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Health Inset > Skin Care > Senile Purpura

Senile Purpura

What is Senile Purpura?

Senile Purpura is a common condition of bruisability which is usually seen on the forearms and legs of older individuals. It is generally caused by the loss of subcutaneous fat and is occasionally caused by the excessive use of aspirin or other blood thinners.

This condition usually affects elderly people as their dermal tissues atrophy and blood vessels turn fragile with age. New lesions manifest themselves but do not render any distress and fade away. But, they leave a brownish tint on the skin which is results from the deposits of hemosiderin. This discoloration may take weeks or months to lighten or may remain permanent.

Patients in this disease acquire dark purplish ecchymoses which are only found on the extensor surfaces of the hands and fore limbs and legs of older people. Although cosmetically it is very ugly and displeasing, the disorder has no health consequences.

Senile Purpura Causes

It is generally caused by the loss of subcutaneous fat and is occasionally caused by the excessive use of aspirin or other blood thinners. Senile Purpura generally results from increased fragility due to connective tissue damage to the dermis which is caused by sun exposure and aging. Other contributing factors are thrombocytopenia (lack of platelets), steroids, diabetes mellitus, vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels), and scurvy and connective tissue diseases. Medications such as blood thinners increase the susceptibility to bruising and discoloration.

The purple bruises and patches of this condition occur since red blood cells leak out into the dermal tissue. This extravasation is secondary to the fragility of the blood caused by chronic sun exposure with the ultraviolet radiation which induces dermal tissue atrophy. Due to this reason, the dermis is no longer able to properly support the microvasculature. As a result, even a minor trauma can tear the capillaries which lead to extravasation of blood.

Senile Purpura Symptoms

The signs of this cosmetic disorder are:

  • Dark purple blotches appear on the legs and arms.
  • Bruises on the back of the arms.
  • Forearm bruises.
  • Fading of the blotches to brown spots on the skin of the affected area. The blotches may or may not disappear.

In this condition, patients develop persistent dark purple ecchymoses which are characteristically limited to the extensor surfaces of the hands and forearms and legs of older individuals. New lesions appear without any known trauma and then disappear after leaving a brownish discoloration which is caused by deposits of hemosiderin. This discoloration may clear over weeks to months or may be permanent.

Senile Purpura Diagnosis

If the senile Purpura does not seem to appear in exposed areas, the capillary fragility test is done to distinguish a bleeding disorder from an ecchymoses. Other clinical examinations are also conducted to confirm the presence of this condition such as blood sugars, skin biopsy, blood cultures or platelet vitamin C levels.

Senile Purpura Treatment

Senile treatment cannot be cured with any conventional methods. Usually it fades with time. The bruises can be unsightly but they are not hazardous till they get hooked up with other health concerns which have not been diagnosed. Integrative treatment for Senile Purpura is successful and only needs nutraceuticals along with homeopathic treatment. Vitamin C is one such element that is required for synthesis of collagen and constitutes an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments and bone. Flavonoids are known to be helpful in absorption of the citric acid. Rutin is a flavonoid, which is also an antioxidant, a free radical scavenger, an iron-chelator. Rutin also helps in protecting the skin from damage by the UV rays and reduces permeability and capillary fragility.

Skin tends to become more inelastic with age; therefore sin moisturizations can help people avoid dry skin, tight skin, and other similar discomforts of the skin. The moisturizations should be done gently done with the help of a swab or sponge for application instead of the hand. This will reduce the risk of bruising. Also, people with this condition should try to reduce their exposure to sun and also the usage of aspirin and steroids.

Senile Purpura Pictures

Go over are a few images of this condition to know how a skin region affected by it looks like.

Picture of Senile Purpura

Picture 1 - Senile Purpura

Image of Senile Purpura

Picture 2 - Senile Purpura Image 

References:

http://www.integrativehealthcareinsider.com/articles/2012/01/effective-treatment-of-senile-purpura.aspx

http://www.ehow.com/way_5410459_treatment-senile-purpura.html

http://www.medrounds.org/encyclopedia-of-aging/2006/01/bruises-senile-purpura.html

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-senile-purpura.htm

By   Last updated December 13th, 2012

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