Hepatitis C: An In-Depth Guide

Blotchy skin (cryoglobulinemia)

When a person develops a blotchy skin rash on his or her legs, it may be caused by a condition called cryoglobulinemia.

Cause

Cryoglobulinemia is one of the most common disorders associated with hepatitis C. It is caused by the production of cryoglobulin (an abnormal blood protein). These proteins clump together in blood vessels, restricting the flow of blood. It can lead to vasculitis (inflammation of blood and lymphatic vessels) as well as other conditions that affect the kidneys, joints and skin.

Treatment

  • Medications may be used to suppress the immune system.
  • A medical procedure called plasmapheresis may be used. In this routine, blood is taken, filtered and then returned to the body.

Tips

If you experience blotchy skin, get it examined by your doctor because it is often the first and possibly only sign of chronic hepatitis C.