What is petechiae?
Petechiae are small hemorrhages under the skin or in the mucous membranes (mouth, eyelids). These are purple, red or brown dots, each with a specific dot size. They do not rise or bump.
Do you have petechiae?
Petechiae may look like a rash, but they are not. These small red dots on the skin are caused by capillaries and small blood vessels under the skin. They do not itch or hurt.
If you squeeze the petechiae, they will remain purple, red or brown. But if you press on the rash, it will be light or pale in color.
Where can petechiae occur?
Petechiae can appear anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found in the following areas.
in the eyelids.
What are the possible causes of petechiae?
Several things can cause petechiae, from simple and reversible causes to serious illnesses.
Endocarditis: Endocarditis is an infection of the lining of the heart. Other symptoms include fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, and shortness of breath.
Infections: Diseases caused by bacteria such as streptococci with scarlet fever, or tick-borne fever (spread by ticks) can cause petechiae. The same is true for viral infections such as cytomegalovirus or hantavirus. Other symptoms of infection may include fatigue, fever, sore throat, swollen glands and tonsils, body aches, nausea, and vomiting.
Trauma: Skin trauma can cause petechiae. For example, a car accident, a bite, skin inflammation, or even a sunburn.
Leukemia: Leukemia is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow. Other symptoms of this disease may include weight loss, swollen glands, bleeding, bruising, nosebleeds, and night sweats.
Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics, antidepressants, and blood thinners, can cause petechiae.
Mononucleosis: This viral infection, also known as mononucleosis, is common in young adults. It usually causes fatigue, headache, sore throat, swollen glands and tonsils, and fever.
Stress: Under stress, blood vessels under the skin can break. Examples include vomiting, heavy lifting, and childbirth.
Thrombocytopenia: When you have thrombocytopenia, you have fewer platelets that help blood clot. It can also cause easy bruising, bleeding from the nose and gums, blood in the urine and stool, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Vasculitis: Vasculitis is inflammation (tumor) of blood vessels. It can also cause fever, headache, weight loss, and neuropathy (pain, weakness, numbness).
Viral hemorrhagic fevers: Viral hemorrhagic fevers, such as Ebola and dengue fever, make it difficult for the blood to clot. Other symptoms may include high fever, easy bruising or bleeding, body aches and weakness.
Vitamin C deficiency: If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin C, you can get worms. Other symptoms include swollen gums, joint pain, easy bruising, and shortness of breath.