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March 1961

Calcaneal Petechiae

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology, University of Buffalo, School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(3):501. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580090151017

In the past 2 years we have observed 16 cases of a highly characteristic traumatic petechial eruption of the heels. It is interesting as a stigma peculiar to basketball players, and although it is of no real significance in itself, it has been mistaken by the untrained eye for plantar verrucae, and even for malignant melanoma.

Clinical Picture  The eruption is usually bilateral and roughly symmetrical. It is sharply limited to the posterior and lateral surfaces of that convex part of the heel between the insertion of the tendo calcaneus and the portion of the fat pad which rests upon the ground. The lesions are discrete and confluent, deep-red, deep-seated petechiae, sometimes randomly distributed within the area but usually aggregated into groups (Figure). In mild cases, only 3 or 4 lesions may be present, but in severe examples a continuous magenta-colored band may extend completely around the heel. Callosities and

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