Purpura: these red spots on the skin

Purpura corresponds to the appearance of purple red spots on the skin, linked to an exit of the red blood cells (or red blood cells) from the vessels towards the dermis (middle layer of the skin). This phenomenon is called extravasation.

Purpura can also affect the oral and genital mucosa. It is recognized because it does not fade to the vitropression, that is to say when one presses with the finger or a watch glass on the lesions, they do not disappear.

Purpura usually starts at the level of the legs but can occur all over the body. The size and arrangement of the lesions varies: they may be millimetric points (petechial purpura) or plaques of several centimeters.

Purpura can be ecchymotic and evolve in the same way as a hematoma. If it is arranged linearly, we speak of vibes. Sometimes it can be complicated by skin ulceration and necrosis.

It is a symptom rather than a disease because the origins can be multiple.

Purpura can be caused by several diseases, some of which are very serious and constitute therapeutic emergencies and must be recognized quickly (bacterial meningitis, coagulation disorders with platelet decline). He may also testify to the presence of an internal disease affecting several organs.

His treatment is essentially that of the cause. His disappearance can take several weeks. Before disappearing completely, it evolves to brown then yellow in the manner of a hematoma, according to the hues of biligenesis.

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To read :

> Red blood cells
> Transfusion of blood and platelets: how does it work?
> All about skin diseases

Author: Dr Anne ISVY-JOUBERT, dermatologist

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