What does fact checked mean?
At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made.
Differences Between Petechiae & Purpura
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.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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 4 mm for a diagnosis. The color in petechiae doesn't fade when pressure is applied to the skin.
Purpura are blotches similar to petechiae, only larger, with a maximum size of 1 cm. As with petechiae, purpura don't fade when pressure is applied to the skin.
Any bleeding into the skin larger than 1 cm 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.