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Information On Capillary Fragility - Capillaritis, Purpura

Capillary is the smallest type of blood vessel in the vascular system. Capillaries connect the smallest arteries with the smallest veins; most are so narrow that only one blood cell can pass along them at a time. The capillary wall is the conduit for material passing from an artery to a vein. The function of capillaries is to carry oxygen-rich blood to the tissues, to pass food substances to tissue cells, and to carry away waste products, such as carbon dioxide.

Capillaritis is the name given to a harmless skin condition in which there are reddish-brown patches caused by leaky capillaries. It is also known as pigmented purpura.

Purpura is a skin discoloration caused by bleeding (hemorrhage) under the skin. A small hemorrhage is called a petechia and a large one, as in a bruise, is called an ecchymosis. Purpura may result from trauma, from fragility of the blood vessels, or from clotting disorders.

Fragility of the blood vessels usually is inherited, although it seldom is serious. In a more serious inherited form of the disorder, a condition known as telangiectasia, there are obvious abnormalities of the blood vessels in the lips, mouth, and fingers.

There is no known cure for most cases of capillaritis. It can disappear within a few weeks, recur from time to time, or frequently persist for years.

Consider if a medication could be the cause: discontinue it for several months to find out if the capillaritis improves. Try avoiding food preservatives and artificial coloring agents. Return to a normal diet if there is no improvement after several months. Topical steroids can be helpful for itching but rarely clear the capillaritis. If the lower leg is affected, consider wearing graduated compression elastic hose. Currently available lasers are not particularly helpful for this condition.

Prolonged treatment with drugs such as aspirin and cortisone may also result in purpura. Scurvy (caused by lack of vitamin C) is another disorder that causes purpura. A rare, but serious, cause of purpura is Henoch-Schenlein purpura, which may follow an upper respiratory tract infection that damages the blood vessels.

PCOs are believed to improve capillary stability, and are used for venous insufficiency, liver cirrhosis, diabetic retinopathy, postsurgical lymphedema, postoperative facial edema, sports injury related edema, repeated ecchymoses, and purpuric syndromes.

PCOs are a variety of flavonoid-like proanthocyanidins found in numerous plants. Some of the most abundant sources are grape seeds and maritime pine bark. Other food sources include hawthorn flowers, various berries, onions, legumes, red wine, and parsley, and related chemicals are found in bilberry. Collectively, they are known as procyanidolic oligomers. Recent in vitro studies suggest that grape seed PCOs possess superior antioxidant activity to vitamin C or vitamin E. This antioxidant effect occurs in both polar and nonpolar media, giving PCOs a certain functional similarity to lipoic acid. In Europe, PCOs are widely used to treat conditions believed to be related to increased capillary fragility. These include venous insufficiency (varicose veins and hemorrhoids), other unsightly superficial blood vessels, easy bruising, edema of various causes, and diabetic retinopathy. PCOs are also used for aging skin, Macular Degeneration, allergic rhinitis, and Atherosclerosis. Additionally, they are promoted as general antioxidants.

Discuss It!

Helen Bernat ·

why do i persistintly get this on my forearms after a mild abrasionn?



rachael ·

I get capillaritis in my lower legs. it happen's whenever I go in the sun. I wear sun cream but still appears. Why is that?



Natalie ·

I have had it on my left forearm for three years and now have it on the back of my right thigh. The dermatologist didn't know what it was and told me to use hydrocortisone but that didn't help at all. I called a new dermatologist and now have to wait 5 months till I can get an appointment so am searching the internet for my own answers. I am pregnant so am going to talk to my OB to make sure it's not something I need to be concerned about in regards to my pregnancy.



Vanessa ·

I have it all over my legs, between my thighs, on my abdomen and on the insides of my arms. Dr. did a biopsy of it, said it was capillaritis... but just said to take 2000 mg of vit. C and one aspirin a day to help thin my blood. Who knows if it will work!



imho ·

IF you have capillaritis, you may have capillary fragility. IF your capillaries are fragile, you might want to rethink aspirin. Aspirin is salicylic acid which breaks up the epidermis, including, I would think, the lining of capillaries.



Stasi ·

I have just been diagonsed by my dermatologist that I have capillaritis on most parts of my body, including forearms, inner thighs, lower back and torso. I have been using cortisone cream and I am on my 3rd repeat but it does not go away. I have had since 2006 since my dad past away. Does anyone have any suggestions on any proper treatment and how it came about in the first place? My next option is to see a naturopath this coming Friday.



Tom ·

I recently was diagnosed with Capillaritis. It usually occurs on the lower half of my body with some cases on my arms. I have been prescribed Flucinonide .05%. It has worked very well and knocked out all signs of it in about 1-2 weeks.



none Ya ·

I have A research project and I was wondering how much scapPilaties ate in our Body



lynne ·

Rutin vitiamin cured mine.



