What Is Petechiae

Petechia is a disease which appears as a tiny dot, in the size of a pin point and blue or purple in color that appears on the skin. The area where it occurs remains flat without any swelling. The spot occurs due to the bleeding of capillary veins that get broken into skin layers. They are usually common in the lower areas of legs. However they may appear in any other part of the body also. The affliction can be found out only visually because there will not be any pain or itching.

The Petechiae may be caused due to many conditions some of which may be quite serious. The most common cause is an injury that can happen to the skin or any allergic reaction. Other causes are trauma, auto immune condition, liver disease, leukemia, or other infections. The most serious case may be due to a disorder in the blood in which there is deficiency of platelets in the blood. The condition can occur even as side effect to other medications like blood thinners, aspirin etc.

A patient suffering from Petechiae is asked several questions by the attending physicians so that he can correctly determine what has caused the aliment. Questions such as patient’s recent illness and duration of the spot are quite common. If the patient has been receiving medical treatment for pre existing condition the doctor would like to know the medication received. An injury in the affected area will also have a bearing on the diagnoses and the treatment. 

After all the questioning and making a preliminary assessment the doctor carries out medical tests to confirm the correctness of his diagnoses. All tests are related to the blood. They are total blood count, bleeding time, and clotting time. These tests are performed to find out if the blood gets clotted in the normal time or whether it takes longer and also whether if there is abnormality in the manner which the clotting takes place. In some case evaluation may become complete only after testing the bone marrow and the biopsy.

Treatment of Petechiae will vary depending on the reasons of the ailment. If it has been due to an injury treatment may not be necessary at all. The spots noticed will disappear automatically in course of time when the injury heals. Similarly, if it is due the side effect of an existing medication the doctor may order a reduction of the dosage or stop it all together. Malignant cases are quite serious; in which case treatment related cancer will have to be adopted. Patient may have to undergo radiation and chemotherapy treatment.