Petechiae - when to worry?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 4/8/2007 12:11 AM (GMT -6)   
i was getting ready for bed a few hours ago, and looked to see if the hives on my leg had left any redness -- i tried really hard to leave them along, and thankfully, i didn't break the skin.
but i found some bright red/purple spots. for the past several weeks i have noted tiny tiny red dots under my skin on my upper arms and lower legs -- nothing major, just scattered around.  i have noticed there are more of them/more concerntrated and also on my lower arms -- but for some reason this hasn't sounded any alarms for me. afterall, my bloodwork was normal just a few weeks ago. but now there are about eight or ten bigger versions of these spots. about the size of an pencil eraser.  there is no doubt that it is petechiae, but i'm not sure if this is something that i should drop a few hundered dollars having a doctor tell there anything they can do about it?  will these spots (big and little) go away? how "off" does bloodwork have to be for this to happen?   my skin is taking a beating with this flare. so discolors/splotchy all the time from cold/hot sensitivity, random rashes, bumps that itch, my pink face that only get pinker in the sunlight, and now purple spots.  
i know i'm on a question asking kick..... i hope that i will be able to cruise through the posts and offer up some info to some of you guys too!
jessica, 25
lupus (or something like it)
ulcerative colitis,bone loss, arthralgia,ranaud's, blood clots in fingers, blistering on top of hands, migraines, fatigue, eye pain...i'm sure i'm forgetting something (anxiety, major brain fog) 

Sergeant Bob
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 4/8/2007 9:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I just went to and this is what I found.

[quote]A petechia (IPA pronunciation: [pə'tiki.ə]), plural petechiae (IPA pronunciation: [pə'tiki.aɪ]) is a small red or purple spot on the body, caused by a minor hemorrhage (broken capillary blood vessels).

Petechiae are a sign of thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts),

Petechiae in adults should always be quickly investigated. They can be interpreted as Vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels, which requires immediate treatment to prevent permanent damage. Some malignancies can also cause petechiae to appear. In anyone over eighteen, petechiae should be investigated by a physician within a day or so to rule out the more dangerous conditions. Dermatologists can be the most helpful specialists in these conditions, because they can more easily identify if the condition is petechiae or some similar looking but less worrisome rash.

Also, at Medline Plus:

[quote]Petechiae are pinpoint-sized red dots under the surface of the skin (petechial rash). The dots are red because they contain blood that has leaked from tiny blood vessels (capillaries) into the skin. A petechial rash isn't a disease but a sign of an underlying problem that requires further evaluation. Petechiae can occur anywhere on the body.

A low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) is a common cause of petechiae. Platelets play an important role in blood clotting. Causes of a low platelet count include:

* Autoimmune disorders, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
* Viral infections, such as mononucleosis and measles (rubella)
* Side effect of certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs
* Bone marrow disorders, such as leukemia

Treatment of petechiae depends on the underlying cause. If you develop a petechial rash, see your doctor promptly.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
Each day is a gift, make every one count.

Post Edited (Sergeant Bob) : 4/8/2007 8:55:39 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 4/8/2007 2:28 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks! i will file this under the "this looks just like lupus, please help me" list. i will call the dermatologist on monday and see what she says.. i might also call my GI. he has been a major advocate for me during this process of drs not being proactive and just waiting and seeing.
jessica, 25
lupus (or something like it)
ulcerative colitis,bone loss, arthralgia,ranaud's, blood clots in fingers, blistering on top of hands, migraines, fatigue, eye pain...i'm sure i'm forgetting something (anxiety, major brain fog) 

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/18/2008 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Does anyone know what causes blood clots? I just had one in my leg and it gave me a stroke (went to my brain) I want to do whatever i cn to not have any more.
My blood was tested and I do not have a blood clotting disorder.
thanks for any advice.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 11/18/2008 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi "Kids"  . . . welcome to the forum.
With Lupus . . . there are some blood clotting disorders that are easily checked with blood tests.
Anti-Cardiolipin Antibody
Anti-Phospholip Antibody
Lupus Anti-coagulant
These are closely related disorders, but can cause thick, sticky blood or can interfere with the normal functioning of blood vessels.
Here is a web page that gives more info on them: 
There are other things that can cause blood clots . . . but I'm only familiar with the Lupus issues. 
I hope this helps you a bit . . . even if just to help rule out lupus.

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/19/2008 9:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Always Rosie

Thanks for the info. turn :

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 11/19/2008 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
The only time I ever had petichiae (sp), my platelets had dropped dangerously low due a medication.  My sister has chronic low white blood counts and low platelets, and is under the care of a hematologist.  She frequently gets petichiae, and uses the appearance of them as a sign that her new medication isn't working properly.  You should definitely show a doctor your spots.  Low blood counts can be quite serious.
Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, nexium, tramadol, nasonex,Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan, zyrtec, zegerid, aciphex

New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/10/2010 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Kids,

I have a blood clotting disorder called Lupus Anticoagulant. I had a stroke at 33 and Pulmonary Embolism at 41. They tested me for a blood clotting disorder and claimed that they found nothing. Six months later while being treated with anticoagulants I developed another clot. At that point I insisted on be referred to a hematologist. It was then that they identified my clotting disorder. It is very common to get multiple negative results. I would say to search for a teaching hospital in your area and find someone who specializes in blood clotting disorders. If you are under the age of 50, and you have had a stroke or clot, chances are very good that it could be a blood clotting disorder. In any case you should insist that your doctor keep you on blood thinners; they will help to prevent this from happening again. Good Luck and stay strong.

SuSu wink

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1650
   Posted 5/11/2010 6:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi SuSu. I'm sorry you had to go thru all that. It looks like your persistence paid off. You've given some great advice! Thanks for sharing. Love, Butterflake             
Systemic Lupus ('05), depression, fibro, sjogrens, cns issues, diabetes, gerd, hypertension, colitis, stage 1 kidney disease  Lots of meds.  Donna 

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 5/11/2010 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   
aorry your going through this and i hope you find answers too..i have had this before on my legs and it took a year to go away they called it vascultitis... mine eventually went away and i dont have a clotting disorder either... i tested borderline next test it was nothing
Female: 38 yrs/old DX: Lupus (dx:'03) MCTD, Raynaud's, Anxiety./panic disorder, GERD, Antithyroid antibodies, Lupus Cebritis, Lupus CNS, Lupus Pneumonitis and Stage 3 & 5 Lupus Nephritis. PRES ,Seizures, Photosensitivity since childhood, vasculitis, left thumb and toe amputated from raynauds, Sjogren's
Meds: cellcept, Plaquenil,Prednisone 10,Miracle mouthwash,bactrim, actonel, caltrate, Xanax, Darvocet, Xopenex inhaler, Xopenex Nebulizer, Spiriva, prevacid, aspirin 325mg, pantaprozole and carafate

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/13/2011 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Su Su,
You said you had a clot while on anticoagulants, were you not yet therapeutic? Your post really scared me!
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