Petechiae In Babies – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments Every New Mom Should Know


The skin of babies is fine and delicate, clear in general. So any irregularity in the dermis can be easily detected, as in the case of small vascular spills that appear in the body, which are called Petechia. They are small red spots (one millimeter in diameter) that in a few hours become more numerous, a little larger (of various sizes) and that does not disappear when the skin is stretched with the fingers or when applying on them a transparent surface like a glass. Lets know more about Petechiae in babies.

The petechiae in the baby’s body appear due to the fragility of the capillaries of the skin of the individual, which each time they break leaving small dots on the surface. These marks are different from other skin spots, because when they are tightened they do not disappear and the amount can be from mild to severe depending on the case.

Medical intervention for petechia is necessary because it is important to find the underlying cause of the condition. If the cause is a serious illness, any delay in medical attention could be dangerous for the baby.

A Guide for New Moms for Petechiae in Babies

petechiae in babies


Symptoms of Petechiae in babies:

  • Immobility and intense crying that alternates with a great decay.
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fever, without apparent cause, coldness in the legs, feet, and hands.
  • Rash and dark colored urine.
  • Exaggerated somnolence, there is no way to awaken the child.

Causes of Petechiae in babies:

  • Situations such as a cough or vomiting may be responsible for the appearance of petechiae in children. Even so, this is not the only situation in which the appearance of these spots may occur.
  • Petechiae can be caused due to coagulation problems, such as Von Willebrand’s disease or be caused by inflammation of the cutaneous vessels, a phenomenon known as vasculitis.
  • Collagen-related diseases, such as lupus; possible meningitis and serious infections (such as Dengue) may also be at the origin of the appearance of these cutaneous spots.
  • In addition, child abuse involving choking or strangulation can cause petechiae in the eyes and face. Similarly, spanking, bites and crush injuries can cause petechiae of the neck, face, and chest.

It is important to consult a specialist, since the only way to treat petechiae is through the resolution of its causes, and it is extremely important to look at the situations that led to its appearance and a specialized diagnosis.

Diagnosis of Petechiae in babies:

The diagnosis of petechiae is often clear from the clinical examination but a vitropression test (pressure with a curved glass) confirms this. Unlike other cutaneous lesions, petechiae do not disappear at the vitropression and indicate that the red blood cells are out of the blood vessels. In cases of associated fever in children and major lesions larger than 3 mm or rapid extension, management is urgent and further examinations will be performed after arrival at the hospital. This will include a lumbar puncture and a blood test.


Treatment of Petechiae in babies:

Petechia melts generally without leaving scars. But it is important to consult a doctor if you notice red spots that appear under your child’s skin. After initial consultation for petechiae, follow a treatment plan which the doctor suggests.

  • In case of suspicion of petechiae in connection with purpura fulminans, emergency treatment must be performed. Antibiotics should be administered without delay, and a transfer to the hospital under medical supervision is essential.
  • Most petechiae are related to a small trauma, they resorb spontaneously. However, the healing process can be accelerated by placing cold compresses on petechiae, for example. In the case of petechiae infection, the management of the disease will remove these red spots.

 In addition, seek immediate medical attention for the following.

  • If your child has a high fever (over 100.4 ° F).
  • If you notice unexplained bruising on your baby’s skin.
  • Baby showing signs of lethargy.
  • If your child has an abnormal pulse.
  • If you notice an increase in stain size.

Read More: 11 Common Skin Problems in Children

It is possible to notice widespread petechiae which usually indicates a serious underlying disease. This may be the case with disorders such as blood clotting disorders called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Similarly, there is a disease called meningococcal, which is caused by a bacterial infection of the mucosa between the skull and the brain. It can also cause widespread petechiae in children. A generalized infection of the bloodstream called meningococcemia can also lead to petechiae.

Petechiae are not a cause for concern. But the underlying cause of the condition is something the parents need to know for the proper treatment of the child. If ignored, the cause of petechia could lead to serious medical complications for your child.

Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!