Differences between petechiae & purpura

Written by wilhelm schnotz
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
Differences between petechiae & purpura
Healthy skin shows no sign of blood collecting beneath its surface. (Getty Premium images)

Although bleeding under the skin, diagnosed by doctors as one of several conditions including petechiae and purpura, is a symptom of a wide-ranging number of medical disorders, it can signal the onset of a severe illness. Both conditions are caused by small amounts of bleeding just under the skin's surface, and appear as red spots, eventually fading to blue and brown similar to the way a bruise fades.

Other People Are Reading

Petechiae

Petachiae are tiny, pinpoint-sized blotches that usually appear in clusters similar to a rash. Most doctors consider blotches only as large as 3 or 4mm for a diagnosis. The colour in petechiae doesn't fade when pressure is applied to the skin.

Purpura

Purpura are blotches similar to petechiae, only larger, with a maximum size of 1cm. As with petechiae, purpura don't fade when pressure is applied to the skin.

Ecchymosis

Any bleeding into the skin larger than 1cm is diagnosed as an ecchymosis, which is commonly referred to as a bruise. Ecchymosis usually involves blood loss at a deeper tissue level then petechiae and purpura.

Causes and Treatment

Although many possible causes exist for petechiae and purpura, both conditions may be symptomatic of greater issues, such as allergic reactions, autoimmune diseases or vitamin deficiency. Purpura may also be caused by a low blood-platelet count. Treating these skin symptoms is a matter of identifying and dealing with the underlying issue.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.