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Bleeding into the skin
Alternative namesEcchymoses; Skin spots - red; Pinpoint red spots on the skin; Petechiae
Aside from the common bruise , bleeding into the skin or mucous membranes is a very significant sign and should always be evaluated. Bleeding that consists of pinpoint dots of blood is called petechiae. Larger flat areas where blood has collected under the tissue, up to a centimeter in diameter, are called purpura . A very large area is called an ecchymosis.
ConsiderationsRedness of the skin ( erythema ) should not be mistaken for bleeding. Petechiae, purpura, and ecchymosis do not blanch (become pale ) with pressure, while the redness of erythema decreases and then returns when pressure is applied and released.
For aging skin, protection of skin is recommended. Avoid trauma such as bumping or pulling on skin areas.
For a cut or scrape, use direct pressure to stop the bleeding.
For a drug reaction, identify and consult the health care provider about discontinuing the drug.
Otherwise, follow prescribed therapy to treat the underlying cause.
Call your health care provider if
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask questions about the bleeding, such as:
Update Date: 9/8/2003A.D.A.M. editorial. Previously reviewed by Anthony E. Douglas, M.D., Department of Primary Care Internal Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (1/17/2002).
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT