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Health Condition

Capillary Fragility

About This Condition

When the smallest blood vessels, capillaries, become weak, a person has capillary fragility.

There are no serious complications from having capillary fragility, but it may signify that a more serious, underlying problem exists. Therefore, people should consult a physician if there is bleeding in the skin.

Symptoms

Weak capillaries lead to small spots of bleeding in the skin and easy bruising. Bruises look like areas of blue to purple-colored skin that can turn yellow to dark brown over the course of a few days.

Other Therapies

The primary focus in the treatment of capillary fragility is the diagnosis and management of any underlying medical condition. Conditions such as liver or kidney disease; blood disorders, such as hemophilia, platelet dysfunction, thrombocytopenia, leukemia, and multiple myeloma; connective tissue disorders including scurvy, Marfan’s syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; or the use of blood-thinning medication, such as aspirin (Bayer®, Ecotrin®, Bufferin®) and warfarin (Coumadin®), should be considered.

References

1. Bradley DW, Maynard JE, Webster H. Plasma and whole blood concentrations of ascorbic acid in patients undergoing long-term hemodialysis. Am J Clin Pathol 1973;60:145-7.

2. Sullivan JF, Eisenstein AB. Ascorbic acid depletion during hemodialysis. JAMA 1972;220:1697-9.

3. Tomson CR, Channon SM, Parkinson IS. Correction of subclinical ascorbate deficiency in patients receiving dialysis: effects on plasma oxalate, serum cholesterol, and capillary fragility. Clin Chim Acta 1989;180:255-64.

4. Cox BD, Butterfield WJ. Vitamin C supplements and diabetic cutaneous capillary fragility. Br Med J 1975;3:205.

5. Will JC, Byers T. Does diabetes mellitus increase the requirement for vitamin C? Nutr Rev 1996;54:193-202 [review].

6. Schorah CJ, Tormey WP, Brooks GH, et al. The effect of vitamin C supplements on body weight, serum proteins, and general health of an elderly population. Am J Clin Nutr 1981;34:871-6.

7. Schlebusch H, Kern D. Stabilization of collagen by polyphenols. Angiologica 1972;9:248-56 [in German].

8. Monboisse J, Braquet P, Randoux A, Borel J. Non-enzymatic degradation of acid-soluble calf skin collagen by superoxide ion: protective effect of flavonoids. Biochem Pharmacol 1983;32:53-8.

9. Lagrue G, Olivier-Martin F, Grillot A. A study of the effects of procyanidol oligomers on capillary resistance in hypertension and in certain nephropathies. Sem Hop 1981;57:1399-401 [in French].

10. Galley P, Thiollet M. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a new veno-active flavonoid fraction (S 5682) in the treatment of symptomatic capillary fragility. Int Angiol 1993;12:69-72.

11. Bruneton J. Pharmacognosy Phytochemistry Medicinal Plants. Andover: Intercept Ltd., 1995, 277.

12. Schlebusch H, Kern D. Stabilization of collagen by polyphenols. Angiologica 1972;9:248-56 [in German].

13. Monboisse J, Braquet P, Randoux A, Borel J. Non-enzymatic degradation of acid-soluble calf skin collagen by superoxide ion: protective effect of flavonoids. Biochem Pharmacol 1983;32:53-8.

14. Lagrue G, Olivier-Martin F, Grillot A. A study of the effects of procyanidol oligomers on capillary resistance in hypertension and in certain nephropathies. Sem Hop 1981;57:1399-401 [in French].

15. Galley P, Thiollet M. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a new veno-active flavonoid fraction (S 5682) in the treatment of symptomatic capillary fragility. Int Angiol 1993;12:69-72.

16. Bruneton J. Pharmacognosy Phytochemistry Medicinal Plants. Andover: Intercept Ltd., 1995, 277.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

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