What is HSP?
Henoch-Schönlein Purpura (HSP) is a condition where small blood vessels in the body (particularly in the skin, intestines and kidneys) become irritated and swollen. This is called vasculitis and it is commonly seen in children aged two to eight years. It is characterised by a rash, called purpura, which looks like bruising. This rash may not always be visible right away. Blood vessels in the skin, intestines and kidneys are often affected.
HSP is often triggered by viral illnesses such as a cold or flu, but it isn’t contagious and cannot be passed on to other people.
Signs and symptoms
- Raised rash with reddish-purple spots on the buttocks, legs and elbows.
- Swollen hands and feet.
- Joint pain (usually in the knees or ankles).
- Abdominal pain.
- Blood or protein in stools or urine.
How is it diagnosed?
There is no test for HSP, so it is normally diagnosed by a doctor looking at the rash on the skin and asking about other symptoms.
Your doctor will take your child’s blood pressure and order a urine test to check for protein and blood in the urine. They may also do a blood test to check the kidneys.