Septicemia, the poison released by meningococcal bacteria, causes the blood vessel damage that looks like a skin rash in patients with meningitis, notes Healthline. The red, pink or purple spots associated with meningitis can occur anywhere on the body.
As meningitis progresses and infection spreads, the rash associated with the condition becomes more noticeable, states Healthline. The rash may look like large bruises, and bleeding under the skin causes the spots to turn dark red or purple. Another sign of meningitis is that the rash does not fade when patients apply pressure to the spots. Meningitis is a deadly condition, and people who suspect they have meningitis should seek medical attention immediately.