Senile purpura is a condition that impacts the elderly and is referred to in many different ways. For instance, some people know senile pupura as purpura senilis, skin hemorrhages, or as Bateman purpura.
Senile purpura was first described by British dermatologist Thomas Bateman in 1818. Just what is senile purpura? Well, the simplest senile purpura definition is when elderly are more prone to bruises. Older individuals have thinner, more fragile skin, so bruises are more likely to form as a result. In the initial stages, these bruises appear purplish red. It is common for elderly to develop senile purpura on their forearms. Purpura can also occur in the mucous membranes, particularly in the mouth and internal organs.
While it may appear as if a person with senile purpura has experienced a serious trauma, it is likely that some sort of mild trauma led to the development of the purplish bruises. Large purpura spots are called ecchymosis and the smaller spots are known as petchiae.
Many people seem to think that senile purpura is the result of mineral and vitamin deficiency, but this is not the case. The list below covers some of the potential senile purpura causes:
Despite what some people think, the elderly don’t suddenly wake up covered in purplish red spots. There are common senile purpura symptoms that can appear before bruising. Some are covered in the list of symptoms below.
When it comes to diagnosing senile purpura, the doctor will conduct a thorough examination of the patient, including a look at their hands, legs, neck, face, and underarms. Any bruising or skin atrophy will be noted. A beam arm test is also likely. It looks at the structure and function of capillary walls. Laboratory tests such as a platelets test, capillary fragility tests, and hemostasis tests—which is a test that checks for blood clotting issues and platelet plugs—are possible.
Senile purpura differential diagnosis is often used. This is a process of differentiating between two or more conditions that share similar symptoms. The list below covers most of the investigations involved with senile purpura differential diagnosis.
Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjogren’s syndrome are all collagen vascular diseases that have been linked to purpura. Additionally, some people with internal malignancies, including lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and leukemia have been known to experience signs of purpura.
Senile purpura doesn’t require any treatment. The lesions or bruises usually clear up on their own without causing any serious health complications. The problem with the condition is that it tends to be chronic. In other words, it recurs and people have to live with it for the remainder of their lives. Those who find that they experience skin tearing should see a doctor for advice on how to manage the problem.
While it is a new area of research, a study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology indicates that a twice-daily dose of citrus bioflavonoids is a good natural remedy for senile purpura. The study showed a reduction of purpura lesions by 50 percent in a group of 70 seniors who used a “citrus bioflavonoid blend.” More research continues, including investigations into how other supplements might impact senile purpura. In the meantime, people who suffer from the condition are encouraged to use sun protection when outdoors to prevent future breakouts and apply skin moisturizers to help protect the skin.
It is unfortunate, but for many people, senile purpura is a condition that comes with age. The number of elderly in industrialized nations continues to increase, so the incidence of senile purpura and other age-related skin conditions is expected to rise significantly over the next few decades. Dermatologists suggest we do whatever we can to protect our skin from an early age. If and when something like senile purpura occurs, it is important to understand that you are not alone and that you can reach out to doctors and dermatologists for guidance.