Petechia - tiny red spots - mainly on arms (burst blood vesels)

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Yep-I have these as well, many many of them. They are red and most of them are tiny, pinpoint I think someone else said. However, over the last two years I am now seeing a few larger ones that look like a small mole or something. Mostly on my upper arms (underside of arms/not sun exposed), chest, and for the last two years over my torso. I have no idea what they are either. An acupuncturist I saw noticed them and said they are related to liver dysfunction/issues.
 

leela

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yes, me too, over the years of ME i have gotten a bunch of these on arms/chest/torso, a few on thighs.
while there are a couple larger ones (half a sesame seed?) most are pinpointy. There is a whole colony of extremely
tiny ones, i mean like miniscule, that make me look like i have a mild sunburn on my chest.
i too have read that these (along with other skin symptoms) are related to Lyme coinfections and/or other biotoxin illness.
 

LiveAgain

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Interesting. I "broke out" in these all over my arms and chest when my CFS took a turn for the worse and I suddenly got a lot of heart symptoms (later diagnosed as POTS). I showed the dermatologist and she said they are cherry hemangiomas (which is nothing to worry about) and I probably just hadn't noticed they were there before. No, I would have noticed - they all came at once and the timing coinciding with new symptoms, I do not think is a coincidence.
 

Glynis Steele

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Could it be Keratosis pilaris? My daughter has this, like red pin pricks on her face, upper arms and upper legs. She saw a dermatologist for it as her face is quite severe, on her cheeks. She has 2 creams to use and it is improving now, but has taken a while. In her case, she was tube fed for years, which the dermatologist said had exacerbated it.

Wiki page link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keratosis_pilaris

In autism, this type of rash is often described, and some parents try vitamin A or essential fatty acids to combat it.
 

Mark

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The closest I ever got to a name for my tiny red spots on my upper arms was keratosis but again the picture isn't quite accurate. Mine were tiny and rather less obvious. The description above (somewhere) of tiny blood-red spots like a speck of blood just beneath the skin, fits for me. Some of them were also little raised bumps so that my skin was rough to the touch, and some of them were a bit like scabs in that they could be 'picked' (or scraped off). They definitely waxed and waned along with the rest of my symptoms. I haven't had them for ages now.

Like others have said, I was told they are very common and nothing to worry about. Never managed to find anybody else non-ME/CFS who has them, mind you. But mentioning known 'trivial' issues like this tends to only help with a hypochondriasis diagnosis with a lot of GPs...nevertheless, it seems likely they are associated with something significant, for a subset of us at least. I think they may be a symptom of excess production of keratin, and my recollection is that this excess production may be associated with a reaction to fungal/mold infections.

In my case, my main painful symptom is allodynia/hypersensitive skin, and for various reasons I suspect that the source of my problems may be some kind of breakdown in - or destruction of - a sub-dermal layer, removing a layer of protection from my skin. There was some interesting breakthrough research in eczema last year regarding 'tight junctions' which may be relevant.

Anyway, it's interesting that so many of us have this. I'd be interested to hear from anybody who has this and also has 'the itching' (skin sensitivity) as a primary symptom.
 

leela

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hoo boy do i have the skin sensitivity. itching, denting, having to wear things inside-out, hair follicles sore--you name it.

that makes sense that the little blood-dots could have something to do with skin breakdown. i know there are vascular issues in general, so this could be yet another example of that.
 

slayadragon

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Erik Johnson says that this was a very common symptom in the Lake Tahoe epidemic in the 1980's, and that it is specifically associated with the biotoxin that he believes to be responsible for the severity of the epidemic.

Not everyone with CFS has substantial exposure to this toxin. Those people who do have substantial exposure tend to have a particularly severe form of the illness though.

Here are some other symptoms associated with this toxin. I would find it interesting to know whether those individuals who have substantial petechiae also have these other symptoms.

