What Are the Symptoms of Pigmented Purpura?


Quick Answer

Progressive pigmented purpura causes brown skin discoloration in uneven patches covered with an overlay of very small red dots, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Despite the discoloration, the skin remains smooth, and in rare cases the skin may itch. There are no other symptoms or internal effects caused by pigmented purpura.

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Full Answer

Doctors do not know what causes progressive pigmented purpura, states the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. To confirm the diagnosis, doctors may order a biopsy to look for inflammation around the blood capillaries. This inflammation allows blood to leak from the capillaries, which gives the rash its scattering of red dots.

Although progressive pigmented purpura is primarily a cosmetic problem, doctors may prescribe steroid creams to reduce itching, notes the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Strong steroid creams may cure the rash completely. Doctors sometimes prescribe pentoxifylline if pigmented purpura affects large amounts of skin, but it may take several months to cure the rash and is not always effective. Progressive pigmented purpura may resolve without treatment after several weeks or remain for several years. Sometimes this skin disorder reoccurs.

The term progressive pigmented purpura includes various skin conditions, such as Schamberg disease, itching purpura, and eczematidlike purpura of Doucas and Kapetanakis, according to Medscape. Many doctors believe that eczematidlike purpura and itching purpura are simply variations of Schamberg disease. While the rashes that these skin disorders produce may vary, treatment options are the same.

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