What is purpura?

Purpura are blood spots with a purple-colored appearance on the skin. These spots might also be located on the mucous membranes or the mouth including the membranes on the interior of the mouth.

It occurs once the small blood vessels rupture, resulting to the buildup of blood under the skin. This results to purple-colored skin spots that vary in form from miniature dots to large-sized patches. Purpura are normally benign but might be an indication of a serious underlying health condition such as a blood clotting ailment.

What are the causes?

It is important to note that there are 2 forms of purpura – non-thrombocytopenic and thrombocytopenic.

For the non-thrombocytopenic type, the platelet level in the blood is normal. As for thrombocytopenic, the platelet count is low.

purpura

The adults who are diagnosed with a mild case of thrombocytopenic purpura usually recovers without any treatment.

Non-thrombocytopenic causes

  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Weakened blood vessels
  • Certain drugs including steroids
  • Blood vessel inflammation
  • Scurvy
  • Certain hereditary ailments before birth

Thrombocytopenic causes

  • Drugs that prevent the formation of platelets or disrupt with normal clotting
  • Medications that triggers an immune response against the platelets
  • Infection in the bloodstream
  • Recent blood transfusions
  • Immune ailments such as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Systemic lupus erythematous

Management

The treatment is based on the cause of the purpura. The adults who are diagnosed with a mild case of thrombocytopenic purpura usually recovers without any treatment.

Treatment is necessary if the condition does not settle on its own. Generally, the treatment includes medications and oftentimes splenectomy or surgical removal of the spleen. The individual is also instructed to stop taking drugs that disrupt with platelet function such as blood thinners, aspirin and ibuprofen.

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