If you’ve ever had a bruise, you’re familiar with the purplish discoloration that can occur when blood vessels rupture beneath the skin. But what’s the difference between purpura and ecchymosis? And why do they form in different places? Keep reading to learn more.
What is Purpura?
Purpura is a small hemorrhage under the skin that appears as a purple lesion. The word “purpura” comes from the Latin purpura, meaning “purple dye.” Purpura can occur anywhere on the body, but is most commonly seen on the lower extremities, such as the ankles and legs.
What is Ecchymosis?
Ecchymosis is a larger hemorrhage under the skin that appears as a bruise. The word “ecchymosis” comes from the Greek ekkymosis, meaning “to pour out.” Ecchymoses are commonly seen on the arms and legs, but can occur anywhere on the body.
Difference between Purpura and Ecchymosis
The main difference between purpura and ecchymosis is the size of the hemorrhage. Purpura are small hemorrhages that appear as purple lesions, while ecchymoses are larger hemorrhages that appear as bruises.
- Purpura and ecchymosis are both caused by bleeding under the skin. This can be due to a variety of factors, including trauma, infection, or an underlying medical condition.
- Trauma is the most common cause of purpura and ecchymosis. When the skin is damaged, blood vessels can rupture and bleed into the surrounding tissue. This can occur from a minor injury, such as a bump or bruise, or a more serious injury, such as a cut or gunshot wound.
- Infection can also cause purpura and ecchymosis. When the skin is infected with bacteria, viruses, or other organisms, the blood vessels can become inflamed and rupture. This can lead to bleeding under the skin.
Certain medical conditions can also cause purpura and ecchymosis. These conditions include leukemia, thrombocytopenia, and vasculitis. People with these conditions are more likely to experience bleeding under the skin.
Knowing the difference between purpura and ecchymosis can help you properly treat a bruise. While they may appear similar, these two types of bruises are caused by different things and require different care. If you think you have either type of Bruise, it’s important to seek medical attention so that you can get the proper diagnosis and treatment. With the proper understanding and care, both purpura and ecchymosis will eventually heal.