This patient information and photographs on Schamberg's Purpura (Purpuric Dermatosis) is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
What is it? Schamberg's purpura is a peculiar eruption of the skin it is sometimes called a
pigmented purpuric dermatosis. It can occur at any age, but it is more often seen in adults. Typically it begins as tiny red spots on the lower legs, but with time these spots turn yellow-brown or rust color. These red spots don't blanch when you put pressure on them. In only rare cases does it itch.
What causes it? Schamberg's purpura is caused by bleeding of tiny capillaries in the skin. The cause of this slight blood leakage is not understood. Increased fluid pressure in the lower legs from standing or keeping the legs in a dependent position for long periods are predisposing factors. When the leaked blood is reabsorbed yellow-brown iron deposits are left in the skin which cause a brown stain. These stains may last months or years.
Is it dangerous? For the typical healthy person Schamberg's purpura is a harmless disorder. It is not related to cancer and it does not involve internal organs.
Can it be cured? Treatment may or may not improve the condition.
What home care should I use?
- Wearing support socks can be very helpful in preventing the condition.
- Try to avoid standing for long periods in one place especially in hot weather.
- Vitamin K creams may help the blood reabsorb faster but it does not prevent it. Vitamin K cream recommendations Formula K Vitaceutical Cream or Vitamin K Cream
- For relief from itching try Sarna Anti-Itch Lotion or a product with 1% hydrocortisone such as Aloe Cort Cream or Aquanil HC.
Will it spread? It does not spread beyond the legs.
Is it contagious ? It is not contagious and you can not "catch it" from anyone