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What is purpura?

Purpura are small, flat purple or red spots on the skin, caused by broken blood vessels and bleeding under the skin. They can also occur inside the mouth or nose, and on other mucous membranes. Depending on the size of the spots, doctors may also call them "petechiae" (tiny spots, about the size of a pin prick) or "ecchymoses" (larger bruises, over 1 centimeter across).

Call your doctor if you think you may have purpura or another type of rash. Many health conditions can lead to these spots, including:
  • Blood clotting or bleeding disorders
  • Weak blood vessels due to aging or sun damage
  • Some medications, such as sterioids and platelet-lowering drugs
  • Conditions that cause blood vessel inflammation
  • Other diseases and illnesses

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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.