Purple blotches after light scratching

Posted by ts001 @ts001, Dec 28, 2020

Today, in the shower I scratched my thighs lightly and when I was getting dressed a few minutes later, I noticed these purple blotches (see pic) showed up. It isn’t itchy or irritating. I’ve had this happen a few times before. It doesn’t always show up after scratching either. Any idea what that might be? Should I be concerned?

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Greetings, @ts001. Welcome to Connect. We are a group of patients, caregivers, and providers who have their own patient experiences to share with others. We have no official medical background ……just our own battles with medical conditions.

How are you today and where are you living as you write this first post?

You mention that you have had these scratch tracks appear before. Do they itch? Do you remember why you started scratching your leg? I have these frequently because I am a Small Fiber Neuropathy (SFN) patient with neuropathic itch. Right now, my legs look like yours if not worse as I struggle to find my way through a flare. My MFR ( myofascial release therapist) has to move the blood out of the area and then the skin will clear up.

Have you been diagnosed with any skin disease? How often does this happen? Where else do you have it in addition to your legs. For example, when I cannot scratch my arms because they are covered with a compression wrap, I find that my legs become itchy and beg to be scratched.

This can be way off base or a start on the journey to find a relationship between itching and scratching. It would also be important to know if you have been diagnosed with any interior or exterior condition. I look forward to learning more about you. Please include any medications you are taking that can cause itching. You can look for symptoms and side-effects online.

May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
chris

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@ts001 I'd like to extend my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You are experiencing, "purple blotches," on the skin after light scratching and you are wondering if you should be concerned.

Members like @gingerw @contentandwell @lioness previously discussed similar symptoms and I have linked that discussion below. You may want to scroll through the previous comments to read past posts, suggestions, etc.
– Senile purpura bruises and treatment options https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hiding-old-lady-bruises/

As @artscaping mentioned we aren't trained medically trained and we unaware of your medical background. Do you typically communicate with your provider regarding changes in your health between appointments?

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@ts001 Let me add my welcome to you here! I am in my late 60s now, and have noticed that as my skin [and whole body, really!] ages, things are simply not as resilient as younger days. We become much more sensitive to changes in texture and stimuli. A few things come to mind, just as @artscaping mentioned.
1. Perhaps you were scratching harder that you realized. Coupled with your pores opening up in the shower, this may have produced an unwanted reaction.
2. Perhaps you have developed a reaction to laundry soap or bath soap you are using, even if it has been for a long time. Or their formula changed up just a bit to cause a reaction. Same for any lotion or cream you are using.
3. An underlying medical condition may be triggered? Do you have medical conditions that might flare up in the heat or humidity associated with a shower/bath?

Yep, lots of things to consider, as you have read our posts here! I sincerely hope you will let us know what you find out, and how we can assist you to make your day more comfortable.
Ginger

Liked by ts001

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@gingerw @artscaping @erikas
Hi all, thank you for your prompt replies. My purple skin doesn’t itch or is irritating. I feel completely fine apart from the colour change. I’ve not been diagnosed with a skin condition although it’s likely because I have not brought this up with a doctor before. I usually bruise easily (I’m only 23) and when someone grabs my hand, that bruise stays there for 5 days. I’ve been taking supplements for vitamin D, C and K2.

Yes, perhaps I was scratching harder than I realised, but I was only scratching for like 30sec. I was also scratching my arms and I can see a light purple track (way way lighter) on my left arm. Why I was scratching.. I think it’s mostly a force of habit. My skin wasn’t annoyingly itchy or anything.

I’ve not introduced any new items in my life (not anything obvious that I can think of). I’ve been using the same laundry detergent and soap as I’ve been for the past 2 months.

Medical history: my mom also gets bruises easily. Esp as she gets older (she’s now 52) she bruises from trying to open a food tin can. She has hyperthyroidism (apparently hereditary) and as a result has kidney stones that she’s been getting treatment for (not sure if this is relevant at all but I’ve put it as I might have the genes for it too).

I’ve called a non-emergency number and the local clinic but due to Covid, my appointment is only going to be in 10 days.

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@ts001

@gingerw @artscaping @erikas
Hi all, thank you for your prompt replies. My purple skin doesn’t itch or is irritating. I feel completely fine apart from the colour change. I’ve not been diagnosed with a skin condition although it’s likely because I have not brought this up with a doctor before. I usually bruise easily (I’m only 23) and when someone grabs my hand, that bruise stays there for 5 days. I’ve been taking supplements for vitamin D, C and K2.

Yes, perhaps I was scratching harder than I realised, but I was only scratching for like 30sec. I was also scratching my arms and I can see a light purple track (way way lighter) on my left arm. Why I was scratching.. I think it’s mostly a force of habit. My skin wasn’t annoyingly itchy or anything.

I’ve not introduced any new items in my life (not anything obvious that I can think of). I’ve been using the same laundry detergent and soap as I’ve been for the past 2 months.

Medical history: my mom also gets bruises easily. Esp as she gets older (she’s now 52) she bruises from trying to open a food tin can. She has hyperthyroidism (apparently hereditary) and as a result has kidney stones that she’s been getting treatment for (not sure if this is relevant at all but I’ve put it as I might have the genes for it too).

I’ve called a non-emergency number and the local clinic but due to Covid, my appointment is only going to be in 10 days.

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@ts001 Good to hear you have an appointment soon! Ask for a complete blood workup if it is not offered. Given your mother's history with a similar issue, you may have a medical issue to be addressed. Please come back and let us know what you find out! My curiosity has been peaked!
Ginger

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@ts001 There can be a couple of reasons for blotchiness, but one is age and I see that would not be you. If you happen to be on a steroid like prednisone though that tends to thin your skin. I have, off and on, had huge purple blotches on my forearms and hands. I am on prednisone, and I am older – 73. It's not generally a problem beyond being cosmetic, but if it bothers you a dermatologist can prescribe tretinoin and that will help, and there is also an OTC product, DerMend that is made expressly for bruising. That helps too. It's good that you are seeing a doctor though, just in case it is something else.

If you do get a prescription, tretinoin is fairly expensive since it is considered to be a cosmetic problem, but if you use the app RxSaver or GoodRx you can be directed to a pharmacy where you can get it for substantially less money. You do need to bring your phone with you to show them.
JK

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