Purpura - is a general term that refers to any disease characterized by small spots of skin and mucous membranes (including the oral mucosa). Purple is a direct result of the rupture of small blood vessels (capillaries) located beneath the surface of the skin.
Classification of purpura
The name of the state comes from the Latin language and means «purple». The spots that appear on the skin due to injury or bleeding disorders actually have a purple color. Purple is classified based on the size of the hematomas and the causes of their occurrence. What types of purpura can be identified based on size? Thea are:
- small purple bruises, ranging in size from 0.3 to 1 cm.;
- petechiae - minor damage with a diameter of less than 3 cm.;
- hematomas - lesions with a diameter of more than 10 mm, but less than 20 mm.
Often the phenomenon of purpura is caused by changes in platelet count. Patients with thrombocytopenia are at risk of developing small and large hematomas on the surface of the skin or mucous membrane. We are talking about thrombocytopenia, falls below 150,000 units. per cube meter. As you know, platelets are important components of the blood, which play a leading role in the regulation of homeostasis. When the platelet count falls below the standard range, coagulation ability is impaired. Thus, based on the reasons, thrombocytopenic purpura and non-thrombocytopenic purpura are isolated.
Causes of purpura
The causes of thrombocytopenia can be:
- megaloblastic anemia;
- taking anticoagulants;
- cirrhosis of the liver;
In non-thrombocytopenic purpura, the cause of hemorrhage is not associated with a decrease in platelet count. In this case, changes occur due to vascular disorders associated, for example, with old age (senile purpura), systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, hemangioma. Also, some infections may predispose the patient to the appearance of purple spots on the skin: smallpox, chickenpox, measles, cytomegalovirus, meningitis.
Hypertension and vasculitis (anaphylactoid purpura) can also cause non-thrombocytopenic. According to some authors, there is also the so-called psychogenic purpura. Under certain conditions, typical violet spots appear in response to the emotional state of stress, tension, or anxiety. Psychogenic purpura is most common in middle-aged women.
Diagnosis and treatment of purpura
Diagnosis of purpura is based on the observation of injuries. If necessary, you can get a skin biopsy. Treatment depends on the underlying causes. In case of bacterial infection, antibiotics are recommended. Patients predisposed to psychogenic purpura should take antidepressants, undergo a relaxation course. Patients with changes in blood coagulability should avoid the administration of drugs intramuscularly, preferring intravenous administration, which minimizes the risk of bruising.