Petechiae are small, circular patches on the skin caused by bleeding. They become red, brown, or purple as a result of the bleeding and are most frequently found in clusters and can resemble a rash. They are typically smooth to the touch and retain their color when pressed. They can occasionally be seen on the inside surfaces of the mouth or eyelids.
Causes of Petechiae
Petechiae forms when capillaries break and blood leaks into the skin. Capillaries are very small blood vessels that connect the tiniest segments of your arteries to the smallest parts of your veins. This bleeding can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- local injury or trauma causing damage to the skin
- allergic reactions to insect bites
- various autoimmune diseases
- viral and bacterial infections
- a lower than normal blood platelet level
- medical treatments for cancer, such as radiation or chemotherapy
- leukemia or bone marrow problems that can cause a reduction in the number of platelets
- after violent vomiting or coughing — especially in newborns
- strenuous activity that may cause straining, such as lifting weights or giving birth
- viral fevers, such as dengue, Ebola, and yellow fever, can inhibit blood clotting, causing bleeding under the skin
- medications such as some antibiotics, NSAIDs, antidepressants, antiseizure drugs
When To See The Doctor
If you or your kid gets unusual or extensive petechiae, see your doctor immediately. It’s critical to figure out what’s causing the condition because some underlying issues can be dangerous.
It should always be checked by a doctor because they could indicate a more serious problem. A doctor will evaluate the symptoms and potential causes to determine whether the problem is minor or serious.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the locations and note any changes. A bleeding disorder could be the cause if the number of petechiae continues to rise. Other symptoms may appear alongside petechiae and indicate a serious or life-threatening disease. Some of which include loss of consciousness, confusion, high-grade fever, severe bleeding, and headache.
Treatment of Petechiae
The underlying cause of petechiae will determine how to treat it. If it is developed as a side effect of a drug, the petechiae will go away once the drug is stopped. If it is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, it should go away once the infection is treated. A doctor will determine the cause and suggest the best course of action.