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Petechiae are reddish-brown spots that can appear on your skin without warning. They develop because of small blood vessels that are ruptured, causing bleeding under the skin.
Petechiae in and of themselves are not harmful. However, they frequently indicate a serious underlying medical condition.
Petechiae frequently improve on their own. You may, however, require medical attention to treat the underlying condition that caused them.
How is petechiae treated?
The treatment of petechiae depends on the underlying cause. Petechiae may not always need specialized care and can often be treated at home.
Cold compresses, relaxation, and plenty of fluids are all common home remedies for petechiae. This may particularly help in conditions such as skin injury and straining (due to constipation) that may have caused petechiae.
However, if your petechiae are brought on by a more serious problem, your doctor might advise one of the following treatments, depending on the cause:
How is petechiae diagnosed?
Your healthcare professional will need to physically examine your skin to diagnose petechiae. They will take your detailed medical history and may order tests to assist them in making a diagnosis, such as:
What are the symptoms of petechiae?
In general, petechiae are not painful. They often only cause skin symptoms in the form of purple, red, or brown pin-head-sized spots. Moreover, petechiae don't blanch. The spots do not disappear or turn white because of the pressure applied to them. By doing so, you can distinguish between petechiae and other common skin conditions including viral rashes and hives.
Petechiae are most seen in the following areas:
- Inside the mouth
What are the causes of petechiae?
Petechiae are caused by microbleeding under the skin, which may occur due to various reasons such as:
- Viral infections, such as cytomegalovirus, hantavirus, infectious mononucleosis, dengue, Ebola, or yellow fever
- Bacterial infections, such as strep throat, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, scarlet fever, or bacterial endocarditis
- Vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels)
- Thrombocytopenia, also known as a decreased platelet count
- Allergic reactions
- Autoimmune diseases
- Scurvy (a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency)
- Sepsis (a systemic bacterial infection)
- Taking certain medications, such as antibiotics, sedatives, anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants
- Leukemia, which is cancer in the blood and bone marrow
These red pinpoint dots on the skin can be brought on by animal bites, sunburns, insect bites, friction, direct impacts on the skin, accidents, and other factors.
Can you prevent petechiae?
It's not always easy to prevent petechiae because there are so many potential causes.
However, certain actions could be helpful:
- Personal hygiene: Includes avoiding contact with infected or sick individuals; washing your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water; sanitizing high-touch areas such as door handles, kitchen countertops, and faucets and not sharing anything that touches your nose or mouth
- Sun protection: When exposed to the sun, wear sunscreen and protective clothing and/or seek out shade.
- Preventing ticks: If you plan to spend time in the woods or regions with tall grass, make sure to dress in long clothing, especially long socks and pants, and insect repellant. After being in grassy or forested regions, always check your body for ticks.
Are petechiae life-threatening?
Petechiae by themselves are not life-threatening. There is frequently no cause for alarm. Occasionally, they might be a symptom of a serious, life-threatening medical condition. Therefore, if you see these skin changes, it's crucial to inform your healthcare professional.
Some life-threatening causes of petechiae can include:
When should you contact your healthcare provider?
If you have petechiae, you should always call your healthcare provider. They can assist in identifying the cause of your skin changes. This is crucial because petechiae can occasionally be caused by a significant medical condition.
Look for further symptoms of serious causes of petechiae. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical help right away:
- Weight loss
- Change in alertness
- Extreme fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Fast heart rate
- Swollen lymph nodes
When petechiae appear on your skin, they can be alarming. Many times, they are unimportant and go away on their own. Nevertheless, on occasion, they show up as a sign of a deeper medical issue. Don't ignore them.
In case you observe any unexpected changes to your skin, be sure to call your doctor who can determine the correct diagnosis and provide treatment when needed.
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Petechiae https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/petechiae/basics/definition/sym-20050724 Petechiae
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