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Have you ever noticed tiny red spots on your skin? These are called blood spots or petechiae, and they can have many causes. When people notice red spots on skin, they panic because of the fact that it’s extremely hard to find an explanation for them. Sometimes, the spots can also be brown or purple, or appear in clusters. They can look like a rash, they’re not itchy, and when you touch them, their color doesn’t fade.
In today’s article, we’re going to talk about what causes these red spots, so that you know what to expect.
Red Spots on Skin: What Causes Them
1. Sunburns or Injuries
People who have experienced severe sunburns can suffer from blood spots. Traumas or injuries can also cause petechiae, especially on the face. Some examples of injuries would be strangulation, smothering, biting, spanking, or being in a car crash.
If the red spots appear on the neck, chest, and face area, the main cause might be excessive and prolonged straining. You could strain your body in situations like heavy lifting, childbirth, consistent vomiting, choking, prolonged crying, or violent coughing.
A low platelet count can cause severe sepsis, which is a life-threatening condition. In turn, severe sepsis can cause petechiae. This is an extremely important cause of petechiae to be aware of, since sepsis can trigger an inflammation in your whole body. Then, the inflammation can lead to septic shock, following by an extreme blood pressure drop. Finally, you should know that sepsis can also cause death.
4. Certain Medications
These red spots on the skin can also appear as a reaction to different medications, such as aspirin, cortisone, carbamazepine, atropine, naproxen, chloral hydrate, nitrofurantoin, chloral hydrate, indomethacin, desipramine, penicillin, cimetidine, linezolid, quinine, phenytoin, chlorothiazide, warfarin, rifampin, or heparin.
5. Allergic Reactions
If you’ve had an allergic reaction such as allergic purpura, you can develop petechiae as a symptom. Allergic purpura is a disease that causes bleeding under the skin, which can lead to blood spots and bruising.
If you notice red spots on your lower legs, they might be caused by thrombocytopenia, which is a disease that manifests through low platelet levels. Platelets are also called thrombocytes, which explains the name of the condition. These platelets are blood cells that are colorless and that aid with blood clotting. Thrombocytopenia can appear as a side effect of different medications or as an effect of a serious condition such as leukemia or an immune system disorder.
If you have a deficiency of vitamin K, C, and B, this can signal malnutrition and lead to petechiae as well.
8. Autoimmune Diseases
There are some autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis that can cause blood spots. In the case of lupus, this can happen with both discoid lupus erythematosus and systemic lupus erythematosus. When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, the joints cartilage that’s attacked by the white blood cells in your body can cause inflammation, petechiae, or rashes.
These are 8 of the most common causes of red spots on skin, or petechiae. If you notice these blood spots on your body, don’t hesitate to contact a physician.