A Few Facts About Palpable Purpura
Palpable purpura is a disorder of the blood vessels, a hemorrhaging of blood vessels which usually occurs on the legs. It is not a particularly common disorder, and while sometime treated as a disease, it is generally treated as a symptom of what can result from a variety of diseases or disorders.
The Meaning Of The Term - Purpura means bleeding from one or more blood vessels and palpable is something that can be touched or felt. Another definition of palpable is "tangential to". What all this means is that palpable purpura is a hemorrhaging of blood vessels near the surface of the skin, which can be seen and often felt. One of the identifying signs of this disorder is when pressure is applied to the area it does not blanch. In other words, the dark red or purplish color does not go away with the pressure, as is often the case when inflammation is present, but remains.
Several Possible Causes - There are a number of triggering factors leading to the disorder, one being a fever. The condition is also linked at times to kidney problems. In most cases palpable purpura is a temporary condition, which may last a few weeks but usually no longer. If treatment is deemed necessary there are several medications which may relieve the condition, Prednisone being the most common.
Purpura, including palpable purpura, can be a useful symptom at times as diagnosis sometimes leads to an underlying condition, often a cardiovascular disease or disorder, that otherwise may have gone without detection. Those suffering from atherosclerotic vascular disease often experience various symptoms in the lower limbs, palpable purpura being one such symptom which may occur.
Purpura lesions are usually rather small, typically being no larger than about 10 millimeters, and in some instances are merely spots, roughly 3 millimeters in diameter. Purpura normally goes through several color changes, being red at first, and resembling a rash, then turning a deeper red which eventually becomes purple. Before fading away, the purpura often exhibits a brownish-yellow color.
Non-palpable Purpura - Non-palpable purpura, that which cannot directly observed as it affects internal organs, is most often found in the kidneys or the intestinal tract. Internal purpura usually results from either a bacterial or viral infection which causes damage to small veins and capillaries. The condition is usually mild, but there have been cases where the problem in the kidneys or intestinal tract has become somewhat serious. Prednisone, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory agents are the usual medications used in treating the condition.
At Times A Useful Symptom - As mentioned earlier, purpura is usually caused by something else. There are several types of purpura, some of which appear more in the form of hives or rashes. Whether near the surface of the skin, or affecting internal organs, this somewhat uncommon condition is rarely serious. When it does occur, it can at times be useful in diagnosing diseases or disorders which may be much more serious and in need of attention. In this respect, palpable purpura serves the same purpose as the canary in the coal mine, sounding the alert that something may be wrong. Unless one has unusual allergies, or suffers from cardiovascular disease, the chances of ever experiencing the effects of palpable purpura are probably quite remote. Should these small hemorrhages appear, it would make sense to see a doctor, if only as a precaution in case there is some other condition which needs to be looked into. As far as the vascular purpura is concerned, the treatment is likely to be a supply of ibuprofen tablets. In most all instances palpable purpura is an easily treatable symptom, and one which rarely spreads or becomes worse over time.