Home Circulatory problems Petechiae on the legs: causes and treatment

Petechiae on the legs: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Petechiae are small red spots that are related to bleeding problems. They can appear anywhere on the body, depending on their origin.

When they are located in the legs, it can be due to problems of poor venous circulation, infectious diseases due to the influence of some drugs, or an inflammation of the blood vessels, among others.

If you are interested in knowing in depth the causes of the appearance of petechiae on the legs and their treatment, keep reading this article by FastlyHeal.

Poor venous circulation in the legs

You can suffer from poor venous circulation in the legs for different reasons:

  • Standing for a long time.
  • Do not move your legs.
  • Remain seated for a long time in the same position.
  • Unhealthy eating habits.
  • Smoking

In these cases, you can suffer from various symptoms such as tired or heavy legs, the appearance of varicose veins and spider veins, swelling of the feet and legs, pain in the legs, and, of course, petechiae or red spots on the legs.

Petechiae are small reddish or brownish rounded spots due to bleeding that occurs in the smallest blood vessels: capillaries.

These spots can appear on their own, after a light blow, when performing massages, and even with the simple application of creams that supposedly facilitate circulation (such as those containing cooling substances).


To improve venous circulation in your legs, you can follow some of the following tips:

  • Try to rest with your legs up.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • You can use compression stockings that promote venous return.
  • Improve your diet: look for natural products without preservatives or other chemicals, without vegetable oils. Avoid excess flour and refined sugar. I prefer whole grain products, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Exercise according to your physical condition and at your own pace, but constantly.

Excessive sun exposure

Those who have sensitive skin and expose their legs to the sun too long, especially when it is powerful, may suffer the appearance of petechiae on the legs.

You can also manifest burning, redness, and even blisters if the exposure is too excessive.


Some steps you can take to improve your skin quickly are:

  • Apply cool compresses to the skin.
  • Avoid heat.
  • Drink water and fruit juices.
  • Apply refreshing pastes like sandalwood or aloe vera.
  • Moisturize the area with coconut oil. This one also has a cold nature.

Leg infection

An infection by fungi, viruses, or bacteria can cause alterations in circulation.

A fungal infection often settles on the nails or toes, and this is a gateway for other types of microorganisms that cause disease in the feet and legs.

On the other hand, trauma to a foot or leg can also lead to a bacterial infection in those areas.

When there is a localized infection, pain, inflammation, fever, and pus can even collect and leak out. With significant inflammation, the smallest blood vessels can be weakened and lead to the appearance of petechiae.

In people with low defenses, the infection can spread to other areas of the body and further complicate the situation, such as those who have diabetes, for example.

However, it may also be that the infection started in another area of ​​the body (such as streptococcal angina) and spread throughout the body, leading to fever, general malaise, and the appearance of petechiae in the legs, trunk, arms, and head.


Prompt infection treatment can help decrease inflammation and damage to the capillaries. The wounds must be kept clean, the fungal infection treated with local or oral medication, and the bacterial infections with antibiotics.

You can consult with your doctor about the possibility of using some home remedies to help improve the infection:

  • You can clean the wound with an infusion of chamomile or calendula: they have anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
  • You can apply a combination of turmeric powder and ghee (clarified butter). You can use other mild oils like coconut or sesame. Ghee is ideal because, in itself, it heals skin problems.
  • Another option is honey: it has antimicrobial, healing, and anti-inflammatory properties if applied directly to the wound.

It is also essential to have good habits so that this infection and any other health problem disappear and body balance is restored. These habits to which we refer are fundamental:

  • The proper rest at night.
  • A healthy diet.
  • Keep your mind calm.

When the infection improves, it would be good to start moving, exercising gently, and according to your physical condition.

Blood cell disorders

In some diseases, the blood cells responsible for controlling infections (white blood cells), carrying oxygen and iron (red blood cells), or controlling bleeding (platelets) may become too low in number or abnormal and lead to bruising or petechiae in the legs.

This is the case for problems such as:

Other symptoms may also appear, such as weakness, fever, weight loss, nosebleeds, formation of large bruises without previous trauma, frequent infections, excessive sweating, and bone pain.


It is essential to arrive at the correct diagnosis, for which, in addition to carefully reviewing you, the professional who receives you will request studies. They may be: blood studies, ultrasound, radiography, computed tomography, or resonance, depending on each case.

Beyond the diagnosis and treatment that the doctor or physician deems appropriate according to your case, you must correct the causes that led you to this state of health:

  • Improve your diet. Leave everything of unnatural origin and processed, refined sugar, drinks with sweeteners and chemicals, excess meat, and dairy.
  • Leave out unhealthy substances like coffee, alcohol, and tobacco.
  • It is critical to seek harmony and calm. A mind is a powerful tool that can lead you to states of disease or health.
  • Try to get proper rest: at night, between 6 and 8 hours. Avoid staying up late.
  • Decrease the use of screens. Electronic devices generate too much stimulation that the body must process, which overloads the body’s cleansing and purifying organs. It is advisable to reduce their use to 12 hours a week and, if possible, not to use them at night.
  • Exercise. Doing a little practice a day is highly recommended to improve this and any health problems.


It involves inflammation of the blood vessels. As a result, there will be less circulation in the affected area, weakening of tissues, and the appearance of scars and petechiae. It can affect any area of ​​the body, including the legs.

Among the other symptoms that can be suffered are:

  • Fever.
  • Pain in the affected area.
  • Soft spot.
  • Rash on the skin.
  • Body pain.
  • Headache.

Frequently, the cause is not known, but in some cases, it can be related to primary viral infections, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and reaction to certain medications.

Some particular cases can affect the legs:

Tromboangeítis obliterante

Also known as Buerger’s disease, the habit of using tobacco causes it.

It usually affects both the feet and the hands, but it can also spread to other body areas.

Purpura de Schoenlein-Henoch

This Vasculitis can affect various body areas, but it often manifests itself in the legs. Blood in the urine and abdominal and joint pain may also appear.

Vasculitis alérgica

It is produced by hypersensitivity in those people susceptible to certain substances. It is common for it to appear due to drugs or after an infection.

Red spots usually appear on the lower area of ​​the legs.


Depending on the evolution of the picture and its cause, one treatment or another will be prescribed.

In many cases, the Vasculitis corrects itself. It is key to this that changes are adopted in those unhealthy habits.

In other cases, different treatments must be used, such as:

  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatories.
  • Corticosteroids.
  • Biological treatments.

You can consult more information in the article Vasculitis in the legs: causes, symptoms, and treatment.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Petechiae on the legs: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart, and circulation.

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