What is Batemans Purpura & How is it Treated?|Causes, Symptoms of Batemans Purpura

Batemans purpura is a condition of extremely common lesions, especially occurring in the elderly people. Depending upon the age of the lesion, these lesions are Ecchymoses, essentially bruises, and can be any shade, from blue to black. Often, many of these lesions are found on each arm, i.e. the characteristic location. These lesions heal with a whitish, irregularly shaped scar, known as Stellar pseudoscar. Read below and know about the causes, symptoms and treatments of Batemans purpura.

An Overview of Batemans Purpura:

Batemans purpura, also known as Senile purpura, is very common among senior citizens. It is a benign condition even though it can be quite embarrassing for cosmetic reasons in affected people. However, if an individual has some other underlying medical condition then Batemans purpura can cause more harm.

Clinically, Batemans purpura can be defined as a condition in which the connective tissues and blood vessels underneath the skin surface become weak. Due to weakening of these structures they rupture or break even with a slightest injury causing accumulation of excessive blood around the skin surface. This accumulation can be visualized as large blotches on skin surface which are red in color or have a purplish tinge to it.

Normally, they can be seen on the back half of the hands or the forearms but in some cases these blotches can also be seen on the legs. Generally, in majority of cases, these blotches tend to fade and go away by themselves after a few days but at times these can leave a faint yellowish patch on the affected area because of excessive accumulation of blood and presence of excessive iron in the area.

Causes of Batemans Purpura

Causes of Batemans Purpura:

Batemans purpura is mostly seen on sun-damaged skin of people who are over 50 years of age. As we already mentioned earlier that the weakened state of the walls of the blood vessels over a longer time period causes this condition. With a slight injury the walls of the weakened blood vessels break and the blood leaks into the surrounding skin, resulting in red to purple colored blotches on the skin.

Below are some of the factors that can cause or contribute to the occurrence of Batemans purpura.

Sun Exposure and Aging:

Sun exposure along with aging is the most common cause of Batemans purpura. Chronic exposure to sun results in changes to skin that predisposes patients to Batemans purpura. Due to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, there is development of atrophy weakening the connective tissues of upper layer of the skin which is now not able to support microvasculature adequately. This is why even minor injury or trauma can tear the blood vessels, resulting in the extravasation of blood.

Alcohol, Aspirin and Prenisone:

Alcohol, aspirin, and prednisone can also contribute to the occurrence of Batemans purpura. Alcohol and aspirin make the blood thin, and thus making it easier to leak into the skin, when there is an injury to the walls of the blood vessels. On the other hand, Predoisone causes the blood vessel walls to turn very fragile.

Symptoms of Batemans Purpura:

The most common symptom of Batemans purpura is the, Flat, irregular and red or purple colored lesions appear on the skin. These are commonly seen on forearms and the hands of elderly people, which are most exposed to the sun.

Apart from this, the skin of the affected person appearns thin and wrinkly, almost flimsy in appearance.

Treatments of Batemans Purpura:

It must be noted here that Batemans purpura with its associated symptoms face away by themselves in a few days. However, in cases where the affected individual has some other underlying medical condition which has caused Batemans purpura then it is mandatory to identify the underlying cause and get prompt treatment for it.

There are several types of treatments approved for Batemans purpura and have proven successful in reducing the condition. So, below we have mentioned some of them.


Cosmetics can be used to camouflage the lesions in Batemans purpura. For dermatologic conditions, such as Batemans purpura, Dermablend cosmetics are recommended.

Vitamin K Cream:

One more way to treat Batemans purpura is by using Vitamin K cream. This is to be applied to the skin on a regular basis so as to improve the condition.

Alpha Hydroxyacid Lotions:

It has been seen that regular application of lotions containing alpha hydroxy-acid to the skin surface increases the skin thickness in about 20% of the cases. This happens due to extra production of collagen which is the natural protein of the skin.

Medications to Treat Batemans Purpura:


The most exciting development in the area of treatment for Batemans purpura, is perhaps the use of a medication known as Purpurex. This medication can not only reduce the appearance of existing Batemans purpura, but also greatly slow down the development of others in the future. So, in case you are dealing with this unpleasant condition, you still have a room for hope!

Retin A Micro:

Retin A Micro is a great medication for Batemans purpura. Though it looks like a cream, it has no cream or ointment in it. It only contains microscopic little sponges loaded with Retin A medicine. It has millions of beads with tiny holes in it, that are loaded with Retin A and slowly leak out the medicine a few molecules at a time from each bead. It keeps working 8 hours. Though, this medicine is expensive, you surely get satisfied with the result.

Retin A Micro comes in two strengths, i.e. 0.04% and 0.1%. It is good that you first use the 0.04% one and if that is not too irritating, and if you want to try a stronger one, then go for the 0.1% Retin A micro.

For using this, you need to put it on bedtime with your skin dry. It must be noted that your skin require few weeks to adjust to Retin A Micro. In the first week, use it every 3 night, in the second week apply it every alternate night, and it that is not too irritating to your skin, you can use it every night in the third


You must always consult your doctor if you are concerned about the appearance of any bruising, so as to determine if there is some other underlying condition that is causing the bruising and that requires proper treatment. Moreover, it is also required that you limit your sun exposure and try to prevent the condition.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 4, 2019

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