DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HEH-nawk SHURN-line PUR-puh-ruh) is a type of vasculitis, a group of disorders that cause blood vessel inflammation. In Henoch-Schonlein purpura, this inflammation causes bleeding in the small blood vessels (capillaries) in your skin, joints, intestines and kidneys. The main symptom is a purplish rash, typically on the lower legs and buttocks. Henoch-Schonlein purpura also often causes abdominal pain and aching joints, and in some people, kidney problems.
Although Henoch-Schonlein purpura can affect anyone, it's most common in children and young adults. Henoch-Schonlein purpura usually improves on its own, but if the kidneys are affected, medical care is generally needed, as well as long-term follow-up to prevent more-serious problems.
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