Senile purpura is a condition that commonly affects aging skin. Older people with light skin tones are more likely to develop the condition. People may also refer to it as Bateman’s purpura or actinic purpura.
Senile purpura may look like oddly shaped discolored areas on exposed skin, usually on the arms and hands.
This article discusses what senile purpura is in more detail, including its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.
Healthcare professionals may refer to small patches as “petechiae” and larger ones as “ecchymoses“. The colors will usually not darken or lighten much as the spots progress. After the bruise has healed, however, a yellow or brown patch might remain on the skin.
Senile purpura itself is not harmful, but it may be a sign of an underlying condition.
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Research suggests that aging
Over time, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays weakens the connective tissues that hold the blood vessels in their place. This weakness makes the blood vessels fragile, which means that even after a minor bump, red blood cells can leak into the deeper layers of the skin, causing the distinctive purpura to appear.
Senile purpura occurs most frequently in older adults, but normal aging is not the only source of this kind of skin damage. The skin’s aging process may accelerate if a person has spent extended periods of time in UV light. Individuals with lighter skin tones are more likely to experience senile purpura.
People who take certain medications, such as blood thinners or corticosteroids, on a regular basis
Senile purpura may also be a sign of collagen loss in the skin and bones. Doctors may see the loss of collagen in the skin as an indication that the person is experiencing a similar reduction in bone health.
The symptoms of senile purpura
The most noticeable symptoms are the distinct reddish purple or brown spots that appear on the body and keep recurring over an extended period.
Additional symptoms include:
- thin skin
- loose skin that lacks elasticity
- skin that tears easily
- purpura that occur without injury
The bruises caused by senile purpura
However, they will sometimes use tests to help them make sure the purpura is not caused by something more serious. This is because a range of conditions
A person may need to have tests such as:
A healthcare professional may also take a biopsy to check the skin and blood cultures.
The body can
However, if the skin is especially thin, it may tear, causing a lesion at the site of the bruise. Therefore, a person should take measures to protect the skin from any further damage.
By wearing long sleeved shirts and using
People may also wish to speak to a healthcare professional, like a dermatologist, about whether any moisturizers or other topical treatments may be beneficial for their skin.
Senile purpura itself is not harmful. It describes red, purple, or brown bruises that appear on the skin. They are usually the result of aging and are more likely to affect people with light skin tones.
However, people should consider speaking with their doctor to find out if any underlying conditions are causing the pupura.
The bruises often heal by themselves in
People who are uncomfortable with the appearance of senile purpura may decide to contact a dermatologist for recommendations for healing the damaged skin and preventing further damage.