Exercise-induced purpura

Dermatology. 2004;208(4):293-6. doi: 10.1159/000077837.


Exercise-induced purpura (EIP) occurs on the lower legs after unusual or major muscular activity, as in marathon runners or as after long walks, especially in the mountains in hot weather. In leisure walkers, patients are otherwise healthy females. There is no relation with chronic venous disorder. Erythematous, urticarial or purpuric plaques arise on the lower leg, usually sparing the skin compressed by socks. Symptoms include itch, pain and a burning sensation. Histopathology demonstrates leukocytoclastic vasculitis. The lesions fade after some days, with frequent relapses at further muscular exercises and may be prevented in some cases by compression, intake of venoactive drugs and local application of steroids. EIP is not uncommon, even if very few descriptions have yet been published. It appears to be consecutive to venous stasis induced by an acute failure of the muscle pump of the calf and thermoregulation decompensation, after a prolonged and unusual exercise, such as running or walking in hot weather.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity
  • Purpura / etiology*