Purpura: When Small Blood Vessels Leak Blood Under the Skin
Last updated: May 2023
If you have been on blood thinners or have lupus, you are prone to bruises and scratches. I have experienced that a lot lately. People asked me how I got the scars to disappear, and I honestly can not give them a reason why due to me not knowing. I have scarring all over my body but on my face. I have a flare-up on my leg, and the other side of my leg is healed flare-ups, but they look as if I ran into a wall or something and became bruised up. I realized that we might have a low number of platelets in our body that may cause that. Also, my hemoglobin and platelet count were extremely low when my blood work was done. Platelets are cells that help the blood clot. While pregnant, I am on a medication called Lovenox, which is an injection, so I will not clot during delivery. My WBC (white blood cell) count is high when my platelets are low.
Purpura: leaking blood vessels
According to The Johns Hopkins Lupus Center, we also experience something called purpura, which is small red or purple discolorations caused by leaking of the blood vessels just underneath the skin. It's disturbing that most of the time, when I have been in the hospital, they have assumed I am a domestic violence survivor or I was getting abused by my husband, which is nothing above all. I have to give them a detailed story of how my husband has never left my side and is one of my biggest supporters. I also have to explain to doctors that I am one of the clumsiest people they have ever met.
Lupus test results
So my CBC without differential results was not expected as of December. The hemoglobin was 11.0, and the hematocrit was 32.7. The normal ranges would be hemoglobin, 12-16, and hematocrit, 36-46. They said it's only a little low, but I can see where the bruising is coming from with a low rating like that. The white blood cell count was high as well. This caution should be taken seriously initially because I switched hospitals. A hospital that currently made national news was skipping over the negative signs, which kept me in a hospital and made me move back home.
Advocate at the doctor's office
I learned that being very open and outspoken about your health to doctors will save your life. You can refuse treatment if you think it will not help your condition. I did that once, and a doctor tried to make me change my mind and tried to prove maybe that I could not make my own decisions. Luckily, my husband was there. Having great support helps as well. Education about your condition can go a long way because everyone will not know or understand your condition.
Have you ever experienced purpura? Are you prone to bruises and scratches? Let me know your experiences with this in the comments below.
Have there been things you have learned along your lupus journey that you wish had been explained to you by a healthcare provider earlier?