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June 1992

Suction Purpura

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatric Dermatology (Dr Metzker), and Neonatology (Dr Merlob), Beilinson Medical Center, Petah Tiqva, Israel; and Tel Aviv (Israel) University, Sackler School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(6):822-824. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680160106015

• Background.—  Purpuric eruptions due to local mechanical causes are commonly seen, particularly in children. These eruptions are not always recognized as isolated purpura, and the patient may be submitted to an unnecessary extensive hematologic workup. We present various causes of suction purpura and outline a logical investigational approach.Observations.—Suction purpura result from an external force exerting negative pressure on a circumscribed area of the skin, producing small grouped petechiae. We present a number of such suction purpura-causing mechanisms: Pressure during the delivery of a neonate, children's habits or play activities, and iatrogenic causes produce similar cutaneous lesions. We also describe the gas mask suction purpura for the first time.

Conclusions.—  Once the causative factor is established, there is no need for further investigation or treatment of suction purpura. The lesions will fade completely within a few days.(Arch Dermatol. 1992;128:822-824)