* Heart pain (in particular, a feeling of a needle through the heart).
* Heart palpitations.
* Chest pressure (a feeling of a dagger through the chest or a marble
- sometimes actually swollen - at the sternum).
* Excruciating headaches (migraine-like but not one-sided).
* Extreme photophobia (light sensitivity).
* Extreme noise sensitivity.
* Cognitive problems that go beyond brain fog (e.g. inability to add
numbers or recognize words)
* Weird memory losses (like the inability to remember the name of
one's hometown or to find the way home)
* Seizures or "white-outs" (where the brain goes 100% blank for extended periods of time, sometimes even when a concerted effort is being made to bring up thoughts)
* Severe trembling.
* Organ pain (particularly kidney pain).
* Strong suicidal feelings.
* Feelings of paranoia, like people who are usually your friends have become enemies.
* Strong feelings of anger and lack of inhibition in expressing it.
* Other emotions that are bizarrely inappropriate to the situation.
* Convulsions.
* Extreme MCS.
* Marked gait problems.
* Inability to sit or stand up.
* Extremely deep skin "dents."
* Feeling of skin being burned.
* Sore throats that make eating difficult or impossible.
* Veins pop out of skin (look "ropy")

Best, Lisa
 

Athene

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Hi Lisa,

That symptom list is really interesting. I have (or have had in the past) nearly all those symptoms, excluding only gait problems, Extremely deep skin "dents, Feeling of skin being burned and Veins pop out of skin (look "ropy"). All the others, I have had.

My doctor attributes the petechiae and all these symptoms to bartonella.
He says bartonella reproduces under the skin and every 5 days, then migrates into the body (you don't really feel this 5 day cycle symptomatically). It can cause devastating neurological damage. His list of the most classic symptoms are peripheral nerve damage (ranging from numbness in extremities, to loss of coordination etc), petechiae or a rash that looks like "stretch marks", itching that moves randomly around the body, joint problems in the knees and ankles (pain and/or squelching noises as you move), feeling freezing cold (with very cold hands and feet) even in warm environment, swollen lymph glands, night sweats and day sweats too, severe cognitive dysfunction (at first onset I completely forgot how to speak or understand people) and sometimes neuropsychiatric disease which can be depression or can be as bad as schizophrenia. All the other symptoms on your list are horribly familiar to me, including convulsions for which I was hospitalised a good few times, and the inability to find my way home, from which I still suffer permanently (I have to make sure I have the sat nav every day when I collect my son from school because sometimes I get lost on the way home. Luckily he is 6 now and is starting to tell me the way to places himself).

Bartonella is spread by ticks, fleas and mosquitoes. It can have an acute onset with fever etc, or start gradually and insidiously. There are many different strains of bartonella which may explain why it has two types of onset and two types of rash (that is my speculation not something I have read). The way it is disseminated could certainly explain why it sometimes occurs in isolated outbreaks and sometimes breaks out as a mini-epidemic. Apart from the famous Lake Tahoe epidmic, which I think could have been bartonella, there have been other similar outbreaks like that in other places.

The petechiae that I have are nowhere near as severe as the ones in the photo in the Wikipedia article. I think that article is not very helpful in the sense that it lists all possible causes of petechiae, but does not explain that different illnesses case them indifferent parts of the body and with greatly differing severity. The ones I have are mainly on the torso but also on the arms and legs. They are about the size of pin heads (some the size of metal pins, and some those larger glass-headed ones). They are all separate, there are no places where a bunch of them meld into one patch like in the Wiki photo. I got a particularly rapid increase in them on my torso when I was pregnant.
 

Athene

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On a completely different note, though.... cherry angioma can easily be confused with petechiae.

Cherry angioma can be caused (according to the rather scanty Wikipedia article) by various toxins and chemicals, including mustard gas (I think the infamous hydrogen sulphide is one of these gases????), 2-butoxyethanol, bromides and cyclosporine.

So there's a bit of fuel for the toxic theory that slayadragon introduced...
 

adreno

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Periodically I notice this symptoms of mine, and then dismiss it.

For about 4-6 years ive had these, on my arms, gradually more on more. I have quite alot now.

Here is wikipedia's article about it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petechia
The picture isnt a good representation because it is also of purpula.

It may have nothing to do with my ME, but i just started to wonder, because it started about the same time as the ME and has got worse along with it.
Anyone else got the same symptom, or know anything about it?
Have you tried vitamin K?
 

Athene

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I've been taking vitamin K for a long time. I would struggle to say if it has made any difference... there are too many of these things to keep proper track of them!
 

Annesse

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Here is some information that shows the connection to petechiae and damage to the endothelial cells. (They line the blood vessels)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2935201/

Homocysteine causes the endothelial cells to commit mass suicide. One of the most accurate tests for a B12 deficiency is elevated levels of homocysteine. Studies do show that CFS patients lack B12 and have high homocysteine.

Here is some information from phoenix rising on the some of the protein findings in the spinal tap studies done on CFS patients.
There is damage being done to the endothelial cells. And also evidence of cell suicide.


