What is Senile Purpura & How is it Treated?|Causes, Symptoms, Natural Remedies for Senile Purpura

What is Senile Purpura?

Senile purpura is a skin condition which is benign and easy bruising. Sometimes it is also known as Actinic purpura. Senile purpura is a condition which is mostly seen in older adults. This condition develops as the blood vessels become fragile due to age leading to easy bruising with even minor falls causing significant bruises. Senile purpura is different than conditions that cause easy bruising, due to bleeding disorders. It is absolutely common, and affects about 10% of people over the age of 50. This percentage increases with age.

In The United States, the occurrence of Senile purpura is almost limited to the elderly population, commonly found in approximately 11.9% of those older than 50 years of age. The prevalence of this condition markedly increases with years of exposure to the sun and is more pronounced in fair-skinned people than in other individuals. Both, men and women are affected by this condition equally.

What is Senile Purpura?

Causes of Senile Purpura

The primary cause for an individual developing Senile Purpura is thin skin which can be easily damaged even with minor trauma.

Prolonged sun exposure also plays a crucial role in an individual having Senile Purpura due to damage to the connective tissues due to sun exposure.

Vascular diseases or medications that affect the blood vessels can also cause the development of senile purpura. Rheumatoid arthritis, Diabetes and lupus, may also increase the chance of developing the lesions. Apart from this, medications to include steroids and aspirin may worsen the lesions caused due to Senile Purpura. However in majority of the cases minor trauma is believed to be the main factor in causing the condition.

Symptoms of Senile Purpura

The main presenting feature of Senile purpura is large red colored lesions with a purple tinge to it. These lesions are commonly seen on the back of the hand or forearm. They can also occur on the mucous membranes, including those in the mouth and even in the internal organs. As they fade, they become a brown discoloration. These bruises last between 1-3 weeks before fading. The brown discoloration may fade, however, it could also be permanent.

Diagnosis of Senile Purpura

You need to make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any such condition in your body. Your doctor may ask you about the symptoms and medical history and perform a physical assessment.

If your doctor notices that your lesions are painless and are restricted to the hands and forearms with no other abnormal bleeding, then a confirmed diagnosis of Senile Purpura can be made.

Some of the criteria for diagnosis of senile purpura include the following:

  • The occurrence is mostly in individuals above 60 years.
  • Patches of 1-4 cm size on the skin in exposed areas of hands and legs.
  • Thin epidermis with reduced collagen.

Skin atrophy

Some of the tests that could be conducted for differential diagnosis, to help in ruling out other conditions, include Coagulation profile, Urine test, Differential blood count, Skin culture, Liver function tests for eliminating possibilities of liver inflammation, Renal function tests, and ESR or Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, for identifying inflammation from vascular disorders.

Treatments of Senile Purpura

In most cases of Senile purpura, there is no treatment required. However, some people do not like the appearance of the bruises and seek treatment. There is no specific medicine for senile purpura. Your doctor may prescribe you with topical retinoids that thicken the skin so as to prevent further skin aging. This would reduce the risk for senile purpura. However, it must be strictly noted that retinoids may have several side effects that may outweigh any potential benefits.

Apart from retinoids, Silicone treatment has proven useful for several types of burns and ulcers. It also controls skin atrophy and loss of skin elasticity. A small dose of silicon can improve the collagen synthesis and improve the overall skin condition. Topical silicone can be applied for dealing with the symptoms of Senile purpura.

Natural Remedies of Senile Purpura

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C supplements would be beneficial natural remedy for reducing the symptoms in senile purpura. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen, or an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments and the bone. It is thus important to maintain a healthy vitamin C status in the body so as to prevent senile purpura.


One more natural remedy for senile purpura is Rutin. Rutin is a flavonoid, an antioxidant, a free radical scavenger, and an iron chelator. An antioxidant is beneficial in reducing potential oxidative damage from the UV rays of the Sun.

Moreover, Rutin has been reported to reduce capillary fragility and permeability.


One more way to treat senile purpura naturally is by using Hesperidin. Hesperidin helps in improving venous tone and improves lymphatic drainage. So, Hesperidin alone is frequently used for several vascular conditions like hemorrhoids and varicose veins. It can also reduce the generation of free radicals.

Citrus Bioflavonoids:

Citrus bioflavonoids have antioxidant effects and include diosmin, hesperidin, eriodictyol, neohesperidoside, eriocitrin, naringenin, neodiosmin, rutinoside, isorhamnetin, chrysoeriol, limocitrin, limocitrol, isolimocitrol, and others. Citrus bioflavonoids can be useful natural remedy for Senile purpura.


Eriocitrin or the lemon flavonoid, could be used to reduce or prevent oxidative damage. Though more research is required for this, eriocitrin could also be included as one of the natural remedies for Senile purpura.

Arnica Montana:

Arnica Montana is a homeopathic remedy that is commonly used for treating the bruising. The effectiveness of Arnica Montana or A. Montana may be related to its ability to reduce bleeding.

Combining Rutin With Vitamin C:

Combining rutin and vitamin c can also work effectively in reducing the symptoms of senile purpura naturally and also other types of purpura.

Combining Vitamin C, Rutin, Citrus Bioflavonoids, Hesperidin, Eriocitrin and A. Montana:

The supplement blend containing vitamin C, rutin, citrus bioflavonoids, hesperidin, eriocitrin and A. Montana, appears to both safely as well as effectively reduce skin bruising in patients suffering from Senile purpura.


Senile purpura is not dangerous and is absolutely benign; but unless some changes are made recurrence is always on the cards. Limiting sun exposure with sunblock can protect your skin from further sun damage. It is also important for you to avoid exposure to the sun rays and if outdoors, wear covering clothes and apply sunscreen lotions to the exposed body parts. Talk to your dermatologist about ways to reduce the appearance of skin lesions.

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:December 4, 2018

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