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Purple Spots on Skin

Purple Spots on Skin

Bruises, blood spots, lung disorders, heart disorders, lack of oxygen - these are some of the possible reasons behind purple spots on skin. Read on to know in detail, what causes the skin to change to purple color...
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
If certain areas of your skin have become purple or you see some purple spots developing on your skin, an important advice to you is not take it lightly and immediately consult a doctor. This is especially true if they are accompanied by symptoms, such as difficulty in breathing, pain in the chest, change of color of the nails and the lips to blue and increase in the heart rate. All these symptoms indicate that there could be an underlying serious problem behind your skin turning purple. However, this is not the only reason why purple spots occur on skin. Sometimes, even a small injury can cause these to develop. The following HealthHearty article brings forth the causes behind purple spots on skin. Have a look...
Causes
Bruises
The most common cause is an injury, which has resulted in bruising. Bruising on the skin occurs due to broken blood vessels underneath the skin. When the bruises on skin are getting healed, they generally change many colors, like red, maroon, purple and brown. So, if you have had a fall or a minor accident, resulting in a bruise, this could be the reason behind purple spots on that particular skin area.
Blood Spots
If there is a sudden development of spots on the skin, which are flat, red or purple in color, and which have occurred without any kind of injury, there is a possibility that they are actually blood spots. To be sure of it though, you would need to get them examined by a doctor. Blood spots on skin can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as, a bleeding disorder (like hemophilia, thrombocytopenia, etc.), intake of medicines (like blood thinners and certain pain relievers), inflammation and swelling in the blood vessels, deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals in the body resulting in malnutrition, build up of toxins in the blood due to an infection, certain cancers (like multiple myeloma and leukemia) and certain diseases which affect clotting (like lupus and cirrhosis).
Lung and Heart Disorders
There are certain disorders of the lung that may cause the skin to turn purple. Bronchiolitis, a severe asthma attack, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, choking resulting from a foreign object in the airways, croup, and epiglottitis - these are some of the pulmonary disorders, which may cause the skin to turn purple. Certain heart disorders, such as congestive heart failure, cyanotic heart disease, cardiogenic shock and cardiomyopathy, may lead to changes in the skin color to purple too. All these disorders and conditions are very serious, needing immediate medical attention.
Other Causes
Besides the ones mentioned before, there are miscellaneous other causes behind the skin turning purple. For instance, when the breathing of a person stops or is obstructed when he is drowning, it can cause the skin to turn purple, due to lack of oxygen. Taking an overdose of sedatives, exposure to extreme cold weather conditions resulting in reduced blood flow to the skin, chemotherapy, being at a very high altitude, inflammation of the blood vessels, a very long seizure, low platelet count - these are some of the other possible causes, which make the skin color turn to purple.
As you can see, there are so many reasons which can cause purple spots on the skin or all together change the skin color to purple. Some of these, such as minor bruises, can be treated at home itself. However, others, especially the heart and lung disorders, need to be reported to a doctor immediately, as they can be life-threatening in certain cases. So a person needs to check whether the spots have appeared unexpectedly without any reason or they are due to a recent injury and whether he is experiencing some other symptoms as well. Accordingly, he should make a decision with regards to approaching a doctor.