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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Pigmented purpuric eruption

Other Names for this Disease
  • Familial pigmented purpuric eruption
  • Schamberg disease
  • Schamberg purpura
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Your Question

I have been diagnosed with pigmented purpuric eruption. What are the symptoms of this condition? What causes it? Can it be treated? Will it eventually go away?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is pigmented purpuric eruption?

Pigmented purpuric eruption is a condition that causes reddish-brown skin lesions, most commonly on the lower legs.[1][2] In some cases, the skin lesions cause severe itching.[1] The skin lesions may spread over time, or clear up on their own.[1] The cause of pigmented purpuric eruption is unknown.[1][2]
Last updated: 4/12/2010

What are the symptoms of pigmented purpuric eruption?

Pigmented purpuric eruption is characterized by reddish-brown patches on the skin.[1][2] These patches result from tiny red dots, sometimes referred to as cayenne pepper spots, which group together to form a flat red patch. Over time, these patches become brown and then slowly fade away, over weeks to months.[2] There have been no systemic symptoms reported with pigmented purpuric eruption.[1]
Last updated: 4/12/2010

What causes pigmented purpuric eruption?

The cause of pigmented purpuric eruption is unknown.[1][2] Occasionally, it occurs as a reaction to a medication, food additive, viral infection or following exercise.[2] In rare cases, there appears to be a genetic component.[1]

Last updated: 4/12/2010

What treatment is available for pigmented purpuric eruption?

There is no treatment that has been proven to be beneficial for people with pigmented purpuric eruption.[1] However, some treatments have been reported to improve this condition, including pentoxifylline,[3] aminaphtone,[4] and photochemotherapy (PUVA).[5]
Last updated: 4/12/2010

Does pigmented purpuric eruption resolve over time? Can it get worse?

Most cases of pigmented purpuric eruption resolve over time.[1] In other cases, the skin lesions persist or extend with time.[1] Pigmented purpuric eruption is often a chronic condition,[1] and it is not possible to predict if the condition will get worse or spontaneously resolve. 
Last updated: 4/12/2010