Definition of Purpura

PurpuraSmooth, moderately sized lesions, typically dark red to reddish purple, that result from bleeding under the surface of the skin.

Purpura often look like small bruises and may occur anywhere on the body, including mucous membranes.

The presence of purpura signals an underlying health condition resulting either from platelet deficiency, which delays coagulation (the clotting process), or bleeding due to systemic Inflammation or infection.

As some of these underlying conditions are serious and potentially life-threatening, the appearance of purpura (except senile purpura and actinic purpura, which are common in aging skin) requires immediate medical evaluation.

The doctor can distinguish purpura from other discolorations by applying gentle pressure to them. Purpura remain discolored, while other kinds of lesions often blanch (turn lighter).

Adverse drug reactionAging
AnaphylaxisCongenital cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Congenital rubella syndromeImmune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
Meningococcal septicemiaRocky mountain spotted fever
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)Vasculitis


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