Abi ·

I found out I have this, I'm very concious about it as it is scattered all over my feet, legs, thighs and now arms, I'm only 19 and very conscious about it, any ideas what to get to help it clear up. Pleeeeeease!!



Random student ·

Questions you may want to consider: Has anyone in your family had anything like this before? If so consult your doctor and inquire about Marfans, Ehler's Danlos syndromes, Heriditary telangiectasia or Osler-weber-rendu syndrome. If there is no family history they are common when taking steroids (even corticosteroid creams could do it), low vitamin C intake, infections elsewhere or abnormal proteins. They also become more common as you age. If you have had any troubles with nosebleeds, black tar-like faeces, blood in faeces, really easy bruising, excessive bleeding at the dentists or heavy periods mention it to your GP. If you have capillaritis: medications you are already on, ertain preservaives and food colourings can enhance it. The cortisone cream will only ease or prevent itching, it won't usually get rid of the rash, it may fade with time though.



h mosch ·

is it allergic in nature



debbie ·

I have factor 5 Leiden I have a lot of scar tissue I have had a lot of veins Surgeries. I have had previous deep vein clots I am on blood thinners have major swelling all the time in major pain I use stockings and they don't work



Kevin ·

Its been interesting reading others experiences. Mine confirms that cortisone cream is good for relieving iching but rest seems the best way to get rid of the condition. Mine came back again after a period of central heating, tractor mower & car all breaking down at the same time. I wonder whether stress brings it on especially as stasi commented that he/she got it after father passed away. Cool showers are better than hot showers and Unguentum M cream helps by softening dry shin. Vitiliglow is a new skin camauflage cream but does not help the actual condition. The best I can do longer term is relax & chill.



Susie ·

45 years of steroids on psoriasis may cause fragile skin and capillaries.



Tone ·

I was diagnosed with it almost a year ago. Oral steroids helped, but as soon as I was done taking them, the capillaritis came back.



Renee ·

I've had this purpura on my feet/ankle area since I was about 14 yrs old. When in school it used to go and come. Once I didn't have any sign of it for 2 years. But now I've had it for the past 10 years with it being persistently there everyday. It seems to lighten up and not be so dark in color when I'm not on my feet, like when I wake up in the morning. This new dermatologist I went to recommended Rutin and some Vitamin C. We'll see if that works. It's such an eye sore. I really have to work up the courage to wear sandals in the summer. I've tried to camouflage it with makeup, but you can still see it.



joy, hello Renee ·

Did the routin work for you? I have it too for almost 8 years now come and go it was worst in the beginning and it disappear and its all coming again! Its really an eye sore and doctors cant say what is it! Please reply! Thank you!



Bee ·

Mine is clearing up after dermatologist said to add 500mg twice a day and also rut in 50mg twice a day(I was already taking rutin, but the vit c has made astounding difference in just a few days. I'm beginning g to wonder if doctors are missing the possibility of scurvy(vitamin c deficiency) diagnosis because in adult diets in USA it really should be rare. I wonder if our foods contain enough ascorbic acid anymore? The body does not store it. We need it every day.



Louise ·

I've had this capillaritis for about 1 yr. now & it has gotten progressively worse especially around my ankles. It is so unsightly, a bit itchy & almost frightening to look at. Going to a 3rd Dermatologist soon & hope & pray for some good answers & results. I'm feeling desperate at this point.



angela consalves ·

I have scurvy - and can't recover from it



·

Is it normal for capillaritis to come back. I have had it for a year now, since I was twelve. The spots became all fully brown and faded but now they are starting to come back. I really want to get rid of it because it is a big insecurity of mine



Judie ·

How much Rutin do you take. I was told Vit C and Rutin but I don't remember the dosage.



Jacquie B ·

My fragile capillary condition is driving me crazy. My forearms itch like crazy and I'm not sure why. I am a chronic pain sufferer so I take Norco on a daily basis. That may be why it happens. When I scratch my arms due to relentless itching I easily get deep red discoloration on my forearms which is very unsightly. I'm embarrassed to wear short sleeves. I have had this condition for years now and not sure where to turn. My doctor told me it was not harmful but it sure is ugly. I will try the vitamin C and Rutin. I'll try anything that may work. The itching is relentless but if it's the drug that causes it I don't know what to do because my back and leg pain is also relentless. Would love to hear some suggestions.



David ·

I'm not sure which part of this is working, but it's working. Haven't had an incident in months. Bamboo silica, C, 1000 mg. Quercetin bioflavinoids and Silica and MSM moisturizing lotion by Eidon. I can wear short sleeves again!



Barbara Harrison ·

I was diagnosed with this condition a year or two ago and was told it was an age thing (I am 72) .The dermatologist said nothing can be done. This year I noticed that it has got a lot worse after sitting in the sun and also after showering too.It is very red with the odd blister .Will show my GP when I go next week and make sure that Capillaritis is all it is .