What is Purpura?

Purpura means “purple” and purpura is when red or purple colored spots appear on the skin that do not blanch (turn white) when pressure is applied to them.  They are caused by bleeding into the skin.  The term purpura is applied when the lesion measures .3 to 1 cm and the term petechiae is used when lesions are less than 3 mm.

What is the cause of Purpura?

The manifestation of purpura is a nonspecific medical sign as it could indicate a number of possibly etiologies including a defect in the platelets (the cells initially that stop bleeding from occurring), a vascular disorder, or a type of coagulation disorder.  Meningococcal disease is also characterized by purpura.  Therefore, the appearance of purpura would necessitate a correlation with the medical picture of the patient.