Petechiae are pinpoint-sized hemorrhages of small capillaries in the skin or
What is going on in the body?
Petechiae result from tiny areas of superficial bleeding into the skin. They
appear as round, pinpoint-sized dots that are not raised. The color varies from
red to blue or purple as they age and gradually disappear. Petechiae commonly
appear on the lower legs, but may be distributed all over the body.
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
There are many possible causes of petechiae. Common causes include:
injury or trauma
allergic reactions to medications
autoimmune disorders, which are
conditions in which the person's body creates antibodies to its own tissues for
liver disorders, such as cirrhosis
infections, such as mononucleosis
bone marrow disorders, such as
thrombocytopenia, a deficiency of
nutritional deficiencies, such as a deficiency in vitamins C, K, or B12, or folic acid
medications, such as blood thinners
recent blood transfusions
medical treatment, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy for
birth, due to the pressure changes caused by vaginal delivery
sepsis, or blood infection
violent vomiting or coughing
There may be other causes of petechiae.