Another suggests that problems with the vasoconstriction of the blood vessels and damage to the cells lining the blood vessels (the endothelial cells).
Another protein is associated with inflammation
One protein suggesting altered rates of cell suicide (apoptosis) are present.
 

Annesse

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Marco just posted this information on another thread.

Large and small artery endothelial dysfunction in CFS:

David Newton et al, Univ. of Dundee (U.K.), studied 30 patients with CFS (Fukuda) and 27 healthy controls and found that subjects with "ME/CFS have reduced flow-mediated dilatation in the brachial artery and reduced post-occlusive reactive hyperemia in the forearm skin microcirculation. These responses are both endothelium-mediated via an increase in shear stress... and the results therefore lend further support to the hypothesis that endothelial function is impaired in ME/CFS, both in large vessels and in the microcirculation." (International Journal of Cardiology, Nov. 10, 2011)
 

Glynis Steele

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Hi Annesse,

Just found this study on fish oils and endothelial dysfunction, not in CFS though, so I'm not sure if it is of interest, as it seems to be stating a lowering of blood pressure effect.

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/96/9/2802.full

Conclusions Marine fish oil significantly improved endothelial function in peripheral small arteries in hypercholesterolemia patients. This may provide a mechanism for the beneficial effects of these fatty acids in coronary heart disease
 

Annesse

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Hi Glynis, I think the connection to fish oils might be to the lack of Omega 3's found in CFS. Omega 3's are found in abundance in many foods that contain protein. Fish, grass fed meat, walnuts etc. It would just be one more missing nutrient that CFS sufferers would lack if they were unable to digest proteins. I have posted a study to show that CFS sufferers lack zinc. Zinc is also found in high protein foods. Here is a study that shows CFS patients lack omega 3's and the connection to zinc.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16380690
All of this does tie together and bring us back to the lack of protease. (pancreatic enzymes that digest proteins)

I think that elevated homocysteine and the resulting destruction to the endothelial cells should be of grave concern though. There is a strong link to elevated homocysteine and risk of stroke, heart attack, migraines, raynaud's, eye damage, depression, neuropathy, magnesium malabsorption, scleroderma, COPD, intersitial cystitis etc. The only proper way to address this, in my opinion, is to restore the body's ability to recycle homocysteine. This would also restore the missing zinc, omega 3's and all of the other missing amino acids and nutrients found lacking in CFS.

Since a few of the members on this thread have mentioned lupus and its connection to petechiae, I thought I would post this study that shows the increased risk of heart disease in lupus is related to apoptosis (cell sucicide) of the endothelial cells. (Just as was found in the cerebrospinal fluid studies in CFS)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031113070845.htm
 

FunkOdyssey

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Petechiae are usually associated with thrombocytopenia (low platelet count). How many of you have low platelet counts? Mine is never dangerously low, but is typically below range (100-130 when normal is 140-400), and that is what I've attributed my petechiae to.
 

Marco

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Annesse

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Hi FunkOdyssey, here is some information from the first study I posted on the connection to thrombocytopenia and endothelial cell dysfunction.

"One clinical aspect of the plateletendothelial cell interaction can be seen in patients with thrombocytopenia. When platelets fall precipitously below critical levels (usually under 10,000 to 20,000 per cubic millimeter), molecular disassembly opens the zippers formed by adjacent intercellular endothelial junctions, causing extravasation of erythrocytes into the surrounding tissues. The characteristic microscopic feature of petechiae, the clinical hallmark of thrombocytopenia, is postcapillary venular extravasation of red cells at interendothelial junctions or gaps in the absence of overt trauma.2 Marked thinning and attenuation of the endothelium with separation at the gap junctions has been noted in animals with thrombocytopenia."

Thrombocytopenia is also connected to elevated levels of homocysteine. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12479273
The study states:

"Pretreatment total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) levels significantly predict severe thrombocytopenia and neutropenia with or without associated grade 3/4 diarrhea, mucositis, or infection."
 

Annesse

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Right Marco, and hyperviscosity can also be linked to endothelial cell dysfunction. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2141.1980.tb07188.x/abstract

The abstract states:
"These alterations in viscosity and haemostatic factors in vascular disease are probably related to the degree, rather than the aetiology, of endothelial damage and their cumulative effect may contribute to local stasis and thrombosis, particularly in cold extremities."

Thank you for the information you posted on hyperviscosity. It is really interesting.