Purpura Rheumatica

Purpura rheumatica is a rare but serious medical condition that affects the blood vessels in your body. In simple terms, it causes red or purple spots on your skin and can lead to various health problems. In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about purpura rheumatica in easy-to-understand language, from its types and causes to symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Types of Purpura Rheumatica:

  1. IgA Vasculitis: This is the most common type of purpura rheumatica and often affects children. It can lead to skin rashes, joint pain, and abdominal issues.
  2. Henoch-Schönlein Purpura: Similar to IgA vasculitis, this type mainly affects children and causes skin rashes, joint pain, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
  3. Cryoglobulinemic Vasculitis: This type is linked to abnormal proteins in the blood and can result in skin rashes, joint pain, and organ damage.
  4. Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis: This form affects small blood vessels and causes red or purple spots on the skin. It’s often linked to infections or medications.

Causes of Purpura Rheumatica:

  1. Infections: Viral or bacterial infections can trigger purpura rheumatica, as the body’s immune system tries to fight off the infection, which can cause inflammation in the blood vessels.
  2. Medications: Some drugs, such as antibiotics, can sometimes lead to purpura rheumatica as a side effect.
  3. Autoimmune Disorders: Conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can increase the risk of developing this condition because they affect the immune system.
  4. Genetics: There may be a genetic predisposition to purpura rheumatica, as it sometimes runs in families.
  5. Environmental Factors: Certain environmental factors, like exposure to chemicals or toxins, can play a role in its development.

Symptoms of Purpura Rheumatica:

  1. Skin Rashes: The hallmark symptom is the appearance of red or purple spots on the skin, which are usually painless.
  2. Joint Pain: Many people with purpura rheumatica experience joint pain, especially in the knees and ankles.
  3. Abdominal Pain: In some cases, there can be abdominal pain and gastrointestinal issues.
  4. Fever: A low-grade fever may accompany other symptoms.
  5. Swelling: Swelling of the hands and feet can occur.
  6. Fatigue: Feeling tired or weak is common.
  7. Kidney Problems: In severe cases, purpura rheumatica can affect the kidneys, leading to blood in the urine and high blood pressure.
  8. Digestive Problems: Some individuals may experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  9. Muscle Pain: Muscles may ache and feel tender.
  10. Nosebleeds: Nosebleeds can happen due to the fragile blood vessels.

Diagnosis of Purpura Rheumatica:

  1. Physical Examination: A doctor will examine your skin and ask about your symptoms.
  2. Blood Tests: Blood tests can check for inflammation markers and abnormal proteins.
  3. Skin Biopsy: A small sample of skin may be taken and examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.
  4. Imaging: X-rays or ultrasound scans can help visualize affected organs and blood vessels.
  5. Urine Tests: To assess kidney function and check for blood or protein in the urine.

Treatment Options for Purpura Rheumatica:

  1. Watchful Waiting: In mild cases, no specific treatment may be needed, and the condition may resolve on its own.
  2. Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help manage joint pain and discomfort.
  3. Corticosteroids: These medications can reduce inflammation and are often prescribed for more severe cases.
  4. Immunosuppressive Drugs: In cases where corticosteroids aren’t effective, medications that suppress the immune system may be used.
  5. Treating Underlying Causes: If an infection or medication is causing purpura rheumatica, treating the underlying issue is crucial.
  6. Diet and Lifestyle: A healthy diet and regular exercise can help manage symptoms and improve overall health.
  7. Kidney Support: If the kidneys are affected, specific treatments to protect kidney function may be necessary.
  8. Consulting a Rheumatologist: Specialists in autoimmune disorders, called rheumatologists, can provide tailored treatment plans.

Common Drugs Used in Purpura Rheumatica Treatment:

  1. Ibuprofen: An over-the-counter pain reliever that can help with joint pain.
  2. Prednisone: A corticosteroid used to reduce inflammation.
  3. Methotrexate: An immunosuppressive drug often used when corticosteroids aren’t enough.
  4. Cyclophosphamide: Another immunosuppressive drug for severe cases.
  5. Rituximab: An antibody medication used to target specific immune cells.
  6. Antibiotics: If an infection is causing the condition, antibiotics may be prescribed.
  7. Pain Relief Creams: Topical creams containing NSAIDs can provide localized pain relief.
  8. Blood Pressure Medications: If high blood pressure occurs due to kidney involvement, blood pressure medications may be necessary.
  9. Gastrointestinal Medications: To manage digestive symptoms if they are present.


Purpura rheumatica is a complex condition, but understanding its types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options can make it more manageable. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, seek medical attention promptly. With the right treatment and care, many individuals with purpura rheumatica can lead healthy lives and prevent complications. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and treatment recommendations.


Disclaimer: Each person’s journey is unique, treatment plan, life style, food habit, hormonal condition, immune system, chronic disease condition, previous medical  history is also unique. So always seek the best advice from a qualified medical professional or health care provider before trying any treatments to ensure to find out the best plan for you. This guide is for general information and educational purposes only. If you or someone are suffering from this disease condition bookmark this website or share with someone who might find it useful! Boost your knowledge and stay ahead in your health journey. Thank you for giving your valuable time to read the article.