Article by Prof. MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
Petechial hemorrhage is common in old age, during pregnancy, in puerperal period, post operative period, tractioned or compressed areas etc. In few of the States of India people consider petechial hemorrhage as the ‘scar/markings of ghost’ also !
What is petechial hemorrhage?
Petechia, (plural petechiae) is a small red or purple spot found on the skin due to minor bleeding from the broken capillary blood vessels. Petechiae are by definition less than 3 mm in general.
Petechia refers to one of the three descriptive types of bleeding occurring in the skin; it is differentiated by size, the other two being purpura and ecchymosis. This may be found in any part of the skin surface preferably in the lesions where maximum capillary flow is found.
Why it occurs?
Physical trauma such as chronic cough, holding breath/asthama, vomiting or crying, may result in facial petechiae, especially around the eyes. Strong hit/ pressure, small blunt injury, long time unusual pressure etc may result in petechial haemorrhage in other parts like thigh, foreleg, chest, flanks, breast etc.
What are the most common conditions for Petechial haemorrhage?
Influenza A virus subtype H1N1
Bolivian hemorrhagic fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
Childhood protein-energy malnutrition such as Kwashiorkor or Marasmus
Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
Vitamin K deficiency etc
How it is discussed in age old Ayurveda?
Ayurveda refers this condition as Sirashrita pitta or Pittashrita sira.It means that the condition is caused due to the vitiation of Sira(veins) especially due to the Pitta dosha.
Bhrajaka pitta situated beneath the skin is badly affected by the Ushna(warmth)-Teekshna (penetrative nature)-Laghu(lightness)-Drava(liquidity) and Sara (motileness) quality of pitta.
Due this the proper flow of the blood is disturbed and hence obstruction is caused to the minor pathways of the blood and hence petechial haemorrhage is caused in the affected lesions,especially in pressure points.
Line of treatment
Line of treatment of hemorrhage as per Ayurveda:
The line of treatment of Vatarakta (gouty arthritis) or Raktapitta (bleeding disorders) is recommended in this condition.
Alternatively cold and hot medication is recommended as a factor of principle of practice. Raktaprasadana (blood sootheners) and Pittahara (coolant) medicaments stand as the ultimate choices in this condition.
Ayurvedic therapies, formulations
Therapies beneficial in petechial hemorrhage:
Utsadana (gentle massage) and abhyanga (oil massage) are found to be utmost use in this respect. Alepa (thin anoint) of medicaments/fresh wet paste) is also useful in few of the cases.
Formulations of choice in Petechial hemorrhage:
Kamadugha with mouktika
Laghupanchamoola ksheerapaka etc
Ayurvedic home remedies
Home remedies for Petechial hemorrhage:
Turmeric powder and leaf juice of pepper is mixed together and applied to the lesions repeatedly 3-4 times a day.
Betel leaf, ginger leaf and tender leaves of Pome granate are made into fine paste and applied over the lesions twice or thrice a day.
2-3 days medication of above home remedies gives significant benefits.
Do’s and dont’s
Do’s and Don’ts in Petechial hemorrhage:
Rest, soothing massage, easily digestible food, light food, juicy substances like ash gourd-cucumber-musk melon etc have good effect over this condition.
Pressure application, bandaging, thick wrapping, tourniquets will worsen the condition.
The medicines like Anticoagulants (warfarin, heparin)- Atropine (Atropen)- Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol etc)- Nitrofurantoin (Furadantin, Macrobid, Macrodantin etc)- Penicillin derivatives- Quinine (Qualaquin)- Chloral hydrate (Somnote)- Desipramine (Norpramin)- Indomethacin (Indocin)- Naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn) etc are to be taken with utmost caution.
Even though petechial haemorrhages found in old age are difficult to treat,other conditions can be treated quite successfully through Ayurvedic medicines.
But causative medicaments if continued quick result cannot be expected from herbal remedies which needs immediate interventions and serious medication.