have a disease and not know what's causing it. However, at least there are some possible treatments for cutaneous leukocytoclastic vasculitis. It would horrible if the illness had no known cause and no known cure!

By indemnifyme — On Aug 26, 2012

@KaBoom - Yeah, the side effects from steroids aren't very pleasant. They can cause anxiety, weight gain, and an upset stomach. And they lower your immune system, which makes you susceptible to secondary infection. I would definitely think pretty strongly before using them for vasculitis treatment too.

However, that doesn't mean I wouldn't use them! Sometimes, steroids really are the only option. I have a good friend that has an autoimmune disease, and she need the steroids for her treatment. Unfortunately, she also has to deal with the side effects.

By KaBoom — On Aug 25, 2012

I always feel really bad for anyone with a condition that needs to be treated with corticosteroids. I've been on steroids for my asthma before, and the side effects are really, really unpleasant. If I developed vasculitis symptoms, I would probably try one of the other treatments first, and keep steroids as a last resort.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.