What You Need To Know About Petechial Rash

When investigating what a petechial rash is all about, you'll sometimes come across the word “lethal”. Fortunately, that does not mean that all is lost if you suddenly find yourself having a rash, and it is diagnosed as being a petechial rash. This type of rash is usually a symptom of a disease or a disorder, and is not itself a disease. Often referred to as a petechial hemorrhage, the rash can be the result of something that affects the body but isn't necessarily a disease. Whether or not the rash is indicative of any particular danger being present depends upon its underlying cause.

This type of a rash is caused by the hemorrhaging or bursting of tiny capillaries near the surface of the skin. The red spots that form are the result of blood that has escaped from the capillaries. The red spots are called petechiae. The petechiae can sometimes be very tiny and are not always easy to detect. If the underlying cause of the rash is temporary, it will usually go away in a few days, and life can return to normal. It is when the cause of the hemorrhaging is very serious or life-threatening, that the word “lethal” might come into play.

Trauma Can Be A Cause

The rash doesn't necessarily have to cover the entire body, in fact it seldom does. It is very often localized, especially when one has experienced an injury by a hard blow. The rash can even appear where someone has been grabbed rather forcefully, whether on purpose or by accident. The pressure applied to the skin can cause capillaries to burst. This can sometimes be the case when the person being grabbed has a clotting disorder of one type or another. Similarly, a person with such a disorder who coughs or sneezes violently may experience a rash somewhere on the face or the neck.

Rash And Fever – A Dangerous Combination

The rash can also sometimes be caused by certain diseases where a fever is also one of the symptoms. A combination of a rash and a fever can be due to any number of things, not all of which are necessarily serious. If the rash appears suddenly however, and it is accompanied by a fever, it probably should be considered an emergency, symptomatic of a disease or disorder requiring immediate medical attention. It's always better to be safe than sorry. Again, it's not the rash that represents the danger. The rash is just a symptom of the underlying problem, and it is with the underlying disorder where the danger lies. Take Hantavirus for example. Hantavirus is a disease which is sometimes spread to humans by rodents living in the drier regions of the American Southwest. It often has as its symptoms a high fever, accompanied by a petechial rash. Hantavirus is often fatal. Rocky mountain spotted fever, though usually less serious, but still potentially deadly, can exhibit similar symptoms, a petechial rash and a fever.

Blood disorders can also bring about the rash, especially when the disorder is one that affects the ability of the blood to clot normally. Those with blood disorders will sometimes experience temporary outbreaks of petechial rash. In such cases, the rash is indicative of something requiring attention, but may not necessarily point to the seriousness of the underlying problem.

Children appear to be more susceptible to this type of a rash than are adults. Often the cause of the rash can be determined, especially if it is due to trauma. In such cases, the rash normally does not mean the child is in any imminent danger. If however the rash is accompanied by a fever, the child should be taken to the doctor, or better yet a hospital, immediately. A fever usually is indicative of a bacterial or viral infection. Some bacterial infections which can cause petechiae to develop can be extremely dangerous, and some are even life-threatening.

Dangerous Diseases Associated With The Rash

Some of the more serious diseases that can cause hemorrhaging and the rash are Dengue fever, Ebola, hepatitis B, and rubella. The rash can also be symptomatic of typhus, sepsis, and lupus. The rash is sometimes experienced by those suffering from leukemia, and is occasionally one of the early signs of meningitis.

It can be difficult to determine the seriousness of the situation when a rash like this is encountered. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when children are involved. Fortunately, most of the more serious disorders that can bring about the rash are somewhat rare. A telltale sign to watch for if someone comes down with the rash is so see how that person feels. If the person is feeling fine and continues to feel fine, it may still be a good idea to see a doctor, but it's unlikely to be an emergency situation. If the affected person has a fever, has other symptoms such as headaches or nausea, or simply feels ill, it is best to treat the situation as an emergency, and seek immediate medical assistance.