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Solar purpura
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Solar purpura

Contributors: Noah Craft MD, PhD, Lindy P. Fox MD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Solar purpura (senile purpura, actinic purpura) is a benign form of purpura related to sun exposure. Ultraviolet radiation induces atrophy of the dermis, rendering dermal blood vessels vulnerable to minor trauma. This trauma itself often goes unrecognized, yet it causes leakage of red blood cells into the dermis. This manifests clinically as violaceous macules and patches on the hands and the extensor surfaces of the arms, which persists for several weeks. Solar purpura occurs almost exclusively in elderly individuals, and the effects are more pronounced in those with lighter skin phototypes.


D69.2 – Other nonthrombocytopenic purpura

53751009 – Solar purpura

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Drug Reaction Data

Below 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.

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Last Updated:09/26/2017
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Patient Information for Solar purpura
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Solar purpura
A medical illustration showing key findings of Solar purpura : Dorsum of hand, Forearm, Ecchymosis, Skin atrophy
Clinical image of Solar purpura - imageId=2834784. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A purpuric patch on the dorsal hand. '
A purpuric patch on the dorsal hand. 
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