What are petechiae?

Petechiae are tiny, flat purple or red spots on the skin, caused by broken blood vessels and bleeding under the skin. Each spot is about the size of a pin prick, and can be due to a number of health conditions, including:
  • Straining (for example, while coughing or lifting something heavy)
  • Injury
  • Weak blood vessels due to aging
  • Blood clotting or bleeding disorders
  • Other diseases or illnesses
  • Some medications
The cause of these spots can range from a relatively minor sunburn to a more serious injury or infection, so it's important to talk to your doctor if:
  • They occur suddenly
  • You're not sure what caused them
  • They don't go away"

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.