The health care provider will base the diagnosis on symptoms. The provider will evaluate how your skin looks after you have taken certain medicines or are exposed to a foreign substance (antigen).
Results from an ESR test (erythrocyte sedimentation rate test) may be high.
Skin biopsy shows inflammation of the small blood vessels. You may also have other tests to detect this condition.
The goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation.
Your provider may prescribe aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or corticosteroids to reduce inflammation of the blood vessels. (DO NOT give aspirin to children except as advised by your provider).
Your provider will tell you to stop taking medicines that could be causing this condition.
Hypersensitivity vasculitis most often goes away over time. The condition may come back in some people.
People with ongoing vasculitis should be checked for necrotizing vasculitis.
Complications may include:
Lasting damage to the blood vessels or skin with scarring
Inflamed blood vessels affecting the internal organs
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your provider if you have symptoms of hypersensitivity vasculitis.
DO NOT take medicines which have caused an allergic reaction in the past.
Stone JH. Immune complex-mediated small vessel vasculitis. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Gabriel SE, McInnes IB, O'Dell JR, eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 91.
Gordon A. Starkebaum, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.