Allergic purpura, or anaphylactoid purpura, is a type of nonthrombocytopenic purpura. It’s characterized by allergy symptoms and acute or chronic vascular inflammation affecting the skin, joints, or GI or genitourinary (GU) tract. When allergic purpura primarily affects the GI tract with accompanying joint pain, it’s called Henoch-Schönlein syndrome or anaphylactoid purpura. However, the term allergic purpura applies to purpura associated with many other conditions, such as erythema nodosum. An acute attack of allergic purpura can last for several weeks and is potentially fatal (usually from renal failure); however, most patients do recover.
Fully developed allergic purpura is persistent and debilitating, possibly leading to chronic glomerulonephritis (especially following a streptococcal infection). Allergic purpura affects more males than females and is most prevalent in children ages 3 to 7. The prognosis is more favorable for children than for adults.
The most common identifiable cause of allergic purpura is probably an autoimmune reaction directed against vascular walls, triggered by a bacterial infection (particularly streptococcal infection). Typically, an upper respiratory tract infection occurs 1 to 3 weeks before the onset of symptoms. Other possible causes include allergic reactions to some drugs and vaccines, allergic reactions to insect bites, and allergic reactions to some foods (such as wheat, eggs, milk, and chocolate).
Signs and symptoms
Allergic purpura is characterized by purple skin lesions that are macular, ecchymotic, and varying