Q. My wife develops blue or purple patches on her body. Sometimes these occur when her skin brushes against a table or chair while cleaning the house. At other times they appear without any apparent reason. The patches go away with time and do not hurt. What could be the reason for these patches? Are there any precautions she should take? She is under medication for blood pressure and thyroid.
A. The blue patches are due to bleeding under the skin. The bleeding can occur due to pressure on the skin capillaries or because of a low platelet count. Since in your case this has happened for many years, the chances of a major underlying cause are remote. You will need to keep a note of the following: bleeding time (BT); clotting time (CT) and platelet count. If these are normal, take a 1000 mg tablet of vitamin C daily.