Petechiae: When Should You Consult a Doctor?

If you’ve never heard of petechiae before, you’re not alone. Many people have never heard of this condition before. Petechiae is a medical term that refers to tiny red or purple dots that can appear on the skin. These dots are caused by bleeding under the skin. In most cases, petechiae are not a cause for concern and will go away on their own.

However, there are times when a doctor should evaluate petechiae. In this blog post, we will discuss when petechiae should be seen by a doctor and how they are treated.

Let’s get started.

What is Petechiae

Petechiae are flat, pinpoint dots that appear on your skin. They can occur when capillaries, the smallest type of blood vessel, bleed and cause a small red, purple, or brown dot. Petechiae usually appear on your face, arms, legs, and trunk, but they can form anywhere on your body. You might notice petechiae while combing your hair or taking a shower. They might look like a rash at first glance.

But unlike most rashes, petechiae don’t itch or hurt. You also won’t be able to push them back into place with your finger because petechiae are beneath your skin. You can visit AskApollo to know about the correct medication you need to follow to cure this disease.

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What Causes Petechiae? 

There are several factors and conditions that cause petechiae, including:

  • Chronic Disease

Leukemia and other blood cancers can cause petechiae. These diseases cause abnormal production of blood cells and can result in petechiae due to low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia). Aplastic anaemia is another chronic disease that may also lead to petechiae. This condition occurs when your bone marrow doesn’t make enough new blood cells. Other chronic diseases associated with petechiae include:

  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Vasculitis
  • Infections

If petechiae occur with other symptoms such as a sore throat, fatigue, or a fever, it could indicate an infection. It is especially concerning if a high fever accompanies the petechiae. If you have petechiae and any other concerning symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor right away for petechiae treatment.

Certain infections can cause petechiae to form. For example, petechiae may be a symptom of meningococcemia, a serious infection caused by Neisseria meningitides.

  • Vitamin K deficiency

Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting. A deficiency can lead to petechiae and easy bruising, and bleeding gums. If you suspect you have a vitamin K deficiency, see your doctor. Treatment for petechiae depends on the underlying cause. Petechiae usually clear up on their own with time and home care. However, more serious causes of petechiae may require medical treatment.

  • Other factors

The other petechiae-causing factors include drug reactions, accidental/non-accidental injuries, or too much pressure during coughing.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Petechiae

Petechiae has been linked to sepsis, infections, and several chronic illnesses. The early indications and symptoms of petechiae, in addition to those of a specific illness, are:

  • Fever
  • Easy bruising
  • Bleeding gums
  • Nosebleeds
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
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In some cases, petechiae can also signify an allergic reaction. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. A doctor can properly diagnose and treat the underlying condition causing petechiae.

When to See a Doctor?

See a doctor if petechiae occur with other symptoms, such as fatigue, fever, or joint pain. Petechiae may signify a more serious condition, such as leukemia or thrombocytopenia. If you have petechiae and are concerned, make an appointment to see your doctor. They will ask about your medical history and perform a physical examination. They may also order blood tests to check for underlying conditions.

Treatment for petechiae depends on the underlying cause. In some cases, no treatment is necessary. For example, petechiae that occur after strenuous exercise usually disappear on their own within a few days. Treatment focuses on resolving the underlying problem if an infection or injury causes petechiae.

How to Prevent Petechiae?

There are a few things you can do to prevent petechiae. One is to avoid any trauma or injury to your skin. This includes picking at your skin, scratching, rubbing, or bumping into hard surfaces. If you do experience any trauma to your skin, it’s essential to clean the area and keep it clean to prevent infection.

Another way to prevent petechiae is to avoid exposure to harsh chemicals or extremes of temperature. This means avoiding direct sunlight for long periods, using sunscreen outdoors, and avoiding hot tubs, saunas, or very cold temperatures. If you must be exposed to these conditions, make sure you protect your skin as much as possible.

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The Bottom Line

If you have petechiae, it’s important to see your doctor. The disease can be a sign of a severe medical condition, and only a medical professional can give you an accurate diagnosis. If you’re concerned about petechiae, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.


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