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Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is Henoch-Schonlein purpura?

Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) is a condition that causes your immune system to attack and damage your blood vessels. Damage to your blood vessels causes them to swell and bleed. HSP most commonly affects the blood vessels in your skin, joints, intestines, and kidneys. HSP can happen at any age but is most common in children 2 to 11 years of age. HSP may eventually get better or become a chronic condition.

Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

What increases my risk for HSP?

What are the signs and symptoms of HSP?

A purple rash (purpura) is the most common sign of HSP. The rash may feel bumpy. The rash may first appear on your legs, arms, or buttocks. It may spread to your chest, back, or face. You may also have any of the following:

How is HSP diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine your skin and ask about your symptoms. You may need any of the following:

How is HSP treated?

There is no treatment for HSP. HSP may eventually go away or become a chronic condition. You may need medicine to manage your symptoms. This may include medicine to decrease swelling, pain, or fever. It may also include medicine to stop your immune system from attacking your blood vessels.

What are the risks of HSP?

Your kidneys may be damaged if HSP attacks the blood vessels in your kidneys. The damage may get better with treatment or may lead to kidney failure. HSP may cause your bowel to fold into itself and become blocked. You may need surgery to fix this problem. HSP can cause life-threatening bleeding in your intestines or brain. Women with a history of HSP are at risk for high blood pressure and kidney problems during pregnancy.

How can I manage my symptoms?

Call 911 or have someone else call for any of the following:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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