Petechiae (small red spots): causes, when to worry?

Petechiae are small red or purple spots on the skin of the face or body. Pregnancy or purpura are among the causes of these often harmless microhematomas. Why do petechiae appear? How to get rid of it? Explanations and advice from Dr. Jean-Luc Rigon, dermatologist and venereologist.

Out of small non-itchy red or purple spots can appear on the skin arms, legs or face. your name is petechiae. They can be linked to a purpura and are preferred by pregnancy (among other reasons). What is that petechiae? why do they appear? As recognize her ? When to worry ? comment senior Get rid of ?

Definition: What are petechiae?

petechiae are small punctiform spotsusually from crimson colorthat are visible on the skin and do not bleach under pressure. You follow on a microbleeding related to the rupture of a blood capillary (small subcutaneous vessel). Petechiae appear mostly on the skin (especially on the limbs: legs, arms) or less often on the oral mucosa (tongue). “Usually these are microhematomas that appear where the blood weighs the most” summarizes Dr. Jean-Luc Rigon, dermatologist, together.

Why do petechiae appear?

The petechiae indicate a purpura, a general term encompassing these dermatological lesions. They are often benign in origin and may result from minor local physical trauma. coughing, vomiting and sobbing can also cause harmless petechiae on the face, especially around the eyes. “Small vessels burst around the eyes, it is generally not serious, but one must be vigilant to beware of an association with microhemorrhage of the retina” says Dr. rigid. Consult if symptoms persist. “approach to menstruationFemales can also have some petechiae on the skin“, adds Dr. Rigon added venous insufficiency also have a higher risk of petechiae caused by poor circulation. That pregnancy is also a risky time. Petechiae can be the sign of thrombocytopenia (abnormally low number of thrombocytes (platelets) in the blood): Small hemorrhages in the form of petechiae or purpura may appear on the skin. Again, petechiae are painless and often go away naturally. If they do not fade, it is better to see a doctor. Last but not least, older people are more prone to petechiae, especially on the forearms and hands. “With age, the fat layer under the skin shrinks, softness disappears, vessels are more likely to burst with minimal trauma“, explains Dr. Jean Luc Rigon.

What Are the Symptoms of Petechiae?

The resulting petechiae no pain or itching, they only manifest themselves through their special visual aspect. They are main is on the legsbut they can appear on all areas of the body, such as face at which the mucous membranes (tongue, soft palate…). They are bright red in color, bordering on purple, and generally measure between 1 and 4 mm in diameter. as the days go by they develop like bruisesturn yellow before disappearing.

Red spots on the skin: when to worry?

If they occur in a child with a fever and they spread fast an emergency consultation is important because it can be a sign of purpura fulminans, a serious infection that affects children and adolescents more often, especially during certain periods meningitis.

How do you recognize petechiae?

The diagnosis of petechiae is often unambiguous from the clinical examination, Above all, one of the properties of petechiae is that they do not disappear the maneuver called vitropression, i.e. when pressure is applied to the skin. Unlike other skin lesions, petechiae do not go away, indicating red blood cells have leaked from blood vessels.

How to get rid of petechiae?

It is not Petechiae do not need to be treatedthese usually go away on their own within a few days. If petechiae is suspected associated with a purple lightning, emergency treatment must be carried out. Out of antibiotics are managed immediately and a referral in the hospital under medical supervision is significant. If this cause cannot be determined after the various examinations, another cause for the appearance of these petechiae is sought and specifically treated.

thanks to dr Jean-Luc Rigon, dermatologist venereologist in Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle), for his information.

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