One of the main petechiae causes is internal hemorrhage due to an injury or trauma. There are also several other reasons, apart from bruising, for the discoloration of skin. Any changes observed should be brought to the notice of a doctor…
All of us are aware of our body system, which is made up of a number of organs which are richly supplied with blood vessels These blood vessels, whose main function is blood circulation, are long and branched all across the body. These blood capillaries, though elastic, can rupture if they receive a strong blow or suffer from trauma. This can cause the blood to leak and clot under the skin. These blood clots form tiny red patches on the skin and may go away after a few days. If you are at the receiving end of the clots and notice that they are taking a longer time to vanish, then there are chances that you may be suffering from petechiae.
Petechiae: What Is It?
Petechiae (singular petechia) are the tiny, round blood spots which appear due to ruptured blood vessels, which leak blood under the surface of the skin. This condition is also known as ‘bleeding into the skin’. The red spots may sometimes appear to be purplish black or brown in color due to the oxidation of blood. These so-called skin rashes are flat and do not lose their color even when pressed. Petechiae can appear anywhere on the body and even inside the palate (or the upper part) of the mouth. On the visible areas of the skin, they may look quite unsightly. This condition is a common occurrence and is seen in individuals of all age groups. The petechiae or red blood spots may go away after sometime, but if there is a recurrence or they are taking a longer time to vanish, then it is advisable to consult a health care provider regarding this condition.
Causes of Petechiae
As I have mentioned earlier, one of the primary causes is trauma or an injury to the capillaries, which causes them to rupture and leak tiny amounts of blood under the skin’s surface. They are similar in appearance to that of bruises, the only difference being their size. Some of the causes can be serious in nature and may require prompt medical intervention.
- Noticing petechiae in children can be due to reasons like an accidental fall while playing or if the child has suffered a bout of measles. In infants, bleeding in the skin can be caused due to vitamin deficiency, particularly of Vitamin K, or because of infantile scurvy.
- One of the main reasons for the appearance of palatal petechiae can be because of dental conditions or trauma while eating candy or any other hard food.
- Aging can also be one of the factors for noticing petechiae. As the skin grows old, it becomes thin and tends to lose its elasticity, exposing the blood vessels. Even a minor blow can break the blood vessels, resulting in bleeding under the skin.
- Petechiae in adults can be due to the presence of viral infections like mononucleosis (also known as ‘the kissing disease’), sepsis, which is an infection in the blood and also due to leukemia.
- Chemotherapy and radiation may also lead to the breakage of the blood capillaries. Overdose of medications like anticoagulants, steroids, etc., exhibit petechiae as one of the side effects.
- Some other reasons for suffering from petechiae may be health disorders like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), also known as lupus, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) etc.
Never ignore the sudden appearance of petechiae or blood spots on the skin, as they may be signs of some underlying health disorder. Consulting a medical practitioner, who may diagnose the exact reason for this blood disorder, as a precautionary measure is always better. Wish you good health!