Vasculitis is an inflammatory disease of blood vessels that can affect any number of organs, including the skin. When blood vessels become inflamed, they may become weakened, stretch, and either increase in size or become narrow — even to the point of closing entirely. It is characterised histologically by the accumulation of leukocytes within and around the vessel wall.
Systemic vasculitis refers to inflammation of the blood vessels (arteries, capillaries, veins) which is either due to an injury to endothelial cell layer covering internal surfaces of the heart, lymph vessels, and the interior surface of the blood vessels or by infection or inflammation that has reached the endothelial cell layer from other parts of the body. For example, accumulation of bacteria, virus, fungai, parasites, toxins or by-products of immune system can cause inflammation response in multiple body parts.
The symptoms vary in accordance with which organs are affected. Common symptoms include
Patches of dead skin, including on the footpads
Inflammation of the interior of the eyes (uveitis)