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Disease Profile

Necrobiosis lipoidica

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.



US Estimated


Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Oppenheim-Urbach disease; Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum (formerly)


Necrobiosis lipoidica is a rare skin disorder of collagen degeneration. It is characterized by a rash that occurs on the lower legs. It is more common in women, and there are usually several spots. They are slightly raised shiny red-brown patches. The centers are often yellowish and may develop open sores that are slow to heal. Infections can occur but are uncommon. Some patients have itching, pain, or abnormal sensations. It usually occurs more often in people with diabetes, in people with a family history of diabetes or a tendency to get diabetes, but can occur in nondiabetic people. About 11% to 65% of patients with necrobiosis lipoidica also have diabetes, but the exact cause is still not known.[1][2][3] Treatment is difficult. The disease is typically chronic with variable progression and scarring.[1]


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Providing General Support

    Learn more

    These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

    Where to Start

      In-Depth Information

      • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
      • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.


        1. Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. https://www.aocd.org/?page=NLD.
        2. Barnes CJ. Necrobiosis Lipoidica. Medscape Reference. August 22, 2014; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1103467-overview.
        3. Wanat K & Rosenbach M. Necrobiosis lipoidica. UpToDate. Oct 31, 2014; https://www.uptodate.com/contents/necrobiosis-lipoidica#H312681804.