Has your son or daughter been generally unwell in the last few days and then developed a crop of purple rashes on the legs?
Has he or she been complaining of abdominal pain? Is there any joint swelling or pain? What about his or her stool? Is there blood in the stool or dark colored urine? This may be due to Henoch Schonlein purpura or hsp.
HSP, also called anaphylactoid purpura is a condition where the small blood vessels in the skin, small intestines, kidneys, joints and other internal organs are inflamed, leading to the development of rashes, abdominal pain, joint swellings and pain, blood in urine in severe cases or blood in stool.
It is a condition seen more in children between the ages of 2 and 8 years. It can occur at any age and even in adults.
The exact cause of hsp is not known. It is nevertheless believed to be a form of excessive immune reaction by the body to the component of some bacteria or virus infection. It tends to follow a virus infection or cold.
Research has show that as antibodies are produced against some type of infections by our immune system to clear them, collateral damages are then inflicted upon the small blood vessels in our internal organs, skin, joint and even brain, leading to hsp.
It has also been reported to have been brought about by reaction to certain food types, medications like antibiotics, insect bites and cold.
The symptoms of hsp or anaphylactoid purpura are usually those of purple rashes on the legs and buttocks, abdominal pain, and joint pain and in some cases swelling. Many children develop rash only without any of the other symptoms.
The typical hsp child will:
Clearly, this condition could cause very frightening symptoms. The good news is that in the vast majority of children or adults who suffer with hsp, apart from the rash and arthritis pain, they do not suffer most of the complications described above and symptoms resolve within 3 to 10 days.
Occasionally, Henoch Schonlein purpura may be recurrent, occurring at intervals of 1 - 4 months. In some cases, the recurrence of the purpuric rash may last up to 1 year or more.
The diagnosis of Henoch Schonlein purpura is usually easy to make. The story is usually very typical, with the presence of rash, arthritis and abdominal pain, though many a time, patient may come up with the rash only.
Where there is doubt about the diagnosis, or if other complications are suspected, the following tests may be necessary. None of them on their own could help confirm the presence of this condition.
Thankfully, most cases of Henoch Schonlein purpura gets better on its own with or without the use of regular anti-inflammatory tablets like ibuprofen, and pain killers like paracetamol or acetaminophen.
If the child or adult with hsp is suspected of bleeding internally, they must avoid taking ibuprofen or neurofen. This is to prevent further bleeding.
Adequate rest, drinking plenty of water and normal balanced diet is the best way of helping the body to fight this condition and get well.
In those with serious complications like kidney problem, internal bleeding or stroke, the use of:
Are you wondering if your child's rash and abdominal pain may be due to HSP? Why not share your story on how it all began here and pictures of the rash only, to help with the diagnosis?
Have you had an experience with HSP in the past with your child? We would love to hear from you as to how it all started, the symptoms, was it easy to diagnose? Where there any complications and how was he or she treated?
Help Keep This Site Going