Capillaritis in Adult
Alerts and Notices
SynopsisCapillaritis, also known as the pigmented purpuric dermatoses (PPD) or benign pigmented purpura, refers to a collection of benign cutaneous conditions characterized by the appearance of cayenne pepper-like petechiae, purpura, and golden-brown pigmentation on the legs and less commonly on the trunk and upper extremities.
Several distinct clinical entities have been described:
- Schamberg disease: the most common manifestation of PPD
- Purpura annularis telangiectodes (Majocchi disease)
- Eczematid-like purpura of Doucas and Kapetanakis
- Pigmented purpuric lichenoid dermatosis of Gougerot and Blum
- Lichen aureus
- Linear pigmented purpura
- Granulomatous pigmented purpura
Capillaritis is typically asymptomatic but may be pruritic. It is usually a chronic condition with intermittent exacerbations and remissions. There is no geographic or hereditary population predilection. Men appear to be affected more commonly than women.
I78.8 – Other diseases of capillaries
85461008 – Capillaritis
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
- Stasis dermatitis
- Mycosis fungoides – a subtype resembling capillaritis has been reported
- Drug-induced nonpalpable purpura
- Fixed drug reaction
- Lichen planus
- Leukocytoclastic vasculitis
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Petechiae from other causes (thrombocytopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation, etc)
Drug Reaction DataBelow is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.
Patient Information for Capillaritis in Adult
OverviewCapillaritis is a condition where inflammation of the tiniest blood vessels in the skin results in leakage of blood and petechiae (tiny spots of bleeding under the skin that do not blanche when you press on them). Capillaritis is frequently found in individuals who stand for long periods of time, such as people who are on their feet a lot for work. Capillaritis can come and go intermittently.
Who’s At RiskCapillaritis is seen more commonly in adults, especially men, but it can occur in older children and teenagers as well.
Signs & SymptomsThe most common location for capillaritis is the legs, but it can also occur on the trunk and arms. Capillaritis never occurs on the face. Capillaritis may appear as:
- Brown-red or dark brown petechiae in darker skin colors or light red or dark red petechiae in lighter skin colors.
- Color variations in the lesions may be seen at different stages of development.
- Petechiae can merge to form petechial patches.
Self-Care GuidelinesNo self-care is necessary.
When to Seek Medical CareAlthough capillaritis itself is a harmless condition, other conditions can also cause petechiae. Seek medical evaluation for a rash with petechiae or another unknown rash.
TreatmentsIf capillaritis is diagnosed, your medical professional may prescribe a topical steroid cream or lotion.
Capillaritis in Adult