Purpura means purple skin spots. Purple skin discoloring is caused by small vessels breaking for what seems like no apparent reason.
Purpura is not the same as a bruise because your purple skin spot didn’t take much force to cause it, it doesn’t hurt nor fade when you compress it and it takes longer to clear up. And when purpura spots are very small, they’re often referred to as petechiae.
Some of the causes of purpura are:
- connective tissue disease
- congenital cytomegalovirus
- vasculitis ~ Henoch-Schonlein purpura
- fragile blood vessels ~ aging skin, sun damaged skin
- drugs affecting platelet function ~ heparin, warfarin, aspirin
Treatment depends on whether the underlying cause is treatable. So show off your purple skin to a health care provider.
If your purple skin spots are caused by weakened blood vessel walls due to sun exposure or aging, you could try using alpha-hydroxy acid cream, Retin-A prescription cream or progesterone cream (for women). Daily topical skin application of one of these might cause your skin to thicken, with a plausible outcome of fewer purpura.