Doctors and providers who treat this condition


Petechiae (Child)

Petechiae are very small red spots on the skin. They are flat on the skin, not raised. They often appear very suddenly.  Petechiae usually occur on the arms, legs, stomach, and buttocks. They don’t itch. The spots may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. They may also be caused by a reaction to a medicine. Petechiae that continue to grow and merge together may mean that your child has a bleeding disorder.

Petechiae caused by an infection or drugs go away on their own without treatment. They don’t leave scars. If a bleeding disorder is causing the spots, the disorder will need to be treated.

Home care

  • Follow any instructions your child’s health care provider gives you. This may include changing a medicine that your child takes. Don’t start or stop any medicines without talking with your child’s provider.

  • Check your child’s spots regularly for changes. The spots may turn purple as they fade and go away.

  • Contact the health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s health.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your child’s health care provider.

When to seek medical advice

Call your child's health care provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher

  • More spots or bigger spots

  • Spots merge together

  • Long streaks under your child’s nails

  • Bruising that is unexplained or gets worse


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