Pores and skin discoloration and your well being

A wide variety of discolorations can appear on the skin for a variety of reasons. There are two types of skin discoloration associated with bleeding under the skin. These can appear in groups or be clustered and can look like a rash.

Petechiae are point-like spots on the skin that are often red, and purpura are larger areas that may be more purple.

Both are flat discolorations on the skin.

This article examines the petechiae and purpura – what they look like, possible causes, and how to treat them.

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Petechiae vs. Purpura: Difference in Appearance

The main difference in appearance between petechiae and purpura is their size:

  • Petechiae are very small, less than 4 millimeters (mm) in size.
  • Purpura are larger bleeds under the skin, typically between 4 mm and 10 mm.

Areas that are larger than 10 mm are known as ecchymoses, also known as bruises.


Petechiae and purpura can develop for many reasons, all with the underlying cause of bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel. Some of the causes of this skin discoloration are:

  • trauma
  • Medication
  • Other medical conditions

These can appear on any area of ​​the skin, including the inside of the mouth.

Trauma or injury

When a person suffers an injury or an accident, that trauma can damage a blood vessel directly. This trauma then causes blood to leak into the skin.

Sometimes tension, experienced in situations such as childbirth or vomiting, can lead to the formation of petechiae or purpura.


Certain drugs can cause petechiae or purpura. These drugs are often associated with preventing platelets from sticking together, which is usually important when there are concerns about blood clot development.

These drugs can include:

Illnesses or infections

Several disorders can lead to the development of petechiae or purpura. These conditions can damage blood vessels or have other complications that make bleeding more likely.

These conditions are usually due to:

Various infections can also cause bleeding under the skin. Some of these infections include:


Petechiae and purpura are treated by treating the underlying condition that is causing them to develop.

When the cause of the bleeding is trauma, sometimes it just takes time for these blood vessels to heal.

If caused by severely low platelet counts, a platelet transfusion may be needed to stop the bleeding.

If medication causes petechiae or purpura, it may be necessary to stop the medication to prevent further bleeding.

When to Call a Healthcare Provider

It is important to seek an assessment when petechiae or purpura develop so that the underlying cause of it can be assessed. It is especially important to see a doctor if you have other symptoms, such as fever, severe fatigue, or if you have other, heavy bleeding.

frequently asked Questions

How long does it take for purpura or petechiae to fade?

It may take a few weeks for the purpura or petechiae to fade as the blood is reabsorbed by the tissues.

When should petechiae worry me?

If petechiae appear spontaneously for some unknown reason or are associated with other symptoms such as fever, fatigue, or other bleeding, it is appropriate to seek medical attention.

Are there home remedies for purpura and petechiae?

There are no specific home remedies for treating purpura or petechiae. Protecting the skin from trauma or accidents can help prevent them. If any of these conditions occur, notify your doctor.

How are purpura and petechiae diagnosed?

Purpura and petechiae are diagnosed through a physical exam of the skin to assess the presence of the flat red or purple areas. A medical history and medication review can be important in determining why purpura or petechiae are developing.

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