Q & A Library
Is Vasculitis Causing Too Many Sores?
For 11 years I have been getting from two to nine sores on my body and finally was diagnosed with a mild case of vasculitis of the skin. I've been on antibiotics for almost a year now. Can you recommend anything else?
Answer (Published 10/4/2007)
Vasculitis is an inflammatory disease of blood vessels that can affect any number of organs, including the skin. The sores that you get result from leakages of blood from damaged blood vessels. The cause of vasculitis is unknown, but there is probably an autoimmune aspect to it. That is, the immune system is mistakenly attacking the body’s own tissues, causing inflammation and damage. Vasculitis can occur on its own or be a component of other autoimmune disorders such as lupus. In addition to localized injury, patients with vasculitis often experience generalized symptoms: fevers, weight loss, fatigue, and diffuse aches and pains.
Because vasculitis appears to be autoimmune in nature and is not an infectious disease, antibiotics (which work against bacteria) are unlikely to help. The conventional medical treatments for autoimmune disorders are steroids and other immunosuppressive drugs that are useful for short-term management of the worst crises but can cause terrible toxicity when they are used long term. Instead, I recommend several measures that can bring about dramatic improvement in patients with autoimmune disorders. First, follow my anti-inflammatory diet.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.