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Presence of hemorrhages in the skin, often associated with bleeding from natural cavities and in tissues. Major causes include damage to small artery walls (as in vitamin deficiency or allergic reaction) and platelet deficiency (in association with such disorders as lupus erythematosus and as a complication of leukemia or chemotherapy).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on purpura, visit Britannica.com.